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Edinboro University set to unveil and dedicate unique Highlands residence hall permanent collection of student and faculty art

EDINBORO, Pa. – Edinboro University has long been a local, regional, statewide and national leader in art education. On Friday, October 21, the University will once again underscore its collective creative talent when officials dedicate a permanent collection of student and faculty artwork as part of the Highlands at Edinboro University’s Phase II “Edinboro Experience” project.


The permanent collection will be displayed on all floors of the four recently-constructed Highlands buildings – numbers 5, 6, 7 and 8.The festivities will be held Oct. 21 from 6 to 9 p.m., with the actual reception and dedication taking place at Highlands No. 8 at 8:30 p.m. Speakers will include Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Philip Ginnetti, Foundation Building Committee Chair Richard Morley, and Art Department faculty member Lee Rexrode.


Prior to the dedication ceremony, tours and refreshments will be offered in all four buildings and prizes of art pieces, donated by faculty and Fred Parker, will be awarded to guests competing in and winning the evening’s scavenger hunt.


For this first-ever endeavor of its kind, more than 130 pieces of student and faculty artwork were purchased by the Edinboro University Foundation, developers of the Highlands project.


Called “The Edinboro Experience” because the project effort focuses not only on the works of art themselves, but also the thought process and creativity leading to the successful completion of each piece. In some cases, that includes the sketches that inspired the final pieces; in others, the tools that assisted in the making the pieces.


After the Foundation conceived and initiated the residence hall artwork concept, its vision was further developed and enhanced by Kimberly Palmer, Edinboro’s  Construction Project Manager; Kimberly Kennedy, Director of Residence Life and Orientation; and David Thal, an architect with the Weber Murphy Fox firm.


Since last spring, Thal in particular, spent many hours walking through Edinboro’s many art studios, attending student art shows, including the Michael Gmitter Memorial Scholarship Exhibition and the Edinboro Student exhibition, both at the Bruce Gallery, as well as attending events at Edinboro’s Bates Gallery. In addition, Thal explored Edinboro students’ work exhibited at Cleveland’s Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory and Educational Foundation and Edinboro’s new StARTup Incubator. The result of his efforts is represented in the more than 130 pieces displayed throughout the four residential buildings.


While all artistic disciplines are represented in the collection – painting, printmaking, graphic design, jewelry making, photography, sculpture, woodworking, ceramics, cinema and animation, other forms of creativity also contributed toward making this project the success it is. For instance, woodworking and metal sculpture students were commissioned to design and fabricate one-of-a-kind benches, rather than simply order benches from catalogs. Video monitors within the elevator lobbies of each building will showcase film and animation clips.


The outcome of “The Edinboro Experience” at the Highlands is no less than a breathtaking experience showcasing the talents of Edinboro students and faculty in a curated collection found throughout each of the four buildings.


Edinboro University’s Art Department, chaired by James Parlin, remains one of the largest on campus with some 1,000 majors.


The Highlands at Edinboro University is a $117 million, eight-building suite and apartment style complex that houses more than 1,600 students. Started in 2007, the project was completed in time for the start of the current fall semester. The Highlands project was funded entirely by student housing fees; no state or taxpayer dollars were used to finance the project.


The October 21 reception, tours and dedication of the permanent Highlands art collection is free and open to all students, faculty and the public.


Jeff Pinski

Associate Director of University Communications


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