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A collage of works by Beacon College senior Diana-Marie Haddad featured in her campus exhibit, “Vertigo.”
A collage of works by Beacon College senior Diana-Marie Haddad featured in her campus exhibit, “Vertigo.”

If you subscribe to Pablo Picasso’s premise that “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls” campus and community art aficionados can enjoy a double dousing when Beacon College hosts two art exhibitions that kick off with a reception this Friday evening.

senior art exhibit3 In her senior thesis exhibition, “Vertigo,” Beacon College senior Diana-Marie Haddad through colorful batik-like paintings, mesmerizing geometric abstracts and mixed-media collage investigates landscapes. Her work generally explores different perspectives — often memories of how surfaces appear from an airplane — and interpretation of land use and the distribution of human evidence.

“We do this so students get professional experience,” said Russ Bellamy, an assistant professor of art at Beacon College, the first higher education institution accredited to grant bachelor’s degrees exclusively to students with learning disabilities, ADHD, and other learning differences. “They leave with a better understanding of what it is like to be a professional artist.  They learn what goes into exhibition preparation and design as well as getting the artwork out of the studio and have it presented in a more formal setting.”

Meanwhile, the second show is the Third Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition. The exhibit features painting, drawing, sculpture, performance, and installation pieces from more than 20 students whose works earned the distinction of display after an application process.

senior art exhibit2 The Friday reception will run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Beacon’s Kristin Michelle Mason Art Gallery, 103 E. Main St., Leesburg, Fla. Free refreshments will be provided. Visitors are welcome to view the exhibit on weekdays from 9 am. to 5 p.m. through May 7.

“Art shows provide a visual conversation about a range of topics,” said Kimberly Watters, an assistant professor of studio arts. “Inviting the community to the art show gives Beacon art students and the public the opportunity to share their unique perspectives through an exchange in dialogue with one another.”

Why invest the time?

“The payoff for anyone attending,” says Van Galyon, an associate professor of art, is the “many opportunities for pleasure, laughter, sensuality, beauty, love, mystery and revelation. What else could you ask for?”


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