The University Art Gallery is currently exhibiting “Tom Canale: I am ONE.”
It runs through Feb. 9, and there was a reception with the artist on Thursday, Jan. 26.
The exhibit is comprised of work created by Canale, an SVSU art in graphic design professor, while he was on sabbatical.
The pieces being exhibited are illustrations, photography and typography. Canale creates his work over a span of time. The type is made separately from the illustrations. Then, over time, he stylizes them together by adding color and the already-made illustrations.
University Art Gallery Coordinator Tisch Lewis is involved in setting up and running all of the exhibits. While she is usually involved in the setup of the exhibits, Canale chose to do it himself. For every exhibit, she is involved in choosing the artists, and she chooses the artists based on their ability to help educate the students.
Lewis is personally inspired by Canale, but she also believes that students will be inspired by seeing their professor’s work in a professional capacity.
“I enjoy that he’s using graphic design as a fine arts medium,” Lewis said. “So it’s very illustrative, but it’s also very painterly, and there are certain things that I can see he’s doing through a cold medium as the vectors and fonts. He is using them in a way that I may use a paint brush. It’s nice to see people interpret the same thing in different ways.”
While Canale learned from many artists and took inspiration from them, his internship at Peeto’s Type House setting type had the biggest impact on his work with typography. Most of his work is based on experimenting and learning about all different types of art forms.
“I got to work with 50 or more different art directors that were (Ernie Peeto’s) clients,” Canale said. “I got to work with all of them and their various work ethics. It was a great education. It was one of those educations you don’t get at school. You learn a lot just being around people and hearing them talk.”
Many students came to the reception, including Danielle Georgiou, a junior art student at SVSU. She has had Canale as a professor before, and she is fond of his work because it combines graphic design and fine arts.
She came to the exhibit because his work is very inspirational to her.
“I feel like the type kind of strengthens the piece in a way that makes it more appealing, and it makes it mean a little bit more because you are incorporating your own writing with it,” Georgiou said. “I definitely can see myself using this in the future.”
Georgiou is hoping to do an independent study with Canale sometime in the future because she wants to learn all that she can from him.
Canale also offered some advice to aspiring artists like Georgiou.
“I don’t know if there is one piece (of advice),” Canale said. “I just tell people, ‘Don’t give up. Keep pursuing it slow and steady. Keep a good attitude. Don’t let people get you down.’ I mean, I could go on and on, but it is the usual same old stuff that we keep telling each other. It is tough being an artist because you put it all out there for everybody to see.”