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Photo by: Lauren Hebert

Ashlyn Pittman, Graphic Design sophomore from Morgan City, draws a portrait of Nicholls alumni Tammy Ledet from Thibodaux.

Nicholls community experiences attractions at Art Works

March 30, 2017

Hands-on workshops, faculty and student demonstrations, tours of the art studios and an exhibit of local artists’ work were some of the attractions at Art Works, Nicholls State University’s annual fundraiser.

“This is the fourth year we’ve been doing it, and the scholarship program is great,” Ross Jahnke, head of the Department of Arts, said. “We have been able to get students large scholarships and even send students to Europe with partial scholarships.”

The Department of Art hosted its fourth Art Works in Talbot Hall on Tuesday evening.

All the proceeds of the event will be used to benefit students.

The event’s goal is to raise money to be used towards studio equipment, scholarships and student development activities such as workshops, conferences and travel abroad programs.

“Another thing we have done with a lot of the money raised is to use it as matching funds for larger grants,” Jean Donegan, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of art, said. “That helps us to get more grants and equipment to the students.”

For $50, members of the Nicholls community had the opportunity to tour the studios and experience processes of photography development in a darkroom, graphic design methods of hand lettering and personalization of selfies on Photoshop.

Student and faculty hand-painted wooden chairs comprise this year’s featured collection titled “Bon Temps.”

A gallery with student-submitted artwork, as well as art pieces from faculty and alumni, were displayed throughout the evening. All the pieces displayed that night could be purchased for either $25 or $50 each.

“The students have really supported this program,” Donegan said. “I think they understand that this is their fundraiser, that their contributions help support the event and that the money comes back to them.”

Art students guided multiple tours of the studios in which the attendees observed demonstrations of metal pouring, printmaking and blacksmithing.

The guests had the opportunity to learn how to use a letterpress and were able to create their own cyanotypes.

Two of the most popular attractions of the night were the hands-on workshops on the topics of pottery making and silk screening, which grabbed the attention of dozens of participants.

A silent auction of faculty, alumni, students and local artists’ artworks took place at the Mary and Al Danos Theater at 7:30 p.m. The items auctioned included handmade, original art by faculty, local artists and alumni, such as oil paintings, ceramic pottery, hand-painted wooden chairs and other crafts.  

“One of the most interesting things that we’ve done is to create a small grant program that funds small student projects like going to conferences and getting their work out there,” Jahnke said.

The event also included a complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cash bar.

Business and corporations that sponsored scholarships starting at $250 and ranging up to $1,500 had their names displayed on the event’s signs and included in the event program.   

“This is a good PR event for us,” Donegan said. “We invite the community into our house and they get to see what we do here.”

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