April 28 – October 5, 2014
Arcadia University’s Art Research Collaboration (ARC) Exhibition Program, in conjunction with the Office of University Communications is pleased to present Signpost: A Spring Preview Photography Exhibition, on display in the Great Room Lobby through October 5, 2014.
Prior to the departure of the participants in Arcadia University’s 21st annual Spring Preview, the ARC Exhibition Program announced a call for entries for an exhibition of photographs documenting signs that would evoke, through their style, subject, or use of text and/or image, the uniqueness of the various regions in which these students and their leaders would be traveling. This exhibition is the result of that challenge.
Spring Preview, a course offered to first-year and transfer students, offers a weeklong international experience during the university’s spring break. This year 338 students and their instructors traveled to fourteen different countries including, Austria, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Greece, Guatemala, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Romania, South Korea, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
The twelve photographs on view were selected from a pool of over 250 images submitted for consideration by sixty Preview participants. Matthew Borgen, exhibitions coordinator of the ARC Exhibition Program and Jeanne Buckley, associate dean of library and instructional technology and chair of the ARC selection committee reviewed the submissions.
The jurors evaluated the photographs based on several criteria. First, the sign in the image had to be the principal focus of the image. Additionally the photograph had to stand on its own formal merits in terms of composition, focus, framing, value, balance, etc. Most importantly, the submission needed to show evidence of a personal insight on the part of the photographer regarding the place and culture being documented.
The photographs included in the exhibition were submitted by: Dana Barowski, Ileana Sykes Bidwell, Emily Brobst, Katie Bye, Amanda Campbell, Alexandria Connors, Kathryn Hoffman, Amy Jordan, Megan Mauro, Nichelle-Faith Rohrbach, Alayne Wood, and Heather Zimba. At the conclusion of the exhibition the framed images will be presented to the individuals who took the photographs, both as a prize for their selection, and as a concrete document of their experience abroad.
The idea of providing a specific cue for the documentation of Spring Preview, and presenting the resulting images as an art exhibition is a new experiment. According to Matthew Borgen “in large part this idea was driven by the desire of many of those involved with the program to create a visual record of Spring Preview both for those who experienced it, and for the greater campus community, that reached beyond the stereotypes of tourist / vacation photography.”
In discussing the selection of signage as the first theme for what is envisioned as a recurring exhibition series, Jeanne Buckley explains, “A sign is never neutral, nor is it simplistic, although it may seem so at first glance. A sign interacts with its environment; sometimes planned, sometimes serendipitous.” Borgen continues “a sign can inform an outside observer about a new region beyond the scope of the literal information it provides. Through the examination of a sign and its context, we may better understand the individual or culture that placed it there.”
A reception to recognize the exhibition’s participants is planned for early in the Fall 2014 semester.
The realization of this exhibition is made possible by a donation to the Gateway Society by Theresa and John Rollins. Additional support was also provided by Arcadia’s Office of University Communications.