Art show unites faculty and alumni

Life imitates art-- 2015 alumni Omar Taweh observes his photography on the walls in the Tunxis Community College Art Show.

Stefan Izydorczak

Life imitates art-- 2015 alumni Omar Taweh observes his photography on the walls in the Tunxis Community College Art Show.

Kristy Pan, Managing Editor

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On January 7, Farmington Public Schools hosted a reception for the annual Faculty and Alumni Art Show at Tunxis Community College that featured artwork from both faculty and alumni. Some of the alumni have been contributing to this event with their artwork for as long as 20 years. The art exhibition was available to the public from December 23, 2015 through January 20, 2016 and featured different art forms including drawings, paintings, sculptures and photography.

Former Art Department Chair Augustine Cofrancesco established the event during the time he was still working in the school system and the event has continued to run ever since.

“It’s not just an art show for faculty or an art show for students, but an art show once a year in a prominent place, in this case, Tunxis Community College Art Gallery, for alumni as well as faculty. It enables us to be able to make the event were held at New Britain High school, and spanned the course of two days. During rehearsals the All-Conference Musicians focused on tightening up their performances by paying special attention to things like diction, balance, articulation and that connection with students once they leave the Farmington High School and go on to hopefully bigger things and realize their vision,” Cofrancesco said.

According to Art Department Chair Julie Sawyer, the art show is held annually in the winter due to art gallery availability because the college is not using it themselves for educational purposes.

As the former students are spread out across the nation it becomes difficult to get into contact with all of them. Ones that are able to be found are contacted and invited to submit their own artwork to the gallery.

“It’s great to have the students come back and we would love to have the students stay in touch with us so it is easier to find them. That’s one of the challenges is to find students after the students have left, especially after they have left college as an undergraduate and that is when we really start to really lose touch with them,” Sawyer said.

Alumni Omar Taweh, who mainly focuses on photography, decided to submit a few different pieces to this exhibit due to his prior experience with photography and his accomplishment of being awarded with the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) Art Award.

“They actually contacted me while I was at school and during the semester, and I didn’t really have time to go do photography because I am a pre-med student, and I am bombarded with work. I hadn’t really done any other work and they contacted me and were like ‘we want some of your pieces’ and I was like ‘these are some of my best pieces I have right now’ so I submitted them,” Taweh said.

The show was not only interesting to people who are professionals in the art world as it was also available to anyone interested in seeing all of the hard work and dedication that is put into art.

Principal Bill Silva said, “I first came to this show last year and thought it was a great opportunity to see the work that our teachers are doing, our alumni are doing, people who love the arts who are connected to the Farmington Public Schools. To have it in a real art gallery and to really celebrate it in a way that shows the quality of the work and the enthusiasm that the artists have. It was a great event last year so I didn’t want to miss it this year.”