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Ohio Northern art education alumna exhibits work in San Francisco’s famed Diego Rivera Gallery

November—Katelyn Amendolara, BFA/art education/graphic design ’11 and a visual art teacher at Jackson-Milton high school, recently had work accepted to the San Francisco Art Institute’s Diego Rivera Gallery.

The group exhibit, called [BeLong], is an exploration into the possibility of belonging, a questioning of the frames that constitute us. The works demonstrate the instability and dynamism of this concept—challenging the different ways of belonging to a representational medium; questioning the construction of language and other modes of address; or simply recognizing the boundaries that establish existence.

Katelyn’s work, along with one of her students’ artistic series, specifically explores the interrelationship “about belonging in many aspects of my life as an American and [my student’s] life as a young girl from Thailand,” explains Katelyn. The exhibit opened November 18, 2014.

“The possibility of belonging, to be a part of something, is one of the most generative searches of our physical and metaphysical existence,” said Emily Shallman, public education coordinator for exhibitions and public programs at SFAI. “To occupy a determined time and space is promoted as the ultimate solidification of identity. Yet, with contemporary ties and the dialogical experience of being, dislocation often becomes the referent for our ideas and feelings of belonging (or the absence of belonging).

“The state of belonging, rather than a fixed and static concept, seems to be more accurately represented by a play with the word’s semantic structure: A constant state of longing, a search for place and space, a fluid movement of the body within the frames of possibilities offered by different structures; a state of belonging.”

Katelyn is currently an art teacher at the Jackson-Milton high school located in North Jackson, Ohio. She teaches 7 through 12 grades and organizes an adult art program throughout the year. Katelyn also organizes an after school art club for students interested in furthering their education.

Beyond Jackson-Milton, Katelyn is a freelance artist and serves as a volunteer teacher for the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio. She also served as vice president of the Western Mahoning Kiwanis Club and organized a Blue Jay 5K race on behalf of Jackson-Milton Key Club.

As a student at Ohio Northern, Katelyn was a Fulbright Scholar in 2010, studying the emerging democracy in South Africa and evaluating the country’s educational system. She eventually designed a K-12 visual arts unit for the US Department of Education. She also was involved with AIGA|The Professional Association for Design, Kappa Pi art honorary, and studied at the Studio Art Center International (SACI) in Florence, Italy. In 2009, she presented a paper at Heidelberg College’s 16th annual Minds at Work Student Research Conference. She also won several student awards in the art & design department including the A&D Service Award, the Outstanding Art Education Senior Award and several juried art show awards.

The Diego Rivera Gallery is home to SFAI’s historic Diego Rivera Mural. The gallery provides an opportunity for all academic programs to present their work or curate in an exhibit setting and to experiment with artistic concepts and concerns in a public venue.

Artists submit applications for exhibitions in November and March annually, and a jury of SFA alumni selects the artists who will exhibit. About 40 shows per year are scheduled.

Ohio Northern’s art education major is an intensive full-time teacher preparation program that enables students to earn a PreK-12 licensure. The mission of the program is to prepare its candidates to be not only accomplished artists and art educators, but also articulate advocates for the role of art in PreK-12 education. The curriculum involves partnerships with public schools and is designed so that students come to understand educational theory through personal experience in authentic teaching situations.

Originally designated as the School of Fine Arts and later the College of Fine Arts, the art & design program was first established as an independent academic unit at Ohio Northern in 1878, largely as an outgrowth of course work in engineering and architectural drawing. Today, Ohio Northern offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts with concentrations in two-dimensional, three-dimensional and pre-art therapy. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education, AIGA: The Professional Association for Design, and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized in the “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design or the University’s 2014–15 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.

image: The Diego Rivera Gallery at the San Francisco Art Institute