The University Art Galleries are dedicated to the advancement of the visual arts in both the university and community at large. Our galleries bring the visual arts to campus and the surrounding area by exhibiting works of regional, national and international artists, as well as exhibitions of Clarion University faculty and students. Programming has included a diverse array of solo and group exhibitions of contemporary artists, traveling exhibitions, artists' lectures, workshops, poetry readings and interdisciplinary events.

Clarion University's Sandford Gallery was founded in 1972 in the Marwick-Boyd Fine Arts Center. It now houses the permanent collection and is used as a study gallery.

In 2002, the University Art Gallery, an ADA accessible facility, was opened in Carlson Library. The University Art Gallery, located in the lower level of Carlson Library, is run by the art department and presents two to three exhibitions of contemporary art a year as well as the annual Bachelor of Fine Arts show at the end of the spring semester. The University Art Gallery has shown an impressive array of contemporary artists from around the world in group exhibitions, including Andy Warhol and William Kentridge. 

The Empty Set Gallery is a student run space housed in Marwick Boyd Fine Arts Building. Programming consists primarily of exhibitions of student work and student curated exhibitions. Each BFA and BA student has a solo exhibition in the Empty Set Gallery. For information about exhibitions in the Empty Set Gallery or to propose an exhibition contact VizArtZ - the art student organization.

University Art Gallery



12-1:45 p.m. Tuesday
3-6 p.m. Wednesday
12-1:45 p.m. Thursday
12-4 p.m. Friday

The Swing

"The Swing"

By: Byron Hoot

Most of the river houses take their outside
furniture in after mid-fall, usually end
of summer.
But the Smith's leave their
swing out year round "'cause someone may
want to sit in winter and watch the river,
see the frozen flow, see chunks of ice going
by, watch the snow pile up on the water."
Joe, every other year, sands and paints
the poles and swing , checks – sometimes replaces –
the chain "cause," he says, "the river is the
river and it flows year round.
I 'spect that
Heraclitus never saw a frozen river
or he might of said something different about
not stepping into a stream – though that's
true enough in spring, summer, fall, and,
sometimes winter."
The fact is I've pulled into the driveway,
walked down the path bundled up,
wiped the snow and ice off
thinking how time and remembrance
doesn't move and those memories stay
the same casting out their flowing songs
of longing and desire.
I thank him in the spring.
"No problem,"
he says as if he knows I go there always
adding, "I often do the same."

Art Majors Virtual Art Gallery

JUROR:  Tanya Chernyak

Tanya Chernyak is a Graphic Designer based in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from SUNY Purchase with a major in Graphic Design in 2018. She is a production assistant with Scholastic Teacher's Resources, as well as a freelance designer. In 2018, Tanya was the director of the Multi Design Conference, and also spoke on her thesis as an AIGA speaker later that year. As a designer, she is interested in well-rounded methods of work, and believes that young creatives should not limit themselves to the prescribed tools of approaching a prompt. Tanya is grateful for the opportunity to serve as a juror. 

First place:   Cheesecake, Malcolm Lewis-Thompson
Second place: Diagnoses,  Adrienne Crist
Third place:  Sundree, Jessica Greiner

Please be aware that this work contains sexually explicit  material that may be considered offensive by some viewers and may not be suitable for a younger audience.

2020 BFA Senior Juried Virtual Art Exhibit

Courtney Rankin

Artist Statement

rankinAs a young female artist, I gravitate toward subject matter that is relatable to the viewer. The subject of my work may appear comical or even crude and can be easily interpreted. I tend to lean towards realism with a little expressionistic mark marking thrown in the mix. I admire historical artwork in which artists were able to depict emotion and personality through their work and is exactly what I hope to achieve through my paintings and sculptures.

My work primarily focuses on the imagery of cats. The image of the feline has been interpreted in any different ways throughout history. My work is meant to harness those perceptions and question them or exemplify them. When the image of a cat comes to mind, words used to describe it usually range from aloof to promiscuous and is often associated with women. With my knowledge of art history, I created a series, Cats through Art History, that glorifies female cats through appropriation. I created this series with my passion for painting. I love to experiment with color and how mediums react with one another. Some artists like clean and crisp lines, but I find that to be unnatural. Curves and blending tend to appear more natural to my eye and tend to hold my attention better.

Painting is not the only form of creation I use. I also dabble in ceramic as well as mixed media sculpture. With the feline theme still in mind, I tend to let my humor and personality be more apparent while using these mediums. I focus more realistic images of cats rather than those that are glorified. With sculpture, I appreciate the ability to manipulate the material to my liking. This allows to have a more personal connection to the pieces. With my ceramic sculptures and vessels, I desired them to look somewhat crude. I believe that perfect does not need to only mean clean and crisp. Perfect art should have dents and chips, like the humans that made the work. I find beauty in imperfections. I hope that viewers are intrigues by my feline subject matter and feel a sense of connection to my pieces. I believe the viewer will relate to the personality of the cat, or their imperfections.


After graduation, I plan to apply my BFA with a concentration in Graphic Design degree by working as a designer for a company or as an illustrator of children’s books.

What I liked the most about being an art major, was the level of freedom we were given in regards to working with a variety of art media, as well as applying the art theory that we were taught to our own individual artwork.  In addition, since the class sizes were not too big, I felt that I was given the individual attention and support needed to grow as an artist from my professors and peers.

Courtney Rankin’s Virtual Art Exhibition (The Cat’s Meow)

Malcolm Lewis-Thompson

Artist Statement

lewis-thompsonThrough my art, I address topics and themes about: identity, life, race/gender inequality, representation, conflict, adversity, freedom, and social change. In the paintings, sculptures, and ceramic pieces you are about to see I have utilized vibrant colors to achieve a new way to open up your eyes and change your perspective on these “taboo” topics. Being an openly bisexual, African – American male living in the urban Pittsburgh area, I constantly face challenges and judgments that are placed on me without my consent; I am consistently dealing with the racism and homophobia of today’s society in America. Specifically, while living in our current “politically correct” culture and trying to have equal rights for everyone, while still striving for uniqueness is a huge obstacle for me to face every day, in my art and in my personal life.

Growing up I recognized that my sexual orientation alters peoples’ views and perceptions of me even more; I am seen as weak in the black community; it is not manly to be gay or bi. My race, sex, and gender are always in my daily life and conversation, in joking and serious manners. I recognize these three factors as my identifiers, because not only do I use them to identify myself, but also the society that we live in now uses those terms to discriminate against me. These factors have caused me to struggle to communicate and openly express myself throughout my life; these struggles have led me to have immense passion in my art and allowing all people to have open, judgement-free discussion around my art has become a large focus of mine.

My work for this exhibition is communicating all things sex in positive and welcoming manner to allow others to freely discuss and understand without judgment. My exhibition “Let’s Talk SEX” is a creative and inviting way to explore the world of sex, sexual orientation, and sexuality. I created this exhibition to communicate stories, issues, and acceptance struggles that specifically center around the LGBTQA community and the other communities that are intertwined with those individuals that identify as LGBTQA. The paintings showcase more of a vague picture that allows for the viewer to have their own interpretation on the message and topic being addressed. I achieve this by playing with vibrant colors that would not traditionally be applied to bodies and adding on physical materials, such as starburst wrappers, that the audience can relate to; these engaging colors and relatable materials allow a starting point for discussion to then focus on the painting overall and what message could be interpreted from that image. On the other hand, the sculpture and ceramic have a more direct message and realistic feel; Like the paintings I focused on playing with unexpected colors to allow for fun and intriguing pops on more realistic pieces. The audience cannot only view the art but can also feel the textures as well, which allows a sensory experience that mimics the sensory experiences in sex. Overall my hope is that every audience member can see this art relatable with their background in some way and can truly identify with the given topics in some way.


I am from Pittsburgh, PA.  After graduation, I would like to be working as a college admissions intake officer, or a marketing firm as a way of supporting myself while working on a Masters of Education degree with a concentration in Student Affairs.

During my time at Clarion University, I was well involved in Greek Life and with my fraternity Sigma Chi. With this said, I would like open my own business called Greek on a Dime, making good affordable clothing and accessories for Greek organizations.

What I liked most about being a part of the Art Department here at Clarion is that the faculty prepared me to handle future endeavors regarding my art production.  They were like a family to me.  They held my hand at first, making sure that I was moving in the right direction, but then they soon let me go to discover my own voice, and make my own mistakes, which leads to independence.

Please be aware that this artist’s work contains sexually explicit  material that may be considered offensive by some viewers and may not be suitable for a younger audience.

Malcolm Lewis-Thompson’s Virtual Art Exhibition (Let’s Talk Sex)

Adrienne Crist

Artist Statement

cristMy work is a platform to express the reality of mental health disorders and the impact that they have on people. I strive to destigmatize psychological disorders by bringing them to the attention of my audience. I want viewers to feel a sense of empowerment surrounding their mental health as a result of viewing my work. Consequently, conversations regarding mental health should be normalized and viewers should not feel shame in seeking professional interventions.

Research-based concepts as well as my own experiences with mental health disorders have inspired my work. My work focuses on the reality of psychological disorders in order to provide insight to the feelings and struggles of those affected.

In my piece Invisible Disability, I have displayed what a person experiencing mental health disorders might be feeling. Their condition is invisible to others, unlike most physical disabilities which can be seen. I have achieved this by using several transparent materials layered around a doll representing someone with a psychological condition. This piece is exhibited at eye level so that this idea confronts and resonates with the viewer.

Expressing considerations regarding mental health is something that I am passionate about because it affects the better part of the human population, directly or indirectly. I dedicate my work to the representation of those affected and who might not otherwise have a voice.


I am from Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania.  In the next five years, I would like to complete my graduate studies.  I hope to be living and working in Virginia as an art therapist.  I also have an interest in teaching art or art therapy in the future.

I loved being an art major at Clarion University for many reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is how much I learned from the art faculty.  They are generous and supportive, and work very hard to help the students learn and grow as artists, and I truly loved learning from all of their experiences and wisdom.

Adrienne Crist’s Virtual Art Exhibit (Destigmatize: It’s a Matter of the Mind)

Jessica Greirner

Artist Statement

greinerMy design practice is an outlet to express the significance of visual imagery in a way that is authentic and individual. Growing up in constantly connected age, I am overwhelmed by an abundance of visuals, that has blinded my perception what good design is. As a designer, I feel tasked to lessen the noise of the digital age I am hyper-connected to. Shying away from embellishments, I strive to achieve design that is content focused and organized in a precise and clear manner. With the intent to achieve readability and simplicity of forms, I am strongly inspired by the Bauhaus Movement, Swiss design, and Minimalism.

Functionality is an importance factor in my work. Design must be adaptable in a variety of situations and user-friendly. Design without purpose is decoration. I utilize minimal elements of style to allow the design to fulfil its ultimate purpose of communicating a well-defined message. Stepping away from the chaos and clutter of the world, I find peace and comfort in the simple and unpretentious characteristics. I get a sense of this peace when I’m in nature. Some of my imagery is discovered through studying the soft, organic forms in nature. These organic shapes can be seen in my designs. However, I also gravitate towards the opposite: gridded layouts, geometric shapes, and sans-serif typography.  I utilized grid systems and structured layouts, making design adaptable and easy to read.

My art practice is an attempt to revive individuality in society that suppresses it.  My goal is to break away from the stereotypical and focus on authenticity.  My desire is to design pieces that are both aesthetically pleasing but purposeful.


I am from Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, and currently residing there. After graduating from Clarion University with a BFA concentration in Graphic Design. I am planning on working as a regional graphic designer here in Pennsylvania. During my time at Clarion, I enjoyed the teachers I had in the art department. Each professor offered me new perspectives and always challenged me to keep pushing myself as a designer.

Jessica Greiner's Virtual Art Exhibit (IDENTITY)

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Last Updated 4/20/20