Enriching Students by Showcasing Art, SHU Partners with FLAG+Up

"Tierra, acrilico, machetes y residuos" by John J. Bedoya Mixed media on canvas, 86.6" x 134", 2012-13

News Story: February 4, 2015

Release courtesy of the Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery

The Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery proudly announces a partnership with Sacred Heart University, the first local institution of higher education making a commitment to the Arts by adopting the gallery’s innovative FLAG+Up program.

Sacred Heart is the newest client to FLAG+Up, a curatorial platform that brings challenging, thought-provoking work from emerging contemporary artists to corporations, organizations, schools, and commercial and residential developments. Through FLAG+Up, the university is exhibiting a rotating collection of works from gallery artists, with a winter show on view now through March 31, 2015. A reception for the collection will be held on Tuesday, February 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Both Sacred Heart and the Gallery welcome students, staff, and the public to attend the viewing.

Currently, four gallery artists are showcased throughout the new Graduate Center in Stamford’s Landmark Square. In Building 4, installation artist Kirsten Reynolds and photo-illustrator Damla Tokcan Faro highlight the University’s compelling creative arts programs. Both artists deal with theatrical settings. Reynolds’s site-specific installations and silk-screened prints incorporate materials, colors, and effects that evoke theatrical sets. Faro’s use of miniature objects, arranged to convey domestic scenes, and creative sense of camera play have distinctive cinematic influence. In the student lounge, the gallery has curated a selection of works by Guilford-based artist Rex Prescott Walden, juxtaposed by a large relief from Colombia’s John J. Bedoya. Walden’s found object collages deal with the question of journey through time and space, highlighted by his use of nautical charts and maps. Bedoya’s work, however, has a more corporeal context, displaying large format landscapes where the artist incorporates actual organic material.

“We are pleased to work with the gallery and provide our students and faculty a learning environment that is unique and inspiring,” says Mary Lou DeRosa, Vice Provost of Special Academic Programs at Sacred Heart. “The addition of the art has made the campus come alive, and the feedback has been extremely positive and appreciative.”

A commitment to the arts is critical to success in academia. A 2014 article published by professors at the University of Arkansas and Rice University discussed the important role the Arts play in student development. Countless studies also show that fostering a creative environment is associated with higher student achievement, overall student satisfaction, and increased attendance and retention rates. Sacred Heart is becoming a leader in this sector, providing its students with a multitude of opportunities to increase their exposure to art.

 “Sacred Heart has become the ideal partner for our curating arm of the gallery,” says Gallery Director Fernando Luis Alvarez. “They show a vision and appreciation of creativity that exceeds their peers. We know that the gallery can curate inspiring exhibitions for their staff and students that seek to challenge them intellectually. This is the sort of culture created at Sacred Heart and one we look to emphasize.”

For more information, or to RSVP for the reception, please contact Rebecca Hansen, communications director, at rhansen@flalvarezgallery.com or at 888-861-6791.