Designing a career in the art field

Jennifer Zemanek

Conference gives out career-building tips

Rumana Valiulla, left, shows her handwoven Jacuard to fellow Kent State students Aaron Sutherland and Lezile Thorndike. Valiulla’s 5-foot by 5-foot wall piece includes three different layers including Islamic motifs, hexagon composition, and a building bl

Credit: Beth Rankin

Most Sundays include students lounging around in their pajamas until noon, but yesterday, people filled room 202 of the Art Building to hear lectures and presentations on art and career-building tips.

The lecturers and presentations intrigued the audience with their different topics of interest. Downstairs near the School of Art Gallery, more people stood in the atrium eating and chatting while taking peeks in the gallery.

More than 500 people attended the Third Annual Art Conference Saturday and yesterday. The conference included presentations, lectures, demonstrations, student art exhibit and sale, reception and a guest lecturer.

“We have been planning this event since September,” said Rebecca Norris, art instructor and one of the coordinators of the event. “This year’s event was held for two days instead of one, so a lot of hard work and planning went into the conference.”

Norris said the conference was a learning experience for the students. The students learned what they needed to do in order to make the most out of their careers. The conference was for more than just art students — it was about career building for any person starting in a new work field.

The atmosphere yesterday was very relaxed. People walked around talking, eating and listening to the music that was provide by the disc jockey, Norris said.

“Many people came to see the students’ work in the gallery,” Norris said. “Even a few works were sold.”

The student exhibit featured 20 works by 16 students. The works ranged in media — oil paintings, photographs, prints, linen and felt pieces. Also, a table of glass items and jewelry was presented.

The presentations throughout the event were aimed to prepare the students for different points in their careers.

Norris said the students could gain a lot from the conference. They can learn good professional protocol. The students could learn how to conduct themselves, how to apply to schools, how to present and how to be good groomers of their work and of themselves, Norris said.

“The lecture by professor Kiki Gilderhus on photocollages by Josef Albers helped me because I am a photo journalism major,” freshman Mallory Unger said. “I picked up different ways to lay out photos and collages.”

Norris said the guest speaker was chosen because she felt he would be speaking of things that were pertinent to the students.

“He is speaking about how students can get their work out there,” Norris said. “He is an experienced businessman and knows much of the art world.”

The students can count on the conference continuing.

“There is always room for improvement,” Norris said. “Next year’s conference will have a few more features. We want the students to keep coming back.”

Contact fine and professional arts reporter Jennifer Zemanek at [email protected].