Faculty Artist Spotlights: Jerry Hirniak and Dodie Colavecchio
Faculty Artist Spotlights: Jerry Hirniak and Dodie Colavecchio

The Anne Reid '72 Art Gallery is currently displaying the work of nine faculty artists. The exhibit is open to the public and will run through this Sunday, November 17th. Stop by and see these amazing works before time runs out!

This is the final edition of our faculty artist spotlights, which provide insight into our impressive faculty and their diverse artistic talents and careers. This week will focus on Jerry Hirniak, our Upper School Art teacher and Artist-In-Residence, and Dodie Colavecchio, our Middle School Woodworking and Design Teacher.

Jerry Hirniak: US Art, Artist-In-Residence

A multimedia artist, Upper School Art teacher Jerry Hirniak has balanced a career in the studio and in the classroom since the 1970's. He has exhibited photography, paintings and mixed media nationally and internationally and has taught at both the college and pre-college levels while pursuing an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach to studio production and pedagogy. Jerry received a M.F.A. from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University after graduating with a B.F.A. from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

According to Mr. Hirniak, his current work, Cite/Site, "asks the question of how value is defined? What is disposable? What is collectable? What is precious? What to recycle? What inspires? What moves us to act? These questions build on a long interest in thinking about memory, human experience, failure, experimenting, aesthetics and pedagogy."

The three separate elements in the show include the material site of production (the cement blocks are remnants of an old studio floor), the discarded material remnants of personal and student work (paper towels used to blot ink) and weavings that represent some of these paper remnants. Hirniak states, "the weaving is both a material "site" of over and under as a warp and woof of threads, as well as a representation that "cites" the discarded paper remnants, just as the waste on the floor and of the floor, once put into the gallery, becomes not just material sites but also a citation of productive labor. The homonym of site and cite is not an equal binary, with citational work being overvalued in relation to the undervalued material site."

Dodie Colavecchio: MS Woodworking and Design

Dodie Colavecchio worked for Michael Graves Architecture & Design for 23 years. Most of these years were spent in the model shop, which she eventually became the head of. She was responsible for producing a wide range of architectural models, everything from study models to polychrome presentation models, as well as product models and prototypes. Colavecchio was also responsible for creating specialty projects for Michael Graves, such as medallions, awards and art pieces.

The product models exhibited in the show are from collections designed for several different clients, including Target, JCPenney, Dansk and Projects Watches, all within the past 10 years. All the models featured were handmade without the use of 3D printed parts. Instead, Colavecchio created each piece by using light-density modeling foam boards, styrene and acrylic and wood materials. MGA&D's product designers drew up the designs for each piece and she was responsible for turning their 2D drawings into 3D volumes using a wood lathe, sanding machine, band saw and hand tools. The furniture models in the show are reduced-scale volumes while the product models are full scale.

Photos from top to bottom: A close-up of the weaving in Jerry Hirniak's Cite/Site. A full view of Hirniak's work Cite/Site. Models created by Dodie Colavecchio