Community Expressions: Latest D’Arrigo Family Gallery Exhibit Open

Community Expressions Art Gallery at Salus University
Featuring the work of 16 artists from the Salus University community, the second exhibit of the D’Arrigo Family Gallery – housed in the Hafter Student Community Center – was recently unveiled with an opening reception. “Community Expressions” includes pieces in a variety of mediums from Salus students, faculty, staff and family members. According to gallery curator and artist, Elynne Rosenfeld, “Community Expressions” is a celebration of Salus University’s homegrown talent.  “[With] a long list of folks in the helping professions—or aspiring to be—there is also a great deal of creative ability within this group,” she said.

This notion is evident in the gallery’s offerings. As Mercedes Smith ‘20OD put it, “Art was my first love and continues to be the best therapy for me.”

Salus University Community GalleryCombining both worlds, one submission from Emily R. Vasile, MAT, TVI, MS, CLVT, called “Feel Love,” is tactile so all viewers can interact with the piece of art. An instructor in the University’s College of Education and Rehabilitation, Ms. Vasile was born with low vision. “I felt at a young age that there was a lack of knowledge and awareness among educators about the field of blindness and low vision and was determined to do something about it,” she said.

The inspiration for Ms. Vasile’s 3-D sculpture on canvas originated from the iconic LOVE statue in Philadelphia’s LOVE Park, officially known as John F. Kennedy Plaza. “I wondered how a braille reader would be able to appreciate this piece of art if they couldn't read it and experience it the same way [someone who reads print] could,” she said. “I thought that creating the LOVE statue with a tactile focus would be a great way to bring about awareness of braille as well as blindness, and low vision.”

gallery curator and artist, Elynne RosenfeldAccording to Ms. Rosenfeld, the University’s artists were so excited about the exhibit. As a result, she hopes she can make this themed show become an annual event.

Thank you to all of the “Community Expressions” artists:
  • Kelly Cohen, ‘20OD
  • Andrea Coiro, husband of Francesca Crozier-Fitzgerald, current student receiving her MEd in the Blindness and Visual Impairment degree program
  • Marietta Dooley, director, Library Services
  • Alison Finkelstein, clinical educator, Speech-Language Institute (SLI)
  • Jonathan Jacesko, ‘17OD
  • Jennifer Krech, ‘17OD
  • Leanne Laporte ‘17OD
  • Mary Mekhael, ‘19OD
  • Hailey Offerdahl, daughter of Tracy Offerdahl-McGowan, BSc, PharmD, assistant professor
  • Shawn M. Ovens, boyfriend of Joanne Bevans, The Eye Institute (TEI)
  • Jenna Quasmieh, sister of Sanna Quasmieh, OT ‘16
  • Shannon Saladik ‘17OT
  • Mercedes Smith ‘20OD
  • Emily R. Vasile, MAT, TVI, MS, CLVT, instructor, College of Education and Rehabilitation (CER)
  • Pra Gra Yang, brother of Mao Yang ’19OD
  • Jennifer Zuckerman, wife of Brian Zuckerman, chief of staff
Viewing for “Community Expressions” will occur through Monday, May 8.

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