Meet the Artists at the Student Biennial Reception, Feb. 15

By Purnell T. Cropper | February 15, 2012

Arcadia University is pleased to present the Student Biennial 2012. Opening with a reception on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 4:30 p.m, this exhibition will inaugurate the exhibition space on the ground floor of the Commons.

Artist and curator Charles Ritchie juried this year’s Biennial. Ritchie visited the campus on Jan. 23 to select artwork for the exhibition and then gave a lecture, “34 Years of Keeping a Journal: Notes on a Daily Practice for Artists and Writers.” He selected 27 pieces from a total of 160 entries submitted by students enrolled in Art and Deign Department classes taught in the spring or fall of 2011. Understanding that the exhibition would inaugurate the new Commons exhibitions space—which opened for the first time to campus community on the day of his visit—Richie limited himself to including only one example by each student he chose to be in the show.

This restriction resulted in an even and distinguished selection of work that characterizes the exhibition. The show includes pieces executed in a wide range of mediums, including photography, pencil and charcoal drawings, screen prints, jewelry, sculpture and ceramics. As such, it represents all concentrations taught in the department of art and design.

One work that will certainly catch most viewers off guard is Chelsea Bucsek’s Oddities of Perfection. This painting, rendered in oil and latex on vinyl, is displayed on the floor of the gallery. Don’t worry about stepping on it, as it is the artist’s intention for her canvas to be walked upon. Another striking piece is Jim DiPaolo’s Self Portrait. Made of terracotta, steel, and stone, it looks solid and sturdy while at the same time appearing almost weightless in the center of the second alcove. Amy Purdue’s Animal Familiar, constructed with twigs, cable ties, and spray paint, hangs off a wall in the gallery like a mounted deer head. It immediately captures attention, not only with its scale and three-dimensionality, but also its color and whimsy. All of the works selected for the show represent outstanding efforts from freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors and reflect the strengths and ideals of the department. Each of the 27 works is given ample space and demonstrates well the capacities of the new gallery and its hinged walls.

This Biennial Student Exhibition—long a staple of the gallery program and selected by faculty from the art department—became a juried exhibition in 2006 to better prepare art students for applying for fellowships, residencies and professional exhibition opportunities. Julie Courtney, independent curator from Philadelphia, was invited to serve as the first juror in 2006. Elyse Gonzalez, an assistant curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art  (Philadelphia), juried the exhibition in 2008. Sue Spaid, an independent curator from Philadelphia, juried the show in 2010.

Accepted Artists

Alicia Ballard,Chelsea BucsekJenna Marie DiMarzioJim DiPaoloDebbie EllerkampEmily GiovannucciBrendan S. HendricksClifford KoetasDani LeonAmanda MartinezGretchen MyersAshley NatterSandra NguyenTaryn O’ReilyAmy PerdueGina ProiettoAmanda RicciardiHannah RiottoCourtney SanchezAlexandra SchaferAly Sims,April  StankeKay StaufferLauren SuchenskiVictoria TomlinsonKate Transue and Megan Willey.

Juror Comment

“It is a great thrill and honor to be the juror for Arcadia’s 2012 Student Biennial and what an extra jolt it is to select the first installation for the beautiful new Commons Student Center. I am very impressed by the range and quality of work being done by the students at Arcadia. I had to make some very hard choices to winnow down a show that would fit and feel right in the new gallery space. First of all, I tried to include works that really knocked me out, objects that would shine as centerpieces. Secondly, I made sure there was only one work per artist in the show; with such tight limitations on space this seemed only fair. Third, I tried to reflect the different media represented: examples of ceramics, drawing, graphic design, jewelry, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, etc. all deserved to be included. Fourth, I wanted as wide a representation of approaches as I could: realism, expressionism, geometric abstraction, conceptualist investigation, surrealist works needed to be in the exhibition. Finally, I tried to weave the show together with as much color, black and white, texture, and variation of form as I could. You might say I was thinking of the project like making a drawing; packing the field with as much contrast, conversation between elements, and surprise as possible. Arcadia’s students offered me a lot of quality choices and I highly commend them.”

Juror Biography

The juror for the Student Biennial 2012 is Charles Ritchie, an Artist and Associate Curator of Modern Prints and Drawings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Ritchie completed his Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting at Carnegie Mellon University in 1980. As an artist he is represented by Gallery Joe, Philadelphia and BravinLee programs, New York, and his intaglio prints are published by Center Street Studio, Milton, Massachusetts. His works are in the holdings of many museums and private collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Yale University Art Gallery, and the Cartin Collection, Hartford, Connecticut. This spring a solo exhibition of his drawings will be on view at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida and in the fall of 2012 he will have a solo show at Chelsea’s BravinLee programs. In 2005, Ritchie was selected for a fellowship by the Franz and Virginia Bader Fund and he is the five-time recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council’s Individual Artist Award. As a museum professional, Ritchie works with the National Gallery’s collection of more than 40,000 modern prints and drawings. He has curated exhibitions on various artists and subjects including John Taylor Arms, Robert Rauschenberg, Max Weber, and the Los Angeles print workshop Gemini G.E.L.


  • Monday – Friday 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Saturday – Sunday 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.

For more information, please contact Claire Durborow ’12, Curatorial Intern, at

Photos by Pedro Leal ’13