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When it comes to art, the work is never done.

Lai-Juan Huang ’07 (Bayside, N.Y.) and Shao Ping Bao ’10 (Jersey City, N.J.) learned this lesson while aiding in the installation of Amour d’Armor in the Williams Center for the Arts gallery this past April. Both students worked in the gallery and were on hand to assemble the artwork. They also worked during the opening reception, explaining the artwork to visitors.

“It was an exciting opportunity to contribute my ideas to the works of art while at the same time learning all aspects of how to put together and create an exhibit for a gallery. I also learned that the exhibit has an overall theme meant to be conveyed through each individual work of art. The absurdity and infatuation with today’s armor involves protection not only from violence, but also society’s current view on what we consider as a threat,” says Huang, a double major in psychology and art.

Huang created and painted a mock cocktail dress to exhibit Tobias Wong’s “Ballistic Rose Brooch,” fitted a mannequin for Ralph Borland’s “Suited for Subversion” suit, and contributed input to the display of the suit. She also adjusted Cat Chow’s “Heavy Metal” dress to ensure a curvy form.

Bao modeled for the female body image and helped dress the “Suited for Subversion” suit. She also helped mount the exhibit.

While Amour d’Armor was one of Bao’s first exhibits, Huang has been helping with installations since her first year at Lafayette.

Huang and Bao worked under the direction of Michiko Okaya, director of the Williams Center gallery, and exhibit curators Bob Mattison, Metzgar Professor of Art, and Ida Sinkevic, associate professor of art.

“Michiko has been an inspiration and a role model throughout the four years that I have worked for her. She has taught me a lot about all aspects involved in running a gallery, which will no doubt assist me in my possible future career in the art field,” says Huang. “Professor Mattison is extremely knowledgeable in the field of modern art, and it was an honor to work with someone so distinguished. It is exciting to work with him, as he is extremely involved with the exhibit and has much to contribute; it was beneficial to see a great mind in action. Professor Sinkevic is amazing as well. She has vast knowledge in the subject of armor in the Baroque and Renaissance Eras, as well as contemporary views on armor. She has also taught me much about the technicalities involved in the placement of artwork towards a unified theme.”

Huang was part of Sinkevic’s senior seminar course, Knights in Shining Armor. The course included a number of visits to the Allentown Art Museum’s exhibit Knights in Shining Armor, which Sinkevic also curates and served as the catalyst for Amour d’Armor.

Bao believes Lafayette is a great environment for art, and faculty members like Okaya, Mattison, and Sinkevic enhance the experience.

“While the work behind an exhibit is not easy, Michiko and Professors Mattison and Sinkevic are great and dedicated people to work with,” says Bao.

For Huang, Lafayette’s close-knit campus enables students to create opportunities for themselves in all departments. She believes the art faculty has been supportive in allowing students to pursue their own interests in the field.

“Art is my passion, and I was blessed with the opportunity to be immersed in it throughout these four years,” she says. “I’m glad I was able to work closely with faculty to do such incredible things. The faculty is also a network to art opportunities outside campus, which is something I believe is extremely important in building a career in this field.”

Huang works in the Experimental Printmaking Institute, and is a member of Association of Black Collegians. She also volunteers with the Kids in the Community and Sharing in Caring Adult Day Care programs through the Landis Community Outreach Center.

Bao is a member of Alternative School Break Club.

Categorized in: Academic News