Art Faculty Share Works During October 27 Exhibit and Reception
Events and Lectures

Franklin College invites the public to attend the opening viewing and reception of the Art Department Faculty Exhibit on Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. The event will take place in the Henderson Conference Room, located on the second floor of the Johnson Center for Fine Arts, located at the corner of Branigin Blvd. and Grizzly Dr. The exhibit will continue to be available for viewing by Franklin College faculty, staff and students through Nov. 26. Masks are required in all indoor spaces on campus regardless of an individual’s vaccination status.

Four faculty members will exhibit their work, including Svetlana Rakic, David Cunningham, Denis Kelly and Randi Frye.

Rakic, Ph.D., a professor of art, received her bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of Belgrade in Yugoslavia, then completed her doctorate degree at Indiana University. She began working at Franklin College in 1996, where she focuses her teaching on getting students to look at art as something that makes us understand ourselves. Her courses focus on art history and drawing. She has exhibited her own paintings and drawings in the United States, Germany and Serbia.

For the show, Rakic will display 12 drawings, all part of a series titled Pain. The drawings are inspired by contemplation on the nature of the universal and inevitable human experience of pain. “Physical or mental pain – although the two ultimately exist only in their interaction – is deeply personal,” explains Rakic. “At the same time, it is an experience built in to the very core of our humanity. We all know what it is. Even though we are alone in our pain, we can still share its burden with other human beings because love and compassion provide the deepest connection we can experience.”

In addition, Rakic will display a mixed media drawing, “Reflection,” which was inspired by the mystery of the connection between love and compassion.

Cunningham, M.F.A., is a professor of art and artist in residence. He received his bachelor’s degree in art from the University of Evansville and his master’s degree from Indiana University. He joined the Franklin faculty in 2003. He specializes in representational oil painting, figure drawing and wheel thrown ceramics. His paintings have been exhibited in galleries across the United States, commissioned for corporate and personal purchase and featured in the Indianapolis International Airport. Throughout his art career, Cunningham has amassed numerous awards of excellence and has been an invited conference speaker.

In this exhibit, Cunningham’s work is a combination of two simultaneous painting series that he has been working on tangentially for almost 15 years. Although, on the surface the images of “Butterflies” and “Stones” seem unrelated, the underlying theme of both is the same: Transcendence and Transformation. The recent butterfly paintings are painted over a collage of discarded photographs and magazines. Although painted over, the substructure is a cocoon of garbage from which the butterfly emerges. Similarly, the humble stone, which is trampled on and mostly overlooked, is exalted as something important and beautiful.

Cunningham states, “Because of the age of the average stone (13 million years old), they become history keepers that exceed our own human existence. Each scar on a stone is meticulously recorded to honor their journey to this moment.”

Kelly, a lecturer of art, received his bachelor’s degree from Wabash College. He joined the Franklin College faculty in 2019. Kelly’s expertise is in photography. He shares that he teaches the art of photography as exploration, discovery and production of lasting expressions that share our perspective.

In explaining his exhibit, Kelly says, “For decades, through five continents, I have photographed and audio recorded in places of special natural and spiritual significance. The centerpiece of my current exhibit is a panoramic photograph 30 feet long from “The Mount of the Beatitudes beside the Sea of Galilee where Jesus spoke the Sermon on the Mount.” I worked with a blacksmith and cabinet maker to build a structure to support the panorama in a circle so that one may enter inside and be surrounded by this view. There is audio accompaniment of the sea lapping the shore and the voices of many diverse people from the Franklin college community proclaiming the scripture– effectively being the mystical body of Christ. This exhibition also includes views from Chartres, in France and native Alaskan holy sites: the salmon routes up fiords to the forest rivers where they spawn and die, leaving their very bodies as nutrients for the next generations, and Sitka spruce trees that grow atop the trunks of their fallen predecessors. Large montages express significant protests urging us to care for all creatures and all human beings of this Earth. It draws from two of my ongoing exhibition series: ‘Holy Lands, Journeys of a Pilgrim Artist’ and ‘Ecological Conscience and Holiness’.”

Frye, M.F.A., is the newest member of the art department. The assistant professor of art received her bachelor’s degree from Indiana Wesleyan University and her master’s degree from Syracuse University in New York. Frye’s expertise is in visual communication design illustration and new media art, including animation and digital art.

“My goal is to foster and inspire students who are passionate and curious lifelong learners,” says Frye. “The visual communication, creative problem solving and aesthetic skills students learn in my classroom are valuable tools that will serve them far into the future, as they work to create a positive impact on the world.”

Frye will exhibit a digital interpretation of her backyard, a place of peace, yet full of activity.

“The energy isn’t always apparent unless I’m present and willing to observe the constant movement of nature, such as the entertaining fights of the bumblebees,” explains Frye. Created digitally, “Field of Dreams,” one of the pieces in the exhibit, was printed as a 5’ X 10’ mural and hangs with an accompanying monitor that displays the animation “Electronic Fields.”

Contact the Franklin College Office of Communications for more information at (317) 738-8185.


POSTED Oct 6, 2021