Governor Tom Wolf presents the 2017 Governor’s Awards for the Arts on October 26
in Lancaster, Indiana University of Pennsylvania will be part of all six
Students in IUP’s Wood
Center collaboratively designed and crafted the award objects, under the
supervision of fall 2017 Windgate Artist-in-Residence John Hallett and center
director and assistant professor of woodworking, BA Harrington.
This is the first
time in the history of the awards program that students have both developed and
created the design for the awards.
The project is part
of the Advanced Woodworking class taught by Hallett, which includes 10 students
at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
As the host of the
2014 Governor’s Arts awards, and with support from Myron Tomb of Indiana, the
2014 Arts Leadership and Service award winner, and Michael Hood, dean of the
College of Fine Arts, IUP was invited to produce the awards for the 2017 awards
“It was an honor to
be chosen to host the 2014 Governor’s Arts Award and an honor, again, to have
our students produce the awards for the 2017 ceremony,” Hood said. “Myron and I
have been connected to the Governor’s Arts Awards for many years, and this
partnership has been vital to the success of our college, including funding for
the museum and for the ArtsPath program, which offers a very positive
contribution to the arts in our community.”
Students in the class
were invited to develop an idea and present it in the form of sketches,
three-dimensional models and a design concept statement. Hallett and Harrington
evaluated the proposals based on the strength of the design, the feasibility of
fabricating the object, and if the production of the piece could involve the
Student John Miller,
who retired from IUP in 2017 after 37 years of work with technology support, had
the winning proposal. The class, in addition to Miller, includes Samson
Andanje, of East Norriton; Nicholas Gemberling, of Mifflinburg; Jenn Milkey, of
Allison Park; Katie Ott, of Mechanicsburg; Micaela Rodas, of East Stroudsburg; Jonathan
Simkins, of Collegeville; Tyler Stanton, of Meadville; Samuel Tyson, of
Sewickly; and Jesse Wolfson, of
Frenchtown, New Jersey.
The piece includes
the artist’s interpretation of the Liberty Bell in walnut, a dark wood, and the
Pennsylvania keystone in maple, a light wood.
about the piece is as follows:
is the keystone of liberty. Without liberty, there can be no artistic
expression. Without artistic expression, there is no liberty. The
interdependence of these ideals is expressed when the Pennsylvania Keystone is
merged with Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell. The forms are co-dependent; each
supports the other; one does not exist without the other. An icon of United
States independence, the Liberty Bell was created to ‘Proclaim LIBERTY
Throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants Thereof.’ The Liberty
Bell resides in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. The Artistic Expression,
which is the Governor’s Award for the Arts, demonstrates that artistic expression
and liberty are inexorably entwined.”
from Somerset, has two bachelor’s degrees from IUP. He is taking courses in the
program because of his personal interest in wood turning.
“A lot of people put
their work and time and creativity in the project,” Miller said. “Without the
group’s work, nothing would have happened. BA (Harrington) has created an
inclusive working environment, and it is a pleasure to work with the people
associated with the IUP Wood Center. It is a community of artists.”
The class began
production of the pieces in October. Because each is handmade, are all unique.
“We were honored to
be chosen for this, and it’s been a fantastic project for the students—in
fact, for everyone in the Wood Center including John and me,” Harrington said.
“We had to figure out the best way of fabrication, and we came up with a
production line so students got an idea of what that meant, how to divide up
the jobs and how to collaborate with a very tight deadline.”
personally deliver the awards and will attend the awards ceremony.
Hallett, who was born
and raised in Adelaide, Australia, recently earned a Masters of Fine Arts from
the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and has also been a resident of the
International Turning Exchange at the Center for Art in Wood in
IUP and the Wood
Center are recognized in the awards program.
The Wood Center at
IUP exists to enhance the woodworking area of the Department of Art in the
College of Fine Arts. It was established in 2004 with the purchase of a
portable bandsaw mill used to cut lumber from campus trees that were felled as
part of the Residential Revival project. This was the first act of the Center’s
“Harvest-to-Use” initiative that helped the university receive LEED
certification for its new dormitories.
Local logs from
downed trees continue to be milled into lumber for use in student and campus
projects. The Center embraces the rich Northern Appalachian heritage of
abundant natural resources, a solid work ethic, and a hand-crafted aesthetic.
Its programming encourages a strong connection to place, a local identity and
the fostering of embodied knowledge and skill.
In May 2016,
Harrington and students in her spring 2016 advanced woodworking class produced
“the Sutton Bench,” a bench reflecting the architecture of IUP’s central
administration building, Sutton Hall. Working in groups, the students created
six prototypes of benches that were judged by 1973 IUP graduate Blane Dessy,
who donated the funds for the project and chose the winning “Sutton Bench” that
includes a laser engraved image of the Oak Grove.
photo with female student in the foreground:
Jenn Milkey, from
Allison Park, works on assembling a part of the project
Group Photo: From left: Nicholas
Gemberling, of Mifflinburg; Jesse Wolfson, of Frenchtown, New Jersey; Jenn Milkey, of
Allison Park; Samuel Tyson, of Sewickly; Jonathan Simkins, of Collegeville; Tyler
Stanton, of Meadville; Micaela Rodas, of East Stroudsburg; Katie Ott, of
Mechanicsburg; and John Miller, of Indiana, who created the design for the
project. In the forefront, John Hallett, fall 2017 Windgate Artist-in-Residence,
working at a woodturning lathe. Student missing from photo: Samson Andanje,
of East Norriton.