TRU Gallery exhibit showcases strength in maturity

Arts faculty member curates a show to shine the spotlight on the beauty of age

The TRU Gallery introduced the exhibit “No Time to Say Hello, Goodbye,” curated by faculty member Terryl Atkins, featuring the works of students Susan Miller, Lyn Richards, Carol Schlosar and Elizabeth Sigalet. The show runs Sept. 27 to Oct. 13.

The show developed over a relationship that started as student-professor, but later blossomed into an artist-artist relationship.

“I now know them more in their role as professionals and taking that professionalism to their learning and practice.”

Terryl Atkins birthed the idea from one of her many areas of interest; women’s work and the society’s desire to erase women as they get older.

All four of the artists involved in the show come from an unconventional student background, as they are mature students returning to university after an established career and family.

Amidst the group of women, there is an accountant, an engineer, a psychologist and a piano instructor and most are still active in their professions today.

Atkins said that for these women, art was a passion when they were younger but later set aside to pursue careers that were considered stable. After careers for financial stability, all four returned to school to formalize their interests and realize their talents.

With the exception of three pieces in the exhibit, all of the works are paintings. While using similar mediums, the artists approach their work differently. For instance, Miller’s works focus mainly in abstract forms while Richards’ pieces often incorporate human or animal forms.

“They had a strong work ethic, which I believe comes out of being a professional and they’re inventive with that.”

Atkins acknowledged that in today’s society, there tends to be a dismissiveness towards aging women and their value after childbearing age. With this in mind the goal of this exhibition is to celebrate the creative works of art that came from the very women that often go unnoticed in society. The women involved all set a high level of standard for the work they created that Atkins believed is worth highlighting.

Schlosar’s work is well-researched and often incorporates interviews with subjects to create a pieces of work that speaks to you as an audience. Her piece, which was showcased on the event poster, features a woman’s face split into four quadrants – four different women with different stories. Schlosar incorporated interviews with these women on topics of aging and what that meant to them. Quotes from those interviews later appeared around the face, bordering the woman in the language of those women.

“This is not a show that looks like student work. This is professional artists’ work. They are finished piece. They are exhibition-ready.”

Atkins expressed that from a curator’s point of view, the strong work ethic and standard of art produced by these women creates an incredibly interesting show. The use of four independent artists for one space keeps the viewer intrigued as they walk through the show.

Photos Cailyn Mocci/The Omega