March 1, 2024

Between classes, extra-curricular activities, social lives and simply finding time to eat, it’s easy to forget that Wittenberg’s professors are not only mentors, but also professionals in their chosen fields of studies. The art department has crafted a subtle reminder that they, too, are working artists by displaying their work in the Anne Miller Gallery in Koch Hall (just past Recitation Hall) about once every three years as part of a Faculty Art Show. The show itself will be up through the month of September.
Art professors teach students on top of creating their own bodies of work, and the pieces in the gallery prove that continuing to pursue a passion outside of a very demanding career of being a professor at a private university is, in fact, possible. The work in the Anne Miller Gallery shows a variety of skills displayed.
Ranging from Professor Ed Charney’s large, “en plein aire” paintings of land and sky-scapes, to the 3-D work of Professor and Department Chair Scott Dooley’s ceramic vessels and tea pots, it is clear that the art faculty at Wittenberg has a variety of interests.
“As artists, we view the world differently,” Dooley said in a recent full-department meeting of staff and students. “We love to create with our hands.”
Dooley crafted teapots with straight sides that stand over a foot tall. Charney has logged hours outside to craft cloud studies at different times of day for a single oil painting. Professor Crispin Prebys spent time hunched over his laptop working on his own design for last year’s Empty Bowls charity event and this year’s Wittenberg Series poster. Adjunct Professor of Drawing Eric Bess also has portrait work on display.
The professorial work in the gallery shows off each artist’s own craft, and is open to viewing by students. In addition, Koch Hall’s un-air-conditioned classrooms are open throughout the day, and the living silence as students work is constant.
It is also easy to spot are the open office doors, or a professor working on their craft alongside the class. It is not uncommon to see Professor Jack Mann, who is on sabbatical this fall, seated in the hallway with one eye on his students and the other on a small panel of his own graphite work. Or Alejandra Gimenez-Berger, Ph. D., reading student work and catching up on the newest findings in art history before class. Prebys can be found with his laptop between meetings, and Professor Daniel McInnis with a camera searching for the best lighting after his office hours.
The Gallery is open daily until the end of September.
Photos by Zoey Wilson.

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