Adapting to COVID-19

Art Department hosts classes in new gallery

By Cam Alsbrook

A&E Editor

During Fall 2020, the Cameron Art Department made changes to both the department and future events in order to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Art professor Edna McMillan said, in addition to policies the university has
adopted, such as wearing masks, washing hands frequently, sanitizing used university devices and social distancing, the Art Department divided students into separate rooms during class-time to maintain social distancing.

“This is a real challenge for the art faculty as they must go from one room to another and make separate presentations to maintain the protocol of social distancing,” McMillan said.

“Students must be more accountable and manage their studio time efficiently, which is a good thing.

However, this does limit the one- on-one time that each student has with the faculty member in class.”

The department is also making use of its new University Teaching Gallery to both display student artwork and host larger class sizes, allowing students to divide into groups and critique work in a more realistically formal art atmosphere.

Art sophomore Raymund Anongos said the gallery is a safe place for the art students to critique because of its large size.

“I personally just love the atmosphere of the room since it’s a public exhibition,” Anongos said. “It gives me a glimpse of what producing an actual exhibition could be like; discussing my artwork and the meaning behind it in front of others.”

McMillan said she loves the process of life-long learning, citing the desire to do so as a key quality necessary to teach successfully in the arts and is also
always excited to see the students develop within the program.

“I love to learn both new things about Art processes and Art History, and bringing those to the studio environment,” McMillan said.

The gallery also features smart-classroom capabilities, providing another tool to aid in the department’s adaptation to COVID-19.

McMillan said that artwork by some of the art students is inspired by the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Midwestern State University Art Professor Elizabeth Yarosz-Ash’s upcoming series is as well.

The Art department will hold a display event for Yarosz-Ash’s COVID-19 inspired watercolor and acrylic paintings series, titled “Elizabeth Yarosz-Ash: Observations from Isolation” from Nov. 12 to Dec. 13.

On opening day from 2 – 3:30 p.m., Yarosz- Ash will host a visual lecture presentation of the works at the Cameron Theater.

Also on opening day from 4 – 7 p.m., the art exhibition plans to open with a 10 person restriction at the Gallery, with the artist present until 5 p.m.

In Spring 2021 from Feb. 26 to March 27, the art department will host the Second Annual Student Competition and Exhibition.

Rewards for the competition include cash prizes: $250 for first place, $175 for second place and $125 for third place.

Three runners-up will recieve honrable mention prizes of $50.

For more information about the spring competition or the gallery, contact Edna McMillan by email at ednam@cameron.edu or by phone at 581-2452.

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