This semester, 10 visual arts students are taking care of business—literally. As recipients of the James Lombardo Sr. Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts, students from the Art Education, Fine Arts, and Design departments will take a trip to New York City in October to get acquainted with the business-related aspects of art. This unique award is provided by James Lombardo, ’95, an alumnus of the business program. Through this award, Lombardo projects the values and interests of his late father, James Lombardo Sr.
Lombardo, an investment adviser and art collector, hopes to introduce the students to useful business practices that they will be able to employ as creative professionals. During their trip, they will be introduced to the city’s gallery system; learn how to approach galleries for representation; discover how to support themselves as visual artists; and find out how to construct a personal business plan for their creative careers. This invaluable experience will allow the students to network and meet with professionals who can provide practical and useful firsthand information regarding careers in visual arts.
Ashley Smith, an art education graduate student, eagerly anticipates the trip. “Art is like food for me, and New York City is full of art,” she said. “I have a hunger that this trip will most definitely satiate.”
While her appetite for the Big Apple grows, Smith appreciates what Buffalo State has given her. “This community is very important to me because it acts as a support system at a time when there is not enough support for the arts, artists, and teachers,” said Smith.
Along with Smith, students Kelly Caruso, Danielle Cook, Erin Curry, Stephanie Dukat, Madison Heath, David Huurman, Tina Rott, Aric Verrastro, and Sarah Westphal were chosen for the James Lombardo Sr. award. Faculty members selected the award recipients based on their dedication to, and excellence in, the visual arts.
Each student artist’s work is included in the exhibition Across the Visual Arts III, an Invitational on display in the Czurles-Nelson Gallery through September 9. The students’ work saturates the space with talent and a variety of artistic styles. Upon entering, you might first notice the bold, neon colors of a mixed-media sculpture. Perhaps then, the vibrant, hand-dyed fabric works may pull you in for a closer look. From there, your attention may move to the masterfully crafted wooden bench and to the display of photographs. Regardless of your path through the gallery, the exhibition offers a unique and high-quality compilation of work. From silk to cement, the artwork spans many mediums and forms, epitomizing the breadth of visual arts programs available at Buffalo State.
A reception will be held on Thursday, September 8, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The Czurles-Nelson Gallery is open to the public Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The gallery honors Dr. Stanley A. Czurles, the late SUNY Distinguished Service Professor of art education, who founded Buffalo State’s art education program when he began his career at Buffalo State in 1931.