Allison C. Gallagher
TROY — The Troy-Hayner Cultural Center decided to try something different this year. On display until Oct. 5, community members are free to look at art created by current and former Troy art teachers.
“Creative Expressions Beyond the Classroom: Works of Troy Visual Art Teachers” debuted on Aug. 5.
The cultural center holds an annual art show for Troy students, and decided this year to include their teachers in a show of their own, said Nancy Hutchins, who recently retired as the exhibit coordinator for Troy Hayner Cultural Center and helped get the show started.
“Jill (Hartman) and I began sending out letters to every teacher in the Troy district,” Hutchins said. “We included an application for them, and after we sent those out, we decided to get in contact with retired art teachers to see if they were interested in applying.”
19 artists responded. With the exception of one person, each artist submitted three items for display, which totaled 56 pieces of artwork from different mediums.
Jill Hartman, who is chair of the visual arts department at Troy High School and a guest curator for Troy-Hayner Cultural Center, spearheaded the exhibit’s starting. She said that she found the public was genuinely interested in the work teachers did and felt it was important for the public to see teachers as artists.
“It [the show] was to showcase the saying, ‘Those who teach, do,’” Hartman said. “I think the concept is lost when you’re tagged with that professional title of teacher that you don’t engage in doing.”
Hartman stated that the exhibit is to show teachers as working artists and especially to highlight the paths each teacher took to get to where they are professionally and as artists.
“We all have the same license, but we didn’t all take the same path to get where we are,” Hartman said. “All of our art is so varied, and there are so many avenues one can go down.”
A few of the teachers on display stick to one medium, such as paintings only, while many of the artists have their three works in three different mediums from one another. Hartman said that many of the artists concentrate on one area, but are skilled in all mediums and sometimes will venture into those other areas.
Some of the mediums include multimedia, painting, sculpture, pottery, paper maché and even a few unique projects such as jewlery-making.
“My father-in-law, Herb Hartman, was an art teacher many years at Troy High School before he retired,” Hartman said. “His concentration was cast silver pieces, and so he’s got a few of those on display at the exhibit. It’s a lost art nowadays, so getting to see it is pretty unique.”
The exhibit opened on Aug. 15, and visitors can see the exhibit between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 7-9 p.m. Monday and Thursday, and from 1-5 p.m. on Sundays. There is no admission to Troy-Hayner Cultural Center.