Showcasing work of the art instructors


Jacob Ennis

The “Sum and Substance” exhibit features the work of Madison College faculty and staff from the college’s many art-related programs. Pictured is a painted by Karen Okster titled Our Lady of Perpetual Obscurity.

Will Sandberg, Staff writer

The Gallery in the Gateway at Truax has opened and is currently showcasing the exhibit “Sum and Substance,” which showcases the works of both faculty and staff in all art-related programs.

The exhibit premiered Oct. 30. The exhibit is a conglomeration of art from the faculty and staff that make up the College Transfer Fine Art, Graphic Design and Illustration, Animation and Concept Development, Visual Communications and Photography fields.

The premier had a lively turnout, and complimentary food, drink and music was provided. Paintings, sketches and photographs adorned the walls, while a large flat-screen looped video presentations. Maureen, the Siamese Fighting Fish and gallery mascot, oscillated about her tank as guests took in the exposition.

“Tonight is important because it shows the rest of the school that we are not the toy department,” said Chris Gargan, Commercial Art instructor. “All of our people that work, for instance, in graphic design, illustration, or photography, come from the industry.”

Gargan is one of the designers and stagers of the ‘Sum and Substance’ exhibit. Beth Ketter, a Graphic Design instructor, presented some of her commercial works that would be familiar to most Target shoppers. Among others, Ketter has done work for Pepsi, Sears, and Starbucks.

Ed Binkley is an animation instructor at DTEC and has been recognized and honored by George Lucas for his artwork. Binkley has recently won the Best of Category award and was a Best in Show finalist for the “Share One Planet” international invitational exhibit in Beijing, China.  His clientele includes Lucasfilm Ltd., American Girl Inc. and WizKids Games.

“An important thing to point out is that everyone in this exhibit is also in the classroom. These aren’t research positions,” Binkley said. “We really focus on teaching students employable skills, and that’s very unlike some other institutions.”

Animation instructor Jeff Dewitt has succeeded as a game developer for Raven Software and Human Head Studios prior to starting Big Rooster, his own game development company that worked on “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.”
Even the imposing, moveable walls within The Gallery itself were done by Bob Corbett and the Architectural Tech program. Corbett is an instructor in the Applied Engineering Technology department and has been a principle in his own architecture firm for almost 30 years.

“What we want to say with this show is that this is who’s teaching the students at (Madison College),” Gargan said. “These people are pros. They’re engaged in the field, and they continue to work in the field. Our students are getting jobs, and they’re working all over the country.”

This is not just a faculty show. Much of the part time staff and Paraprofessionals and School-Related Personnel (PSRP) were also represented in the showing. Many of the part-time staff are employed full-time as studio artists in the designing, advertising, and animation fields.

“They make it all possible,” Gargan said. “It’s incredible the role they play in educating our students and making the programs better and stronger. If you totaled up all the years of real-world experience we share in these fields, the count would be in the hundreds. That’s something you could never say about the university. This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where it stops being theory and starts being practiced.”

The exhibit will be up until Nov. 22.