UT Pan American galleries to sponsor exhibits by several artists
Posted: 09/04/1998
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The University Galleries at The University of Texas-Pan American will sponsor several exhibits during the fall semester in a number of different mediums by outside artists from around the country and the Valley, as well as by university faculty and staff.

The first exhibit, featuring Texas painter Leighann Foster, is under way in the Clark Gallery in the Fine Arts Complex and will continue through Oct. 2. A reception will be held Thursday, Sept. 10, in the Clark Gallery from 7 to 9 p.m. with music by Rio Grande Jazz.

"Mrs. Foster's use of color is important to study as it reflects nature and our surroundings in vivid detail," said Valerie Innella, gallery director.

Foster has a master of fine arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her exhibit includes studies of children on playgrounds.

The second exhibit in the Clark Gallery will feature the works of the university faculty and staff. The Annual Faculty Show will be Oct. 5 through Nov. 13 and will feature works ranging from ceramics to jewelry.

"This exhibit spotlights works done by our own faculty," Innella said. "It is always important for students to view their teacher's creativity and draw strength and inspiration from it."

A reception will be held Thursday, Oct. 8, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Clark Gallery.

"This is a perfect chance to meet the newest faculty members to join the Art Department, including Dana Groemminger, a Pennsylvania native," she said.

The University Gallery in the Communication Arts and Sciences Building will also host an upcoming exhibit beginning Sept. 14. The husband-and-wife team of Michael Smithhammer and Fuyuko Matsubara will show a collection titled "Crafts and Textiles" in this, their first Texas exhibit. The exhibit will end Oct. 23.

"Their work is of and about nature. They work with materials with varying textures to create functional pieces which charm the human soul," Innella said.

Matsubara, who is from Japan, has studied in Tokyo, New York and Massachusetts. She received a master of fine arts degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and has exhibited her works all over the United States and internationally. She works in a variety of mediums, including glass, weaving, fibers and tapestries. Smithhammer has studied in Japan, New York, Massachusetts and Michigan. He holds an MFA degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. His mediums include baskets and fibers. Both Matsubara and Smithhammer live in Madison, Wis., and teach at the college level.

Vince Hron, a Pennsylvania artist and studio art professor, will exhibit a collection of paintings titled "AMusing" that will also feature playground scenes in the University Gallery Oct. 26 through Nov. 25. Admission to all exhibits are free and open to the public. Both galleries are open for several hours on weekdays. For gallery hours and other information, please call 956/381-2655.