September 29, 2009

The Nation’s Third Oldest College Newspaper

Volume 80, Issue 3

Warhol collection comes to Castellani

Castellani Museum Curator Michael Beam watches students paint a mural

Castellani Museum Curator Michael Beam watches students paint a mural

A new exhibit, Andy Warhol: A Photographic Legacy, recently opened at the Castellani Art Museum. It displays the works of Andy Warhol and is also the temporary home of the Last Supper Mural Project. The exhibit consists of the mural and original works including approximately 75 photographs and fi ve paintings.

The Castellani Art Museum is partnering with Niagara University academic departments including communication studies, English, fi ne arts, and religious studies, as well as Campus Activities, Campus Ministry and the EAGLE Leadership Program to work on The Last Supper Mural Project.

According to Castellani Art Museum Curator of Collections and Exhibitions Michael Beam, the project has been created in order to provide an integrative, hands-on learning experience for students studying various disciplines.

Students are to recreate Andy Warhol's version of the Last Supper painting, which was based off of Leonardo Da Vinci's original painting, Beam says.

Warhol was a prominent pop artist who majorly infl uenced art, music, film and photography.

Beam says Warhol made his own recreation of Da Vinci's Last Supper and plugged in pop art colors.

Amelia Gallagher, NU religious studies professor, says the project makes students artists “ and they can really see fi rst hand that religious art continues into modern times “ our pop contemporary times, too.

Religious Studies Professor Sherri Brown states that the Last Supper depicts the last meal Jesus shared with his disciples. During the scene, Jesus institutes communion and predicts the betrayal of Judas. Jesus prepares his disciples for his coming death and resurrection.

The mural started as a black outline of the Last Supper on one of the museum's walls. By the end of the project, the entire painting will be completed and fi lled in with the appropriate colors.

Each student who participates by painting a small portion will provide a piece of the puzzle so when it is fi nished, it is viewed as a whole, Beam says.

Brown's introduction to Christianity class is one of the student groups involved in the mural project.

She says her students are participating in the project because it gives them ideas about how religious faith is manifested in various media.

Christopher Skelton, a student in Brown's class, says, It felt good all working together toward a common goal.

C.J. Chartrain, also a student in Brown's class, says, I think the project was a good idea. It allows our class to branch out instead of just sitting in the classroom.

Each student who paints a section of the mural will have the opportunity to sign his or her name at the bottom of the work. One of Beam's goals with the project is to have at least 150 student names at the bottom of the mural.

NU student Karen Ault says, It felt neat to paint the mural. The project is an interesting way to get students involved.

Beam refers to the mural project as a shining facet of Niagara University's dedication to integrating learning.

He says, so far, there has been a positive response from both students and faculty.

As the students work on the mural, they start discussing the attributes of each disciple amongst themselves and that's where the integrated learning takes over, he says.

Mitchell Alegre, professor and EAGLE coordinator, says that with the project, students have an opportunity to physically interact with art.

After the students paint, we will refl ect on what they experienced and what lessons may be applied to leadership, he adds.

The Castellani art museum will host a student symposium on Thursday, Nov 12, at 6 p.m. The purpose of the symposium is for students to discuss what they learned from participating in the project, as well as their contributions to the success of the project.

Susan Clements, CAM coordinator of publicity and events, says the Castellani will use Warhol as the theme for its seventh annual gala, 15 Minutes of Fame, The Andy Warhol Experience. There will be dinner, cocktails, drinks and a silent auction featuring original art, photography and entertainment. Tickets are $125. The event will be held on Saturday, Oct 17, beginning at 6:30 p.m. For ticket information, e-mail Clements at sclements@

Students who wish to be involved in the mural project can contact Beam by e-mail at mjbeam@niagara. edu

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