Five Artists Featured in TAMIU Art Exhibit Opening Jan. 28
Posted: 01/21/2010

TAMIU Art Exhibit Opens Jan. 28,
Features Work by Five Artists

Beautiful landscapes, garden scenes, figurative work and ceramics will be on display at the upcoming exhibit, “Color and Place—Five Explorations,” at the Texas A&M International University Center for the Fine and Performing Arts (CFPA) Gallery. The exhibit kicks off with a reception Thursday, Jan. 28 from 5 – 7:30 p.m.

Admission is free and open to the public.

Refreshments will be served and 20 percent of all sales will be used to help support the CFPA Gallery. The exhibit will be on display through Thursday, Feb. 25.

Gallery hours are 12 – 5 p.m., Monday – Thursday and by appointment.

“Featured artists Laurie Hickman Cox, Marilu Flores Gruben, Susan Sheils Johnson, Mary Elizabeth Schleier and Sally Sheils Schupp met when they all attended Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas where they were students of renowned art professor Roger Winter. They remained professional colleagues and friends and have had many group shows together in Dallas,” said Alma R. Haertlein, Gallery director.

Schleier explained how the five women met.

“The connection between us all is SMU. From ’79 – ’81, when I was Roger Winter’s teaching assistant, I helped teach his freshmen life drawing class at night. Marilu was taking that class for her art education degree because she taught during the day and she was my star student, of course. I was always showing her drawings as examples!

“We were both featured in a book Roger wrote on drawing, as was Susan, who returned to grad school in ’79. She and I shared a studio and had our master’s show together. I introduced her to Marilu and she introduced us to Sally, Susan’s sister, and Laurie,” Schleier recalled.

art exhibit postcard image

The group shared models and had shows together with a few other women in the late 1980s. This is the first time in 20 years all five artists have shown together.

Schleier grew up in Atlanta, Ga., and earned a B.F.A. and a teaching certificate from the University of Georgia. She was a Meadows Scholar at SMU and received an M.F.A. in studio art.

“I have slipped away to paint gardens and landscapes over the years and the watercolors in this show represent work I have done in that time. To me, gardening is a fluid medium of art, like painting. I like the tension between the organic and the geometric that I often find in the structure of a garden or a garden path. I also love the dance between realism and abstraction that a painting can be. Painting gardens allows me to take part in this dance. When I paint a garden I find movement, energy, color and light, as well as a connection through memory with gardens and paintings that have held me spellbound in the past,” wrote Schleier in her artist’s statement.

Gruben’s work focuses on water and rivers. The Laredo native created a series on the Rio Grande River, a series of swimming pools and paintings inspired by a trip to Brazil. Her work ranges from abstract to painterly representation.

Her paintings and collages have been exhibited in galleries and museums in the U.S. and México and in the permanent collections of various corporations and education institutions. In addition to Winter including Gruben’s work in all six editions of his books on drawing, her work has appeared in Arizona State University’s survey volume, Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art. Her art has also been discussed in The Dallas Morning News, The New York Times and other publications in the U.S. and México.

Gruben received her training in art at Incarnate Word College in San Antonio, the University of Texas at Austin and SMU, where she earned a master’s degree.

Lifelong Dallas resident Johnson holds a B.F.A. and M.F.A. from SMU concentrating in painting, printmaking and drawing.

After graduation, Johnson taught those disciplines for many years in SMU’s continuing education department and the fine arts department as adjunct faculty.

She has a lengthy exhibition record and frequently donates her work for numerous good causes including many years of theater design and production, robotics competitions and literary festivals.

“I have always been interested in color and form studies, as well as pattern, mostly working in the representational realm of still life and landscapes painted ‘on site.’ That discipline seemed to offer a good arena to translate three dimensions into two, and a benchmark for me to evaluate progress,” wrote Johnson in her artist’s statement.

“Recently, I have extended this inquiry to ceramic objects. There is a seemingly magical process that happens in the kiln—turning clay and dusty particles from the earth into colorful, hard objects that can be used domestically, often returned to and observed in a different way. Having made fairly detailed objective work for so many years, I am enjoying the realm of chance and unpredictability that occurs inside the kiln. Adding the additional layer of function that I believe is quite important to these ceramic pieces is just one more enjoyable part of the puzzle I pursue,” continued Johnson.

Schupp graduated from SMU with a B.F.A., magna cum laude, post-graduate work in drawing and painting at the Kansas City Art Institute and post-graduate work in painting with Roger Winter at SMU.
Her experience includes work as a design coordinator at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, Mo., art director at The Drawing Board and art director at Carlton Cards, both in Dallas. She is currently a freelance artist and art director.

Schupp’s work has been exhibited at Andelon Gallery, Zen Gallery, Preston Forest, Conduit Gallery, Dallas Museum of Art, DW Gallery and Crescent Gallery.

For a calendar of upcoming arts events, visit tamiu.edu/coas/fpa/coe.shtml or call 326-ARTS (2787) for a recording of upcoming events.

For more information, contact Haertlein at 326.3041 or e-mail almah@tamiu.edu

Additional information is also available @txamiu on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu