Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Awards of Collegiate Art

As the Spring season made its ways known to the Northeastern PA Region, The East Stroudsburg University (ESU) of Pennsylvania held an Artists' Reception on Thursday March 24th in their Madelon Powers Gallery which is located within the campus' Fine and Performing Arts Center. The Student Art Association Juried Exhibition featured the work of all ESU students who wish to explore their creative talents. A variety of stunning images and sculpted figures greeted the numerous art lovers who came to experience the work.

To say the work was incredible or to use any other adjective to describe their qualities would merely understate their wonderments. All one can say with a small degree of adequacy is the pieces presented contained a perfectly balanced amount of skilled abilities and the refreshing ignorance of art's refinements. The later attribute in this counterpoise allows the artist to freely explore his/her creativity without the inhibitions knowing the imposing academic boundaries can create. This also allows the viewer to relinquish the limitations they find defining their lives and perceptions so they can discover a new them.

The exhibit was a juried one and, according to the judges statements and the speculation prevalent among the gathering, choosing which pieces among the artists' contemporaries were worthy to be considered exceptional enough to receive an award was daunting to say the least. Yet, the judges, who were Jody Singer (Director of the Origins Gallery), Ashley Catherine Fontones (Assistant Director of the Origins Gallery), and Marty Carr (an artist who frequently shows her work and conducts workshops at the Origins Gallery) honed in all their skills and expertize to select the best of the best. A ceremony in which certificates were handed to the exceptional artists was preceded by some welcoming words given by Assistant Professor of the ESU Art and Design Department Jocelyn Kolb who serves as the ESU Art Association Faculty Advisor and Evelyn Barone who serves as the ESU Art Association President. The awards were then distributed by Mr. Singer and Ms. Fontones.

The awards recipients were Abigail Cruz who received the 3rd place award for her piece titled, “Royal Bird,” Brendan Reilly who received 2nd place for his piece titled, “Vertigo,” and Laila Andujar who received 1st place for her work titled, “Self Portrait.” The award for the best three dimensional work went to Kristina Turturiello (who serves as Vice President for the ESU Art Association) for her piece titled, “Science Fiction Automation.” The piece determined to be the Best In Show was titled, “Running” created by Morgan Weissbach who also received honorable mention for her work titled, “When Worlds Collide.” Mr. Singer and Ms. Fontones shared their thoughts about the exhibit with the gathering which encourage not only the artists who participated but everyone present to explore their creative essence and to view the world around them through the aesthetic eye of possibilities.

In addition to the work being presented in the main gallery, an exhibit of sketches were on display in the venue’s upstairs gallery. Although there wasn't any information on the exhibit, the work was very well done and is well deserving of a visit by those who venture to the gallery. You'll find more photographs take during the Artist's Reception in The Awards of Collegiate Art Gallery at

The ESU Art Association is collegiate club designed to create an opportunity for students to explore the myriad aspects of the visual arts with their peers. As with all such clubs, this is sometimes done with great degree of diligence while other times the approach contains the appropriate amount of silliness found when friends get together. In either case, the ESU Art Association provides students with a love for the arts to share the heart of one another. Its president is Evelyn Barone, its Vice President is Kristina Turturiello, its Secretary is Lauren Lawrence, and it’s Treasurer is Michael Schupp. Assistant Professor Jocelyn Kolb serves as their faculty advisor. You can learn more about the ESU Art Association from their Facebook Page at

As mentioned earlier, the judges for the exhibit were associated with the Origins Gallery. The Origins Gallery is located on the lower level of The Gamers Edge Comics and Games Store which can be found at 580 Main St. in Stroudsburg, PA. The Origins Gallery is a contemporary arts gallery within the Pocono Art District having one of the highest and fastest sales records in the Stroudsburg area, provides a space to those who teach the arts to those who would like to learn from them, and continues to do everything with the local community in mind. You can learn more about The Origins Gallery by exploring their Facebook Page at or their Website at

The Student Art Association Juried Exhibition will continue to be on display in The Madelon Powers Gallery at ESU until April 14
th. The next exhibition scheduled to take place in the gallery will be their Senior Seminar and Senior Portfolio Review with an Artists' Reception scheduled to be held on Thursday April 21st beginning at 4pm. The exhibit will continue to be on display in The Madelon Powers Gallery until May 4th. Please explore The Madelon Powers Gallery Facebook Page at for more information.

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

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