By Joshua Herring & Kaitlyn Amodei
Kutztown’s student-run art gallery, Eckhaus, kicked off the fall 2014 semester with a reception honoring KU Art Club grant recipients Victoria Beck, Joshua Cox, Katie Dixon, Christina Fritz, Kelsey Katzgrau and Joseph Painter.
The recipients discussed the organizations they worked with, networking experiences, and future plans for their evolving careers. The reception brought together an audience ranging from students, professors and locals interested in what the university has been doing for the art students.
Eckhaus will offer the community new events and exhibitions during the 2014-2015 school year. Led by a fresh and motivated staff of student management, interns and volunteers, the team at Eckhaus has made dynamic changes to their organization geared toward expanding the arts within Kutztown.
“It gives amazing work experience to students like myself that want to get involved in art management. It’s a great organization that bridges KU to the borough of Kutztown and involves a lot of community engagement,” said Assistant Manager of Public Relations, Setrag Shahikian.
The gallery’s primary mission is to bring the arts into the community and to engage the town in the world of art.
In order to accomplish this, the new Co-Directors, Danielle Kristich and Breann Young, have organized an additional management team of communication students, Shahikian and Yoo Juhn, to help coordinate public relations and organize special events. The team will also focus on incorporating more professional artists into the fall schedule.
“We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from university and community about these efforts and we’d like go further with them. I’m really excited for everyone to see the artists we have picked,” said Young.
The first exhibition at Eckhaus will be created and presented by John Garrett Slaby from Friday, Sept. 12 to Friday, Oct. 3. His presented work will be an array of original oil paintings in different conceptual series that are “a mixture of simplicity and detail,” according to Young. She says that she is excited for this show and that “he is bringing a group of equally creative friends.”
The subsequent exhibition this fall will feature author Kristen Pedemonti presenting the works of children and teachers from her travels around the world on Wednesday, Oct. 15 at 5 p.m. Artist Dani Fisher will exhibit pottery and paintings from Monday, Oct. 20 to Thursday, Oct. 30 and will teach a workshop on Sunday, Oct. 26. Artist Erika Stearly follows with the “Take A Painting” project from Saturday, Nov. 1 to Tuesday, Nov. 25 where the community can come create paintings at the gallery.
The co-directors wanted to organize something that Kutztown hasn’t seen before, with new artwork and from different places and cultures. “Variety was our key. Variety gives us the chance to reach out to all different interests in the community,” said Kristich.
Open Mic Nights will appeal to other interests, which are hosted at the Eckhaus gallery every Thursday night from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Students and members of the community are invited to come play music, read poetry, perform stand-up or practice monologues. All events and exhibitions are free to the public.
Eckhaus is a non-profit, student run organization whose mission is to bring enrichment to the community as well as its students and volunteers. More information about Eckhaus can be found on http://www.eckhausgallery.org, including hours of operation, contact information, upcoming events, and how to sign up for their new monthly newsletter.