Bradley University art faculty members constantly submit their pieces to galleries around the country. However, a small gallery in the Hartmann Center for the Performing Arts provides an even more intimate and academic setting for professors to showcase their work.
Entitled From the Lab: Creative Research by Bradley Faculty, the 2010 fall showing of faculty work gave professors an opportunity to display their work to their peers and students.
The outside praise faculty members might garner from such events is secondary, says ceramics professor Randy Carlson.
“The primary thing is that students get to see my work,” he says. “The students know and see what we do.”
Bradley art faculty members are expected to not only teach their craft but also work creatively in their fields. The work is often like research one would find in science or math; faculty constantly tinker with their work to create new and innovative pieces, manipulating color, composition, and chemicals.
Some of the pieces included in this year’s event were sculptures, mixed media pieces, letterpress books, print photograms, and archival inkjet prints, among others. Carlson worked on his ceramic piece, entitled Vase x 4, by starting on a ceramic wheel before working with it in the kiln.
In addition to teaching students, faculty members are constantly working on pieces themselves.
“Most of us have something outside the classroom all the time,” Carlson says. “We have faculty who are genuinely involved in what they do.”
Paul Krainak, chair of the Department of Art, says the faculty members appreciate the opportunity to display their work to students and the Peoria community.
“There’s a certain satisfaction in seeing our work up,” he says. “It’s a nice kind of communal thing for us to exhibit together and it is, in some degree, a collaboration.”
The exhibit, which is an annual event, demonstrates the myriad of artistic genres Bradley offers to its students.
“I think the issue of there being various kinds of artistic genres speaks to the way that we teach,” Krainak says. “We’re not a one- or two-style program. The nature of various kinds of artistic genres in the show responds to the complexity of the subjects we teach.”