ArtsPath recently completed a semester-long residency on the IUP at Punxsutawney campus with a culminating presentation event hosted by the instructor, Leah Chambers, and ArtsPath professional artist Michael Stadler.
Attending the Punxsutawney event, held on May 4, 2010, were Debi Meneely and Donna Lorelli from Representative Sam Smith’s office, and Raymond Beisel, interim dean for the Punxsutawney campus, along with several of the students involved in the project.
The final piece of work created during the semester was an art-infused lounge chair, with each student contributing their own unique portion to the piece along with assisting with the overall design and construction. In addition to the lounge chair, each student experienced turning wood on a lathe in creating another project piece.
The residency is ArtsPath’s third at IUP’s Punxsutawney campus in two years and continues to bring a strong arts component to the campus. In this residency, the professor teaching college writing, Leah Chambers, joined forces with Stadler (pictured at right with the final chair) as the students experienced the discipline of woodworking and writing as complimentary forms of expression. Several goals were achieved throughout the residency, including the encouragement of critical thinking through the artistic woodworking and design processes, introduction of woodworking as a visual means of creative communication, and a better understanding of project collaboration. As part of the process, the students also did extensive journaling as they reflected upon the integration of the arts and college writing.
In addition to his time working with the college writing students, Stadler set up in the commons area of the campus’s main building to allow other students to witness the process of the various components being created. All students were encourage to experiment with the artistic process throughout the semester.