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Susan Wilson M’82 Exhibit Features Slenker Tribute

Bridget Mayak Susan Wilson Erin Glessner

From left: Bridget Mayak, Susan Wilson, and Erin Glessner. Susan is holding “Tribute to Jean Slenker with Her Twin” (Jean is on the left). The quilt in the background features the shadow of the Wilson Hall fire escape. (Courtesy of Susan Wilson)

Last spring, Dressler Art Center in Somerset hosted an exhibit of photos on fabric by Laurel Highlands visual art teacher Susan Wilson M’82. One of the pieces was a tribute to her IUP mentor—the late art professor Jean Johnson Slenker ’53—and featured a childhood photo of Jean with her twin, Joan. As a master’s student, Susan learned the monochrome photo printing process known as cyanotype from communications media professor David Young. She credits Jean with persuading the Art Department to accept her combination of fabric and photography as a thesis topic. Jean was also influential in the career of Susan’s friend Bridget Infantino Mayak ’74, who—like Jean—taught art in the Somerset School District. That influence extended to Bridget’s daughter, Erin Mayak Glessner ’07, who was a recipient of the Jean Slenker Memorial Scholarship at IUP and is now an art teacher in the Somerset district. “Through the cycle of art,” Susan wrote, “Jean Slenker has continued to be a positive influence in our lives through generations and may continue to live on in our hearts.”