Holy Family University Art Gallery

Thomas Pickarski

Thomas Pickarski

Floating Blue



Artist Statement

I developed a deep love for the eternal beauty of icebergs as a child by enjoying their visual portrayal through photographs and paintings. This ultimately led to my having spent the last 12 summers traveling through arctic regions seeking direct experiences with these fleeting forms. They possess characteristics of color, shape, line, form, and scale that exist independent from visual references we tend to be familiar with in the natural world. I find them to appear sculpturally magnificent as if crafted in a way that seems too perfect for this world. I especially love the quality of soft light during what is called, The Blue Hour. It occurs during the last stages of twilight in the evening when indirect sunlight imposes a predominantly blue shade on the ice that is different from the blue shade visible during most of the day. There’s also a sharp drop in temperature, sometimes allowing fog to roll in, bringing an eerie feel to the boat ride through the fjord of towering ice. I travel there in very late August when The Blue Hour is in its prime. In this series of photographs, I aim to portray both the ethereal beauty of icebergs, as well as the otherworldliness of the landscapes in which they exist.

About the Artist

I am a multi-media visual and performance artist. The themes I work with include minor obsessions, the bizarre landscape, self-realization, and social justice. I often integrate storytelling into my work through text and spoken word. I hold a BFA in Painting and an MFA in Performance Art, both from Arizona State University.

I have had solo exhibitions throughout the U.S. including at The Cultural Center of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the Glazer Children’s Museum in Tampa, Florida. My first solo exhibition, “The Middle of Nowhere”, which consists of 32 B&W photographic prints depicting primarily arctic landscapes, toured 7 U.S. exhibition venues and was then acquired in its entirety by the permanent collection of the Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, California. My follow-up exhibition “Floating Blue”, which features arctic icebergs photographed during the late evening light sometimes called “The Blue Hour”, debuted at the 10th Annual Songzhuang Art Festival at the Czech China Contemporary Museum in Beijing, China, in the fall of 2017, and is currently touring 16 U.S. cities through 2023.

In the summer of 2021, in conjunction with the 20-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, The Cultural Center of Cape Cod invited me to create and exhibit a short film titled “A Final Elegant Gesture” that reflects on that day from my street-level vantage point beneath the Twin Towers, and the unusual and beautiful ramifications that ensued through recurring and evolving dreams over the months that followed.

In the fall of 2021, The Oakland International Film Festival, Oakland, California, premiered my new short film, “Out My Window”, which explores in a unique and beautiful way some of the ramifications that ensued as a result of the protests and uprising following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. The film was also included in the North Dakota Human Rights Film Festival where it screened at the historic Fargo Theatre in Fargo, North Dakota, and then later won Best Monologue Film in the Monologues & Poetry International Film Fest, Vallejo, CA.

I am currently promoting my new photographic solo exhibition, “Snow, Sand, Ice”, as well as my spoken word performance, “Stories by Thomas Pickarski”.

I live in New York City.

Torey Akers



Virtual Gallery Event 10/26.22

Wonderful conversation

Artist Statement

My current work updates the Georgian tradition of Lover’s Eyes—achingly intimate but anonymous depictions of a beloved’s face to be worn as brooches or hat ornaments—into pin-pricked relief sculptures that serve both as reliquaries and worry dolls, nodding to the post-digital condition of longing. I am invested in what it means to miss somebody in 2022, which procedures count as devotional, what reinterpretation looks like in the endless stream of visual flotsam we consume on a daily basis, and how all of those concerns square with the legacy of colonialism embedded in Romantic luxury items. These pieces reflect the de-territorialized experience of embodiment in all its messy, frustrating, and tyrannical iterations, side-stepping a press-release-approved relationship to love in favor of far murkier fare. I’m interested in tracking the relationship between love and mourning while creating new ways to excavate personal and political identity.

About the Artist

Akers’ current body of work maps affection in surveillance terms, creating amorphous, deconstructed personal objects that update the salacious intimacy of Georgian “lover’s eyes”, the small ivory paintings of beloved mistresses that adorned the hats and pockets of many royals and merchants of the time. In an era defined by the tandem pulls of hyperconnectivity and isolation, her pieces strive to articulate what exactly it means to miss someone in 2022. “Heartbeat” speaks to pandemic-era loneliness, yearning, grief and want, exploring the possibilities of an analog interpretation of post-digital community.

Torey Akers is a Brooklyn-based artist and writer who has shown her work across the country, including a recent solo turn at the Bountiful Davis Art Center in Utah and a special projects feature at Spring/Break Art Fair in New York. She received her MFA in Painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2016, and has attended artist residencies at Vermont Studio Center, MASS MoCA, Arts, Letters & Numbers, AIR Studios Paducah, and Penland School of Craft. Upcoming exhibitions include Piano Craft Gallery in Boston, MA and Rump Gallery in Chicago, IL.

Will Wolf


abstract mixed media wall sculptures


In Person Gallery Event: Wednesday 9/28 noon-1:00 pm

Heavenly Landscapes
Medium Mixed Media
10 x 16 x 6″
Will Wolf at HFU

Artist Statement

In my visual research, I am motivated by the life pulsating in the undercarriage of our environment. On the surface of the painting, it is the footprint of mankind. It serves as a fossil of a species of life that burnt itself out and left behind a trail of detritus from man’s bad stewardship. The underlayers of the painting serves as the dwelling of the life that survived mankind. It is mutated and heeling itself as it was pushed down deeper into the surface of the Earth but has still fights to emerge from the surface. Formally, these pieces are both spatial and topographical cross section of space.

I begin each piece by writing the narrative of the piece on a panel. This serves as a spiritual cleansing while making the piece about the narrative. Next, I bury the narrative wire and fabric structures. After I create the landmarks, I layer them with media modifying the painting both above and below the surface.

Wolf was born in Phoenixville, PA in 1988. He received his MFA in Painting from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Throughout his career he has explored both traditional and non-traditional media. He has shown his work both nationally and in Asia. He maintains his studio practice in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia.


A Holy Family University Art Therapy Student Exhibition

April 25 – May 9, 2022

Artists Gallery Event: Monday 5/9/22, 5:30-7:30 pm

Exhibition Statement

“Art is my way of knowing who I am” – Pat Allen

Introspective: A Holy Family University Art Therapy Student Exhibition encompasses artworks created by current undergraduate pre-art therapy and graduate art therapy students at Holy Family University. Art therapy is an integrative mental health profession that serves individuals, families, and communities across the lifespan through active engagement in art-making and creative processes within a therapeutic relationship (arttherapy.org). The artwork within this exhibit highlights the essential relationship between artist identity and art therapist identity by maintaining a deep connection to personal artistic practices. These artworks reflect inspiration from the unique perspectives of each artist/art therapy student, integrating a variety of media and artistic processes to express inner experiences and emotions. 

Participating artists: Chloe Cole, Victoria Dick, Sydney Dombrowski,

Courtney Heaney, Brenna Kelley, Kathaleen McDevitt, Jillian Marano, Victoria Merin,

Luis Olivencia, Tracey Perdue, Casey Reader, Steven Sivells, Michele Stulman, Ashley Tepper,

Jai Turner

Arthur Naylor Graduating Graphic Design Art Student

Beauty in Nature and Architecture

April 13-April 20 2022

Artist Statement

The art that I love to make is closely related to my childhood. Natural beauty and the beauty in architectural design have always interested and inspired me. When making art I usually start by taking images and forms to help me get inspired, secondly, I make meticulous drawings of what I hope the finished project will resemble, and finally when carrying through making the art I always like to take care to make it the best I can! Art making has always been a source of comfort and relaxation to me and I don’t know where I would be without it. Placing my art is a little tricky for me. I love the images I create but to some they are boring. I think the best way I can describe them is “niche.”

Ivan Fortushniak

an exhibition of mixed media work

March18 through April12, 2022

Virtual Gallery Event: March 30, 2021 at noon

      graphite, oil, collage

Artist Statement

Freedom references the name given to the first American space capsule Freedom 7 or Mercury-Redstone 3 to enter space orbit in 1961.  The drawing shows the moment after the flight where capsule pilot Alan Shepard investigates the cockpit.  This event is juxtaposed with an art historical image of a priest and his assistant.  Unfortunately, I was unable to identify the artist and name of the appropriated image.  However, this had little significance to the overall statement of the artwork.  The collage element’s purpose was to convey the dimension of faith needed and God’s grace given on this mission and the proceeding space exploration missions including Apollo 11’s flight to the moon.  Lastly, although there is no symbolic meaning to the orange rectangle at the top right side of the artwork, it is thoughtfully placed to help balance the image creating color contrast in the context of the muted browns of the paper.”

The initial development of this body of work was spurred on by a sabbatical research project involving the space race which looked to express through art the momentous achievement of space exploration and landing on the moon.  As this work evolved, elements from art history (specifically Winslow Homer paintings) and the civil war found their way into the compositions where multiple frames of time interacted.  In some cases, images of 19th century people are interacting with various artifacts including rockets, space capsules and other forms of space technology.  We see this very clearly in the drawing “Space Sled” which originated as a quick gesture drawing while at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.  It later was coupled with a collage image of a woman from a Winslow Homer painting from the late 19th century.  As a result, the mix-media drawing creates an interesting juxtaposition between two distinct histories of our culture.

The body of work is primarily created through a blend of drawing and printmaking techniques. Photographs are transferred onto Stonehenge paper, then manipulated and integrated with graphite, colored pencil and occasionally watercolor. The manipulated photograph is then juxtaposed with collage elements from art history, primarily figures from Winslow Homer paintings. Once the work is finished, it is carefully adhered with a hide glue onto hard board and then sealed with a clear spray varnish. 

Ivan Fortushiak is a Professor of Art and the Studio Coordinator at Indiana University of Pennsylvania the College of Fine Arts.  Ivan Fortushiak has artworks in public and private collections including the Spencer Art Museum, The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Calvin College, St. Francis University and the Dayton Art Center.  He has won several awards including the Directors Award at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, and the 1st place purchase award at Eastern Kentucky University for the exhibition entitled “Freedom”.  He has had several group and solo exhibitions throughout the country in prominent venues including Nevada, Kansas, North Carolina and New York, and has had international group exhibitions in Paraguay and Cuba.  In addition, he has given lectures about his work throughout the Midwest. 

Artist talk from gallery event

Robert Mullenix


an exhibition of oil paintings on canvas

February 18 to March 13, 2022

In person Gallery Event: Wednesday 2/23, noon.

oil on canvas,
16″ x 20″

Artist Statement 


e·li·sion  /əˈliZHən/


an omission.

the process of joining together or merging things.

I adopt the American West as my subject, as have many artists of the past, in order not only to refer to these artists but to reinterpret the subject in light of climate change. The images representing the West in popular culture continue to offer a pastoral scene of endless potential, devoid of stress and crisis. Yet, the West experiences direct impact of climate change from droughts and reduced snowpack leading to reductions in groundwater to invasive species such as the mountain pine beetle killing trees throughout the Rockies, from wildfires made worse by extended fire season to increasingly heavy rains accompanied by devastating flooding. It is this West that I want to represent.

However, mine are not exact representations. They are more like forecasts and interpretations. I use photography as a point of departure. I also incorporate still life arrangements so that portions of these images are painted from direct observation. Imagery is altered, combined, merged. In some cases, images are superimposed upon words embedded in the picture plane. These images are intended to provoke thought as much as they present time and place.

I leave it for the viewer to determine what might have been elided.

Robert Mullenix currently lives and works in Oxford, Ohio. He received his BA in Drawing from University of Sioux Falls (then Sioux Falls College). His mentors there included Jay Olson and Carl Grupp. He earned an MFA in Painting from University of Illinois in 1990. Since then, he has taught art in Illinois and Ohio and has actively shown his work nationally. His work continues to reflect his dual interests in painting and photography.

Jeff Stauder

The Reckoning

An exhibition of oil paintings on panel

January 18 through February 12      

Virtual Gallery Event
Wednesday, January 26 – 12 to 1 p.m.

Via Zoom the artist will give an artist talk and answer questions about the work.

Oil and Gold Leaf on Panel
24” x 18”

The Reckoning is the sequel to his preceding Pilgrim series. Recurrent characters from that series such as the bison and the fox appear again here. The owl, a central new presence flanked by subservient beings, presides over the reckoning. There is a sensation that time is nearing an end. Allusions to climate change are a persistent theme, and a disjointed mix of imagery explores humankind’s loss of an animistic connection with nature. The Reckoning is inspired by Late Gothic Sienese and Early Netherlandish painting. The peculiar amalgam of detailed realism and contrived artificial space feels simultaneously old and new. Representations live freely in a place where odd symmetries, sacred symbols, and rhythmic stylizations are forced to co-exist. An absurdist allegory, the Reckoning does not function as a narrative, nor does it promise to provide answers.
Artist BioJeff Stauder was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts and raised in eastern Connecticut. He received a BA in Art from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where he won the 1996 Dana Pond Painting Award. Following graduate school Stauder moved to New York City where among other things, he created the Artists Theoretical Racing Circuit, a collaborative conceptual art project. He moved to western Massachusetts in 2008, where he began creating surreal paintings set in an original cosmology. That work has been exhibited widely in New England, including at the Cape Cod Museum of Art, the Brattleboro (VT) Museum, and a solo exhibition at the University of Massachusetts. More or less a joyful misanthrope, he loves Rock & Roll, Art History, and cats. He is trying to create one truly great picture before he dies.

  • ➽ jeffstauder.com / @jeffstauderart
  • contact pflynn12@holyfamily,edu with any gallery questions

Colin McKeon

graduating studio art student

Queer Fear

an exhibition of mixed media artwork

November 17-December 15, 2021

In Person Meet the Artist Gallery Event:

 Monday 11/22/21

noon-2:00 pm

   Gallery talk 12:15

Queer Fear is a body of work that explores the coming out experience. The work looks at where I’ve gone from being outed and disowned to finding myself in multiple abusive relationships. The work touches on the use of alcohol, drugs, as well as not eating to temporarily numb the pain of life. I want to show the audience my experience and how it can mirror that of some people, many much younger than I am, who might not have the help and resources to find their way out of the darkness.

Artist Bio:

My name is Colin McKeon and I am a graduating Studio Art major of Holy Family University. I currently live in Abington, PA with my boyfriend and our two kittens and ferret. After graduating with my Bachelor’s in Studio Art I plan on taking a semester off before going back to school and working towards getting my Master’s in Studio Art. In the future, I plan to be teaching painting classes to college students as well as keeping my own practice and brand of art flourishing. 

Julie Brylinski

Asleep in the Deep is a body of work that explores the idea of mental illness as a slumber at the deepest darkest part of the ocean, where one has become so accustomed to the deep that one has achieved aquatic respiration. I have taken inspiration from my own mental illness and the fragile beauty of the deep sea to create each painting. This work was made with acrylic paints to allow me to quickly capture the feeling of each painting before it dissipated.

Artist Bio:

Julie has extensive experience in both acrylic and oil painting, and will switch between mediums depending on what she feels the painting needs. Her work is largely figurative with an otherworldly element. Eyes will often be missing or blacked out completely, and faces may have an appendage, missing features, or the feeling that something is “off”. Her work explores themes such as mental illness, trauma, addiction, grief, dread, and the subconscious. Julie infuses a part of herself into every painting she does, often making it hard for her to let go of a piece.

Julie lives in Philadelphia with her dog Bonesy, where she paints out of her home studio.