Annual Lear awards celebrate inspiring Abington student artists

Abington annual art awards 2023

Penn State Abington student Audrey Fefeti received an honorable mention award at the Bertha Lear Annual Student Art Exhibition. 

Credit: Onyx Clemons

ABINGTON, Pa. — Nine Penn State Abington student artists received awards this week for outstanding merit in their discipline during a reception for the Bertha Lear Annual Student Art Exhibition. The show features sculptures, paintings, drawings, graphic novels, ceramics, photography, and new media.  

The exhibition is named after the artist Bertha Lear. Her son, Robert A. Lear (Penn State class of 1967), and his late wife, Marilyn, funded an endowment to honor his mother and to support art at Abington. 

Chancellor Margo DelliCarpini thanked the Lears as well as Stanley and Lois Singer, who support the annual award for excellence in black and white photography.   

“The generosity of the Lears and the Singers demonstrates how endowed funds enrich the student and educational experience at Penn State Abington. These students exemplify greatness, and we are honored to celebrate their excellence and achievement,” she said. 

Yvonne Love, program chair of the art major, said the diverse art forms represented in the exhibition are a testament to breadth and depth of talent on campus.  

“Our faculty are dedicated to student success, and our students are truly inspiring. The Singers and the Lears help our students pursue their passions and develop their skills,” she said. 

A number of the award winners offered thanks to the donors and faculty for their support.  

“My professors served as mentors and voices of reason, and I would like to thank Bob Lear for acknowledging artists like me,” student John Kemble, who received an honorable mention, said. 

Orest Luzeckyj, a prolific artist who was featured in a recent story about his printmaking, expressed his gratitude for the professional relationship he has forged with Bonnie Levinthal, professor of art.  

“Bonnie opened doors to artistic and personal growth for me,” Luzeckyj, who received the printmaking award, said. 

These students were honored at the reception, and their works may be viewed here.  

  • Bertha Lear Award for Excellence in Ceramics: Anastasiya Denisova 

  • Bertha Lear Award for Excellence in Drawing and Painting: Cheyenne Getz  

  • Bertha Lear Award for Excellence in New Media: Arielle Kearns  

  • Bertha Lear Award for Excellence in Printmaking: Orest Luzeckyj  

  • Bertha Lear Award for Excellence in Sculpture: Riley Harris  

  • Bertha Lear Honorable Mention: Audrey Fefeti  

  • The Stanley and Lois Singer Award for Excellence in Black and White Photography:  Holly Byars  

  • Bertha Lear Honorable Mention: John Kemble 

  • The Bertha Lear Purchase Award for Best in Show: Theodora Dagkli Andonopoulos. A select piece of Theodora’s body of work will become part of the Penn State Abington permanent art collection. 

About Penn State Abington 

Penn State Abington provides an affordable, accessible and high-impact education resulting in the success of a diverse student body. It is committed to student success through innovative approaches to 21st-century public higher education within a world-class research university. With more than 3,100 students, Penn State Abington is a residential campus that offers baccalaureate degrees in 25 majors, undergraduate research, the Schreyer Honors College, NCAA Division III athletics and more.