Robert Paul Padgett

The faculty and staff at West Liberty University are mourning the passing of their friend, colleague and inspiration Professor Paul Padgett. Paul served WLU for over forty years and was the constant in a world of graphic design that changed dramatically. He was an living encyclopedia of the history of graphic design, design techniques and popular culture. He was a musician, father, grandfather, educator and artist. As a colleague he was happy, inspiring and willing to pitch in wherever needed. As a teacher he inspired, asked for more and led by example. He will be missed and the faculty in the College of Arts and Communication are blessed to have worked with him. The following blog post from WLU alumna Melissa Marshall elegantly reflects on his impact and energy. Additional writings from Melissa, on a variety of topics can be found at themarshallcreative.com. Are You Down with RPP? My heart is heavy tonight as I remember the one-and-only, the wonderful and the great, Robert Paul Padgett. It’s easy to say that I would not be the designer I am today without having Padgett as one of my design professors during my studies at West Liberty. He had radiated passion for graphic design, typography and art. He was happy to share many stories of his life and experiences with others, and his energy was contagious. He encouraged me to be myself and challenged me to bring my personality into my work. He pushed me to be bold and to be aggressive (former classmates might remember a little Hitler-themed stream of work from me— you can all thank Padgett for that!)....

Senior Sophia Kayafas Senior Project

Sophia Kayafas, who is completing an Interdisciplinary program in fine arts and public relations at WLU will be exhibiting her senior project at the Wheeling Artisan Center, 1400 Main St., from Thursday, Oct. 3, through Thursday, Oct. 31. The solo exhibition, titled “A Self Portrait,” opens with a reception from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3. The reception and show are free and open to the public. For additional information please read the article in the September 29th Wheeling News-Intelligencer....

Portals: Paintings by Kara Ruth Snyder

West Liberty University’s Nutting Gallery welcomes its next exhibition, Portals: Paintings by Kara Ruth Snyder, this week. Featuring abstract acrylic and mixed media paintings, it will open with a public reception from 5:30 – 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 2 and remains on display through Oct. 24. The paintings in this exhibition are inspired by meditation and are presented as potential doorways into (or out of) the consciousness of both artist and viewer, according to Robert Villamagna, director of the Nutting Gallery. Snyder’s artist’s statement explains further: A portal is a doorway, an access, an exit or an entrance, a gate. In this collection of recent work, the artist shares the artistic results of her disciplined practice of meditation. Her art process is a challenge to lose the ego by manipulating the physical elements that make up the painting and then letting the materials speak for themselves. Striving to create from a more universal consciousness, the painting then becomes a record of her meditative experiences. The painting continues to do its work by acting as a possible portal. The borders of the painting itself mimic a window of some sort…a two-way street where the art is a “snapshot” from the mind of the artist and the viewer gazes upon this and is invited to try to see “something.” The materials themselves and their physical characteristics will have an energetic impact. The size and orientation of the work, the pigment, the gestural direction of the various brushstrokes and markings, and the placement of compositional elements all meld together to form an impression, conscious or not, upon the viewer. The artwork/portal beckons the viewer...

Bachelor of Science in Creative Arts Therapy Now Approved and Enrolling Students

Art therapy is a field of psychology that relies on art and creativity to explore trauma and seek healing for a wide range of individuals. West Liberty University recognized the importance of this growing profession and has successfully created a program that is attracting attention, the Bachelor of Science in Creative Arts Therapy degree. It is now approved by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. From left, creative arts therapy students, Azia Goolie, Megan Adams and Megan Velas, meet with Professor Brian Fencl in the art department. “West Liberty University is the only institution of higher education in the state to offer the undergraduate degree in creative arts therapy. I thank the faculty and administrators who worked very hard to make this signature program a reality,” said President Robin C. Capehart. The Dean of the College of Arts and Communication Dr. William Baronak guided the academic plan through the WVHEPC approval stage. “We anticipate great interest in the program and have had many student inquiries into this major,” Baronak said. The new program wouldn’t have come to fruition without the support of the Schenk Foundation, which provided the grant that fueled the new degree. “The Schenk Foundation, along with an academic planning team worked together to make the degree a reality and we are grateful for their support of higher education and West Liberty University,” said Angela Zambito-Hill, who is director of development at WLU. Art Professor Brian Fencl also was involved from the early stages of the new degree development. He provided curriculum guidance and recruited for the new major. “We are excited to reach full degree status...

Nutting Gallery Season Opens with 5 x 6 Exhibition

Nutting Gallery at West Liberty University proudly presents 5×6, the gallery’s first exhibition of the 2013-14 season, featuring five different artists, each showing six pieces of work. Participating artists are Ron Copeland, Kyle Hallam, Jeff Pierson, Eric Price and Randie Snow. The opening reception for 5×6 is from 5:30 – 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 4. Ron Copeland is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Pittsburgh. He’s a photographer and graphic designer who turned to silk screening and stenciling. His interests in recent years have focused on exploring abandoned spaces of the city. Taking fragments of what remains of houses or buildings, he recreates the space of a life left behind, using remnants of human activity in areas now fallen into decay. Pennsylvania artist Kyle Hallam worked predominantly in clay for about 25 years, creating brightly colored terra cotta hand-built pots and wall assemblages. Five years ago, he began incorporating clay elements into wall assemblages that he created from recycled materials such as cardboard, tin cans, fabric, rope, etc. During the past 18 months (with support of grants from the Sprout Fund and the Community Foundation of Greene County, and private donations) he designed and implemented an Arts & Crafts program to work with the mentally and physically challenged clients at Greene ARC in Ruff Creek, Pa. Randie Snow is an assemblage artist based in Pittsburgh. Drawing themes from her everyday life, her work explores the natural balance of the human existence and often strives to find harmony amongst seemingly contradictory ideas. Influenced by her background as a commercial graphic designer, Snow’s assemblages integrate a balanced visual aesthetic, frequently by contrasting color, shape, and texture. Individual found...

Art Students Study in Budapest and Gain Life Changing Education

Three West Liberty University students received a chance to travel to the heart of Europe and work on their printmaking skills in what turned out to be a life changing experience recently. From left, Amanda Carney, Emily Hastings and Abbie Merryman, enjoy a fun moment in Budapest. Faculty member and visual artist Martyna Matusiak escorted Amanda Carney, Emily Hastings, and Abbie Merryman, and coordinated their activities during the trip, June 16 – July 5, 2013. The group stayed in what is known as the Hungarian Multi-Cultural Center and worked in the art studio, enjoyed sight seeing, sketched outside and visited museums and art galleries during their stay. The busy center is located in Budapest, the capital city of Hungary and one of the largest cities in the European Union. “The experience was quite an eye opener for my students. We lived and made art for about three weeks. We were immersed in new language, art life, lifestyle and culture. There were moments where we felt uncomfortable – but that’s essential for visual artists,” Matusiak said. “We want to get stimulated and everything around us was new and unknown. It provoked us to try new things not only in life, but also in our artistic practice.” The work that the students made is now in Budapest and was exhibited at the Barnabas Villa Gallery, where it hung for several weeks in a public display. “I thought the trip was life altering as an artist. I left as a student, and came back an entrepreneur. Not only did I have a new thirst to learn, but also the need. It helped...