By Joshua Herring
Textiles professor and curator, Michael Radyk, brings an experimental and enlightening month-long exhibition to Kutztown’s campus. In the Sharadin Arts Building, the Marlin and Regina Miller Gallery will be presenting “ENGAGE: Color, Ritual, and Material Studies,” which will show how different types of contemporary artists use the design and craft of colors and materials both in the classroom and in their own practice.
The exhibition will host an opening reception on Thursday, Oct. 16 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the atrium lobby of the Sharadin Arts Building. Ten nationally and internationally acclaimed artists with skills in modern craft and design techniques will showcase experimental works, such as textile design, metal smithing, weaving and ceramics.
The intent of the month-long event is to demonstrate how crafts can be not only an engagement with different colors, materials and practices, but also with students in the classroom. The featured artists are also academics who use their work to show students how to choose, research, and manipulate materials.
Professor Radyk says that, as an art educator, he strives for “the goal of using material, color and pattern investigations by teaching the skills that will grant the student the ability to question the medium and discover new ideas.” Teaching philosophies such as this and other ideas about art are encouraged to be questioned and discussed throughout the exhibition.
Culminating on Friday, Nov. 21, “ENGAGE” will host the 76th Annual Art Education Conference. Radyk, the chairman, and his committee have organized a “Meet the Artist” reception from 4 to 6 p.m. as well as a day full of workshops, keynote speakers and artist presentations. According to the ENGAGE KU Conference website, its mission is to bring together “K-12 teachers, academics, researchers, artists, designers and students to exchange ideas and participate in a day-long engagement with the arts.”
The exhibition is free to the public and the conference is free to all KU students. Non-KU students need to complete registration and payment through the KU Visual Arts Department website.
More information about “ENGAGE: Color, Ritual, and Material Manipulation” can be found at http://www.engagekuconference.org.