Artists Who Teach

In the latest featured exhibition at The Westmoreland, the Cantilever Gallery is brimming with contemporary artworks created in a broad range of mediums—painting, sculpture, photography, video, stained glass, installation and mixed media.

While the works themselves explore diverse themes using various techniques and materials, each of the artists in this exhibition share one thing in common—they all teach at one of the numerous colleges and universities in our region.

Artists Who Teach celebrates the incredible talent and broad range of art making in this region today. The 58 artists in this exhibition are all inspiring the next generation of artists by teaching at Carlow University, Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Robert Morris University, Seton Hill University, Saint Vincent College, University of Pittsburgh/University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg and Westmoreland County Community College.

This exhibition was inspired by a 2011 exhibition at The Westmoreland titled They Practice What They Teach: Artist Faculty of Carnegie Institute of Technology, 1920-1950, which featured works by Samuel Rosenberg, Raymond Simboli, Everett Longley Warner and 12 other artists who taught at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University).

The title for the 2011 exhibition came from an article titled “They Practice What They Teach” about Carnegie Tech faculty written by Jeanette Jena for Carnegie Magazine in 1951. Because of their “variety of personalities of different ages and philosophies,” the faculty indeed practiced what they taught their students. Jena noted that, “An instructor who keeps on experimenting in his chosen field, whether for industry or personal pleasure, is certain to have a healthy influence on the next generation, be they painters, designers, and teachers, or businessmen.” Her statement remains true today.

Teaching artists essentially maintain two professions. As a teacher, they spend their time nurturing students, giving them what they need to develop and thrive. As professional artists, they carve out time to create their own work. Through varied approaches to teaching, stylistic diversity in their own art and attitudes, each one is having his or her unique and direct impact on students. This exhibition not only pays tribute to the artists represented here, but to those countless others who have chosen this path in their own careers.

The artists featured in this exhibition are: Andrew Ames, Scott Andrew, Kenneth Batista, Pati Beachley, Kim Beck, Mark Bender, Bob Bingham, Carol Brode, Rich Brown, John Carson, Brian Cohen, JoAnna Commandaros, Ferris Crane, William DeBernardi, Kathleen M. Dlugos, James Duesing, Brian Ferrell, Danny Ferrell, Mark Floreanini, Ivan Fortushniak, Jamie Gruzska, Tim Hadfield, B.A. Harrington, Aaron Henderson, Nathan Heuer, Christine Holtz, Dale Huffman, Delanie Jenkins, Andrew Ellis Johnson, Christine Kocevar, Kristen Kovak, Carol Kumata, James Louks, Carolina Loyola-Garcia, Joe Mannino, Sharon Massey, Clayton Merrell, Kenneth Nicholson, Ron Nigro, Susan Palmisano, Prajna Parasher, John Peña, Paolo Piscitelli, Susan Powers, Jon Radermacher, Ben Schachter, Kristen Shaeffer, Barry Shields, Susanne Slavick, Becky Slemmons, Sophia Sobers, David Stanger, Richard Stoner, Lenore Thomas, Scott Turri, Barbara Weissberger, Elise Wells and Hyla Willis.

Each of these artists was invited to nominate one of their students for inclusion in Students of Artists Who Teach, which will be on view in the Robertshaw Gallery from September 14 through October 14, 2018. The selection of student work was juried by Chief Curator Barbara Jones and Curatorial Assistant Bonnie West.