Three Edinboro students were recognized with scholarships during the 14th Annual Gmitter Memorial Scholarship and Exhibition April 5 in the Bruce Gallery.
Eric Johnson (illustration and sculpture) earned the top honor with a $2,300 scholarship, with Bailey Seybert (ceramics) and Alex Herr (graphic and interactive design) selected as runners up with $1,000 each. The scholarships are part of the “Celebrate the Artist” event – hosted by the Edinboro Art Department and the Gmitter family with an endowment managed by the Edinboro University Foundation.
Also recognized during the event were nine other finalists, including Armand Ceres (animation), Erika Bocchino (ceramics), Katie Cuda (jewelry and metalsmithing), Ash Luce (jewelry and metalsmithing and sculpture), Ashton Rider (graphic and interactive design), Aki Sakai (wood furniture and jewelry and metalsmithing), Shelby Smith (graphic and interactive design), Morgan Spinks (painting and art education) and Aleha Zerance (painting).
The Gmitter Exhibition was created in 2007 by Jan Gmitter, her late husband, Richard, and son, Devin, to honor the memory of their late son and brother, Michael, a student of Edinboro’s art program studying jewelry design/metalsmithing. Michael died July 25, 2006, age 22, a year before his anticipated graduation.
Creating a scholarship in Michael’s name, the family wanted to not only honor and cherish his memory, but to also encourage and reward the same commitment and passion to art that Michael demonstrated during his life.
They chose to turn their loss into an opportunity to support and inspire others. Their gift gave birth to the Gmitter Exhibition and the annual “Celebrate the Artist” event.
“This exhibition showcases the high level of creative accomplishment and professionalism of our students,” said Cappy Counard, professor of jewelry/metals at Edinboro. “The reception celebrates the excellence of student-artists while honoring the memory of a cherished former student – Michael V. Gmitter.”
This past fall, the faculty juror team of D.W. Martin (sculpture), Alison Stinely (painting) and Derek Witucki (graphic and interactive design) reviewed 25 applicants and selected the 12 finalists for the exhibition.
Shelby Kirk ’18, who graduated from Edinboro with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design, served as the guest juror for the event. Kirk serves as designer and illustrator with Bootstrap Design Company out of Pittsburgh, Pa. She evaluated the entries for artistic ability, originality, creativity, craftsmanship, power of design and overall presentation.
The Gmitter exhibition will run through April 14 at the Bruce Gallery, 215 Meadville Street on Edinboro’s campus. The Bruce Gallery will be open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3-6 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Parking is available on Meadville or Normal streets.