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Student Art Show & Leading Edge Institute Graduates

2013 Student Juried Art Exhibition Opens with Reception May 2

The 2013 Student Juried Art Exhibition opens with a reception Thursday, May 2, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Meadows Gallery located on the Wallace Drive Campus in Meadows Library.  The exhibit features works created during the fall

and spring semesters and consist of a variety of media in both two and three dimensions. The opening reception will honor the students who were selected to exhibit and those winning awards of merit. The reception is free and open to the public.

“There is always a level of artistic talent being demonstrated among the students, but it seems that this year, the students’ constant exposure to visiting artists and a developed camaraderie has led to more time in the studio, a spirit of encouragement and competition, and has resulted in both an innovative and exemplary student art exhibition,” said art instructor Dennis Sears.  “I have been impressed with the active participation of our students in the community, volunteering and visiting art exhibitions.  I have seen them at numerous art openings this year, all with an eagerness to learn and see new things.  Visitors to the exhibition will no doubt be impressed with their efforts.”

The annual show is a culmination of hard work and discipline by art majors who are primarily taking introductory studio classes including, two-and three-dimensional design, drawing, and painting.  The exhibition will have more three- dimensional works this year and will feature several large installations and free standing sculptures.  The show will be juried this year by local architect Craig Lipscomb, who after seeing one of the three dimensional design works, became interested in participating in the exhibition.  Students submit up to five works each for the show, knowing that only their best work will be included in the final exhibition.

“The exhibition teaches the students to prepare their work professionally and to learn more about the process of exhibiting works in a gallery setting.  Students frame their own works, and assist with hanging and lighting the show,” said instructor and gallery director Mario Gallardo. “We are very fortunate to have such great students and to be able to teach them by doing, with the preparation of the annual student show.  The Meadows Gallery has been a wonderful addition to the Art department and the college as a whole.  We have had many great artists come and show in the gallery and it has really paid off for the students in that their own work has improved.”

The exhibition will remain on display until July 22 and may be viewed during regular library hours Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Meadows Gallery is a collaborative project between the Art Department and Meadows Library.  Admission is free and open to the public. For more information contact gallery director Mario Gallardo at


Leading Edge Institute Graduates

Gadsden State students Mollie Strickland of Gadsden and Shawanna Roper of Attalla recently graduated from the Leading Edge Institute (LEI). The LEI is a dynamic, nine-month leadership program dedicated to working with college women across Alabama to change the face of leadership. According to LEI organizers, the mission is to inspire, prepare and empower the young women of Alabama to lead the state to a more equitable and prosperous future.

As LEI participants, both Strickland and Roper were required to complete a week last summer at Judson College, an experience affectionately referred to as “Boot Camp.”  The summer institute consisted of day-long workshops on topics including leadership, teamwork, and charitable activities. Additionally, students traveled to Montgomery to visit the state house and attend a luncheon with women leaders from across Alabama. They also gained firsthand experience in servant leadership by volunteering in and around Marion, Alabama. Students were assigned tasks such as painting houses, working in libraries and doing general yard work.

The LEI does not end with the summer institute, however. Students are required to complete distance learning classes in which they take tests and write weekly reflections. Additionally, they are required to complete a fall project.

For their fall project, Strickland and Roper took advantage of the election year and planned an event at Gadsden State where political leaders from Etowah County’s Republican and Democratic Party spoke to students and community members about their party’s presidential candidate. The event was such a success that they were asked to organize an identical event for the Ayers Campus in Anniston the following week.

Strickland and Roper have successfully completed the LEI program, but their work with the group will continue with additional volunteer projects. Dr.  Judy Hill, coordinator of student activities at Gadsden State, attended the intensive institute with the students and praised the program for the network that the young ladies are building. “The current LEI members have access to all of the ladies who came before them, and they have the opportunity to be mentors to those who come after them,” she said. “You graduate from LEI, but you are a part of it forever.”



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