With the assistance provided by the HILT grant, faculty from SUNY Polytechnic Institute brought the artwork of Robert Shetterly to campus for an exhibit entitled “Americans Who Tell the Truth.” The exhibit showcases 16 paintings, chosen through a collective process that included student input. The artwork featured depicts portraits of citizens who “courageously address issues of social, environmental, and economic fairness,” like Muhammad Ali and Susan B. Anthony, alongside narratives that highlight that individual’s ‘truth.’ Alongside these pieces was a “truth wall,” where attendees could write their truth on a 5″x8″ card and add it to the wall as part of the exhibit. To date, more than 40 cards have been posted to the wall, ranging from personal statements to inspirational quotes.
Professors from a variety of classes took this opportunity to incorporate applied learning and the arts into their courses. Approximately 60 students from multiple classes attended the opening reception on October 24th. Ten other classes incorporated the exhibit into their face-to-face curriculum. Online students were tasked with creating a poster and social media posts for the exhibit using images and content found on the artist’s website, on which there are over 200 paintings to choose from. This project allowed online students to learn from the artist’s website, choose the artworks they felt would best represent the exhibit, and connect with the on-campus exhibit and community.
Also in attendance at the opening reception were K-12 personnel, faculty, staff, and community members. Ms. Rebecca Ruggles from the Southern Cayuga Central School District will be exhibiting the “Americans Who Tell the Truth” project in their district “to educate and empower children so that they recognize their abilities as individuals to use their thoughts, words, and deeds to cultivate and promote understanding, tolerance, and justice”
Across SUNY, students, faculty and administration alike are coming together to in the spirit of charity and togetherness. 30 Days of Giving is our annual tradition, which starts on Thanksgiving every year, where we reflect on efforts of the past year and highlight some of the selfless acts of that members of the SUNY community are leading. Stay tuned for more.
Taryn Rackmyer is a recent graduate of Mohawk Valley Community College, now attending the University at Albany for Public Policy. Taryn is a student assistant for SUNY's Government Relations & Marketing Department.