(Cincinnati, OH) – Studio San Giuseppe Art Gallery at Mount St. Joseph University is honored to present its biennial Alumni Excellence Exhibition (January 17 – February 19, 2017). This exhibition of inspiring art and design showcases works by five selected Mount graduates: Sheila Heinen (1981), Joell Angel-Chumbley (1992), Keith Kitz (1996), Adrian Vance Hawk (2007), and Cynthia Gregory (2008). An Artists’ Reception will be held on Sunday, February 19, 2017, from 2:00-4:00 pm in the SSG Art Gallery. The public is cordially invited to meet and talk with the artists during the reception.
Sheila Heinen (1981) is an award-winning artist who graduated from the College of Mount St. Joseph with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art Education in 1981. She paints in her home studio, working in acrylics and mixed media. Inspired by nature, she strives to radiate beauty through the use of transparent color glazes and underlying illumination of metallic leaf. Sheila’s paintings hang in private collections in Ohio, Kentucky, and Arizona and she actively shows her work in exhibitions throughout the U.S. Sheila was awarded YWCA of Greater Cincinnati Group Show Winner, Art Comes Alive 2014, Art Design Consultants. She received her MBA from the University of Phoenix.
Heinen states, “This collection of paintings is created around a theme of ‘Metamorphosis.’ The subject matter – various gemstones (metamorphic rocks transformed and abstracted), as well as my artistic growth in technique and materials, combining opaque and transparent acrylic pours, foils along with metallic leaf, and build-up of surface textures. These paintings were created shortly after moving from Ohio to Arizona and stand as proof that the upheaval of relocating one’s home and studio across country can result in a transformative period of creativity.”
Joell Angel-Chumbley (1992) is a local artist and designer who graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, with a concentration in Fabric Design, from the College of Mount St. Joseph. Joell received a Master of Fine Arts Degree from University of Cincinnati (DAAP), School of Art, area of Fibers and 3D studies in 2000. Her professional work spans the disciplines of painting, sculpture, public art, branding, and environmental graphic design.
Joell is a Creative Lead and Art Program Coordinator at Kolar Design, where she guides the vision, strategy, and implementation of local and national projects that connect people, places, and brands. She worked in the City of Cincinnati’s Department of Transportation and Engineering, Urban Design and Planning Office for 10 years transforming city neighborhoods through civic branding, gateway design, public art, and placemaking. She also served as full-time faculty at Mount St. Joseph University, and adjunct faculty at the University of Cincinnati DAAP and Miami University Oxford. Joell’s multi-disciplinary experience has awarded her local, regional and national mention in various publications. Recent works have exhibited both regionally and nationally including: Florida Gulf Coast University Library Gallery – Fort Myers, FL, Chico Art Center – Chico, CA, and Weston Art Gallery – Cincinnati, OH.
On display in this “Alumni Excellence” exhibition are both her graphic design works and also a selection of fine arts pieces. Joell states, “Nature and her elements continue to be a leading force in my exhibition work. This body of work builds on simple elements, geometries, complex layers, and connective patterns found in nature and urban environments. The work employs a variety of materials … The natural materials and found objects embody a past life, story and history; fabric and sewn line represents the connective patterns of the universe, marked paths and life’s journey.”
Keith Kitz (1996) is an artist, designer, and educator living in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the founder of Keith Kitz Design (formerly One Man’s Studio), and an Adjunct Professor at both The New England School of Art and Design at Suffolk University and Boston Architectural College. Kitz is also a frequent visiting critic at the School of Visual Arts at Boston University. His award-winning works have been featured in numerous international exhibitions, periodicals, and books. He graduated from the College of Mount St. Joseph with a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design in 1996.
Kitz states, “Curiosity and continuous exploration are the tenants of my making. Trial and error, testing, and iteration are central to my process. I do not concern myself with style, classification, or trend. Equal parts graphic designer and artist, I am not exclusively defined by these labels; I am equally identified as a poet, painter, or simply a maker. My work utilizes a wide variety of making techniques and often incorporates my own photography, analog mark-making, as well as carefully curated found items collected through my travels. I remain attentive and open to accepting opportunities and receiving inspiration from any source I pass during daily walks—many times taking the long way to a destination results in hitting the inspiration jackpot. … This particular body of work has been curated from my practice of daily poster making. Since 2014, I have generated at least one poster a day, though many days result in multiple pieces. This purely experimental space is not only a place to embrace my passion, it has also produced ideas used in my commercial practice, and has impacted my teaching philosophy and approach.”
Adrian Vance Hawk (2007) received her Bachelor of Arts in Art Education and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fabric Design from the College of Mount St. Joseph in 2007, and a Masters of Art in Art Education from the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 2011. Adrian is a leader and trailblazer in the fields of art and education, as well as care for the earth and community. She has been involved with the Ohio Art Education Association (OAEA) for many years, both at the local and state levels and won the prestigious Art Educator of the Year award for SW OAEA in 2013. Adrian currently serves as the Vice President on Imago’s council (Imago is a non-profit urban nature preserve in Price Hill).
Hawk states, “My art explores protection and conservation of the Earth through a variety of media (branches, seeds, old book and map pages, upcycled plastic, found objects, feed sacks, vintage postcards, leaves and red thread). I work to stimulate meaningful discussion and/or reflection about environmental issues. I am currently a visual arts specialist at the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) in downtown Cincinnati. I teach students in grades kindergarten through 3rd grade. I’m currently in my tenth year of teaching. I taught kindergarten through 6th grade in New Richmond, Ohio before moving to SCPA. My goal as an educator is to not only share the beauty and joy of art but to do it in a way that exposes students to ways that they can be good citizens of our planet and make responsible choices that have a positive impact.”
Cynthia Gregory (2008) is a Kentucky-based artist whose studio work integrates drawing, sculpture, and furniture making to illuminate themes of time, history, accumulation, and containment. She has exhibited her artwork widely in national and international exhibitions including the San Antonio’s Blue Star Contemporary Museum of Art (TX), which selected Gregory’s work in 2015 for solo exhibition. Gregory is a 2013 recipient of an artist residency from the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City, Nebraska, and recently in 2016 was awarded an artist residency at Georgia's Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts & Sciences. In addition to exhibiting her artwork in galleries and museums, her pieces have been featured in publications such as the book Collage Journeys (2008) and the literary arts journal, The Dialogist (2014). She holds several degrees including a BA in English (Northern Kentucky University), a BFA in Fine Art (College of Mount St. Joseph), an MLS (Indiana University), and an MFA (University of Cincinnati).
Gregory states, “A significant source of inspiration fueling my work rests in my interests in literature, writing, history, the natural sciences, and astronomy. … My style of making leans toward an unapologetic realism that is less concerned with fooling the viewer’s eye and more concentrated on encouraging what Philip Rawson refers to as the viewer’s ‘habit of attention,’ that is to be drawn in, to behold, to re-evaluate and unravel what’s seen. I am “of the hand, by the hand,” applying labor-intensive methods to build furniture-like sculpture installation pieces that house delicately rendered drawings and sculptures. In juxtaposing these objects, my interest is in the potential for these elements to serve as containers of stories within self-contained installation environments that range from shelves, boxes, drawers, architectural elements, and table and cabinet formations. The objects I populate in these intimate spaces map subtle timelines and mysterious markers of experience, thought, and feeling. These metaphoric constructions encourage the viewer to build implied, partial narratives from a lost or unknowable whole.”