“Round Bloom” by Kathryn Osgood is part of the exhibit “Surface Matters: Grit or Gloss.”

Millersville University offers an array of free experiences for students to enhance their education. One of those experiences is the Eckert Art Gallery. The gallery was open during the fall semester, following the University’s COVID-19 guidelines and is open spring semester with a new show, “Surface Matters: Grit or Gloss.”

The show is a juried exhibition featuring work from over 40 artists with 60 pieces of enameled art, including necklaces, bracelets, bowls, sculptural brooches, wall pieces and more. The Enamelist Society, a professional organization dedicated to promoting the art of enameling, put together this exhibition. The organization supports students and professionals in a variety of ways, through recognizing artists with achievement awards, hosting biennial conferences, juried and invitational exhibitions, workshops, supporting grants and more.

“Surface Matters: Grit or Gloss” looks to explore the changing ways in which enamelists choose to finish their enamel work. Instead of the surface of the enamel being a standard step, the show displays creative choices the artists make in finishing their work.

“These exhibitions can provide a point of entry to the world of art” says Heidi Leitzke, assistant professor and of art and design and the Eckert Art Gallery director. “For our art and design students, these exhibitions, and the artists who create the work, model the possibilities and potential for a life in art. I strongly believe that studying art is an important way to build visual literacy and can help us understand shared human experience.”

Leitzke, who began working at the university in 2017 hopes the gallery will continue to serve as a learning opportunity for students, “I am excited to bring more artwork to campus and engage Millersville University students in learning about art.”

Leitzke also explains how the gallery serves both art students and students outside of the department of art and design.

“The mission of the Eckert Art Gallery is to provide diverse, dynamic and meaningful visual art experiences to inspire learners to grow both intellectually and personally, enabling them to contribute positively to local and global communities,” Leitzke shares, “We are providing access to high-quality art, right here on campus. Students don’t have to travel to New York, or another large city to see some remarkable, compelling and noteworthy art.”

The gallery will continue to follow all COVID-19 protocols set by the University including mask wearing for both employees and visitors. The gallery is limited to 10 guests at a time and only open to the Millersville University community, but if you are unable to make an in-person visit, the gallery has an extensive virtual exhibition that can be viewed here. Gallery hours for the spring semester are 12 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and extended hours on Thursday until 8 p.m.

Leitzke feels art is an important part of culture, especially during these unprecedented times.

“Over the past 10 months the way that we live has changed dramatically, due to COVID-19 We have all had to find new and creative ways to work, learn and live,” Leitzke says, “Artists are creative problem solvers, sometimes challenging the status quo, often making beauty out of darkness, helping us see the light at the end of the tunnel. I know that I have turned to art, film, literature and music to get me through the past months.”

 

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