By Brianna Gleghorn
Youngstown State University graduates got to revisit their alma mater on Jan. 26 for an opening reception at the McDonough 2019 Alumni Art Exhibition. The exhibits included works of art created by YSU alumnus.
Over 200 pieces were entered for the exhibition, and 88 pieces made by 86 different artists were accepted. During the reception, Noble Creature Cask House also had a craft beer tasting.
Rosemary Connelly-Prample graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in sculpture, ceramic, and said the last time her work hung in the Butler was during her senior show.
“I was looking forward to this show. I enjoyed my time at YSU,” she said.
Connelly-Prample calls herself a conceptual artist and loves to introduce her work to new people. She said each piece she has created is a complete story, yet they are all linked together within her personal journey.
“Words are thought provoking to me,” she said. “I look for adjectives and adverbs, and give them a visual. My choice of two mediums are drawings and ceramics.”
When creating her entered piece, Connelly-Prample said she used charcoal because she prefers the void of color, so the viewer can focus on the movement, flow and depth of the piece. She said the drawing took one year from concept to paper.
“When you look at this piece hanging on the wall, you see [a] beautiful bunch of roses and then the title makes you question why did she name it that,” she said. “America is beautiful, shine like a coin, flip it over and you will expose ugly, tarnish side.”
Crystal Beiersdorfer said coming back to Youngstown and seeing her undergrad professors and peers at the opening was a nice reminder to keep going. She graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor’s of Mathematics and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in photography.
“It was great to catch up with everyone and talk about how YSU has helped us obtain our creative goals,” she said.
Beiersdorfer is a video artist and moved to Chicago three years ago to attend the University of Chicago for graduate school for visual art. She said the piece she chose to show is a 10-minute, single-channel digital video of flowers.
“The piece was inspired by women in digital culture and how our bodies are constantly being critiqued and manipulated online,” Beiersdorfer said.
Louis Zona, executive director and chief curator of the Butler Institute of American Art, was the juror of the exhibition.
“It’s a way for the university to salute past alum who have succeeded in the visual art,” Zona said.
The exhibition will be open until March 7. The McDonough Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.