One Friends University student used her free time during winter break to create a work of art that has gained national recognition and a place in the Pastel National 2014 exhibition on display from 1 to 5 p.m. through May 11 at the Wichita Center for the Arts.
Martina Salerno, a sophomore in pre-med with a minor in art, created “Peggy’s Cove” for fun during her time off from school in December and January.
“I entered this contest for fun and to see where my art is in comparison to other artists,” Salerno said.
The piece is of a girl who “maybe spends a lot of time in the area and considers herself to be a keeper of the area.” Salerno used her sister as a model, but “the girl is not meant to be my sister. She is just meant to be a child."
Adam Achéy, adjunct professor of art at Friends University, has been following Salerno’s career since she was a student at Wichita North High School.
He commented that Salerno is driven with passion in all her endeavors and has a phenomenal work ethic.
“The current Pastel exhibit at the Wichita Center for the Arts is important for a student artist like Martina because it is a respected national juried exhibit. Martina was competing with artists from all over the United States for acceptance into this show,” Achéy said. “There is a lot of good artwork out there, but it takes something great to stand out above the rest. I am proud to say that Martina’s artwork has that feature."
Additionally, Dr. Stephen Eaves, chair of the Division of Fine Arts at Friends University, said Salerno’s selection in this juried exhibit is a “distinct honor and rare occurrence for a University student."
“We are proud of Martina for this exemplary accomplishment. We also acknowledge our excellent painting and drawing faculty for their work with Martina,” Dr. Eaves said.
Salerno says she is thrilled to have been chosen for this honor.
“I think that it is awesome that I even got into the show, because I was not expecting it at all. This was one of the few pastel works that I have ever even worked on. Going to the show and seeing all the other pieces gave me ideas on where else to go with my art and other techniques to use,” Salerno said.
The exhibit is free and open to the public. Pastel artist Marla Baggetta juried the show. The Wichita Center for the Arts is open Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Salerno will also have artwork as part of a display at the University’s Riney Fine Arts Center gallery until May 9. The exhibit is free and open to the public.