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Loading the Canon #9 by Helena-Anne Hittel

Professors Make Art, Too

Today at 6:00, the UCF Art Gallery will open its annual Faculty Exhibit. Now that the professors have passed their BFAs, MFAs, and maybe even received their Doctorates, they can relax and do what they’d like. This is the ultimate dream for an artist today. After you’ve worked so hard to pass your portfolio review, what could be better than having time to follow what your passion truly is, and not having to worry about what anyone else has to say?

This is local art, but with an international background. Some of UCF’s own have exhibited and studied internationally. Some even have works in permanent collections at different institutions. There certainly aren’t many who can say that. Students, this is what you could be in a few years.

A show like this isn’t just a time for the professors of UCF to show off, although the works are fantastic. This is also a good opportunity for the students to remember that their professors are not just arbitrarily chosen to teach art. A while back, I wrote about how mind-blowing it is to think that someone actually sculpted, designed or painted the artworks we know of today. This is kind of like that, except that the artist is (probably) in the room with you. You can go up to them and ask them what is is they were thinking about during the creation of their work and the type of techniques they’ve used. I could actually walk over to wherever Kevin Haran is standing and ask him how he got the inhuman patience it must have taken to draw what is hanging on the wall in front of us. Besides artist talks, when would you get this kind of opportunity?

Wanda Raimundi Ortiz

This show will also give you an opportunity to see one artist’s process live. Wanda Raimundi Ortiz will be painting at the opening reception of this exhibit. This is the stuff of interviews that she is giving us. Not only can we see her in action, we can see how her pieces come to be. How does she start them? How does she know when to stop? You won’t find out unless you take a look.

At a show like this, it’s also easier to get a sense of who these people actually are as artists. They’ve given the audience artist statements, which may or may not de-mystify what you don’t understand, depending on the professor, but looking at their works is also a good way to find out what makes them tick. Their art helps you know them better on a human level, and yes, they are still humans. Even though your drawing professor tells you he doesn’t like your cow skull does not mean that he doesn’t like you as a person.

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Helena-Anne Hittel (Episode 35, essay) is an Art History Major at the University of Central Florida and Intern at the UCF Art Gallery.

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