William Cromar, art lecturer at Penn State Abington, was in high profile in Philadelphia last week during the opening reception of the Art in City Hall juried exhibition, “Following the Line.” Two of his works in wood, ink and wax are on display in the choice position outside the highly trafficked area of the Office of the Chief Clerk. Art in City Hall exhibitions showcase contemporary artwork by professional and emerging Philadelphia artists. Cromar is one of 27 artists whose work in “Following the Line” can be viewed until Dec. 2. For more information on Art in City Hall visit http://www.phila.gov/artincityhall/ online.
In a recent interview, Cromar talked about his career and his high regard for the art program at Penn State Abington. “The program stands toe-to-toe with any of the comparable B.A. art programs in the area and trumps them in terms of affordability,” he said.
Cromar considers himself -- and artists -- generalists. “Artists need to know a lot about a lot in order to do anything meaningful in the culture. The idea of a bachelor of arts degree was very intriguing to me because that met my own pedagogical criteria which is that the artist has a story to tell because they know something about the world in which they’re telling it…I like the liberal arts emphasis at Penn State Abington. You’ve got the rest of your life to learn your craft but you only get so many years to be involved in an intense investigation of the rest of the world.”
Penn State Abington’s art program combines traditional and cutting-edge approaches to making art in the studio while developing critical, cultural, and communication skills in a liberal arts context. This prepares Abington art majors for professional careers or continuing graduate study in fine art, graphic design, industrial design, architecture, fashion and other visual disciplines.
Cromar came to Penn State Abington in 2009 to coordinate the new media concentration of the art degree. In layman’s terms, new media means digital art or art created using digital tools. Cromar helps his students create 2D, 3D and time-based work in a digital environment, for example, graphics, 3D modeling, animation and websites.
The four other concentrations of the art program at Penn State Abington are drawing and painting, sculpture, printmaking and ceramics. Associate Professor of Visual and Integrative Arts Bonnie Levinthal is the coordinator of the drawing and painting and printmaking concentrations. Yvonne Love, senior art lecturer, heads up the sculpture and ceramics concentrations. Both of these talented artists and other faculty are showcasing their work during the Penn State Abington Faculty Art Exhibit in the lobby of the Woodland Building. The show runs through Dec. 9.
According to soon-to-graduate new media art major Chai Lo, Penn State Abington’s art program is “such a great program” because of the faculty.
“Yvonne Love, Bonnie Levinthal, and William Cromar are some of the great art professors I’ve met. They are very interactive…they push their students beyond their limits…to think critically for themselves. They’ve been a supportive inspiration for me to progress and exceed.”
Lo, like Cromar, is a firm believer in the liberal arts aspect of the art program.
“I love it here,” said Lo, “so much to learn, never enough time. I see myself as a ‘learning’ floater. If I could, I would have many majors. I would major in IST, new media, sculpture, drawing, printmaking and painting. I always wanted to be a graphic designer but now that I'm in the art program (new media) I would like to continue that path. It’s opened me up to a new world that not only teaches me programs that I would be using for graphic designing, but it has mentally prepared me to think critically for myself and to interpret contemporary issues to my understanding as well as share them through my eyes.”
For more information about the bachelor of arts art program at Penn State Abington visit http://www.abington.psu.edu//psasite/fs/academics/art/index.html online or contact Cromar at [email protected].