Mount St. Joseph University

Alumni Excellence Exhibition runs January 14-February 15 at Studio San Giuseppe

Academics, Alumni & Giving, Press Releases

File Under: alumni, art, studio san giuseppe

Photo of religious art work.

Studio San Giuseppe Art Gallery at the College of Mount St. Joseph is honored to present its biennial Alumni Excellence Exhibition (January 14 – February 15, 2013).  This exhibition of inspiring art and design alumni showcases works by five selected Mount graduates from years spanning 1971 to 2006.  Three visual artists: Constance McClure (’71), Cynthia Matyi (’93) and Natalie Hellmann Shelly (’06); one graphic designer, Aimee Sposito Martini (’94); and one interior designer/architect, Nodas Papadimas (’95) are featured in the exhibition.  An Artists’ Reception will be held on Sunday, January 20, from 1:30-4:40 p.m. in the SSG Art Gallery with an awards presentation scheduled for 2 p.m.

Constance McClure (BA – Art ’71) has taught at the Art Academy of Cincinnati since 1974.  She has continued as Professor Emerita (1998), and is known beyond the Tri-State for her painting and fresco work.  McClure received her MFA in Painting from the University of Cincinnati in 1974 as well as following specialized interests at Skowhegan School of Painting in Maine and the Fresco Workshop in Massachusetts.  Her own teaching experience extends from the Art Academy to area colleges and the Ringling School of Art & Design in Sarasota, Florida. 

McClure’s work, in any medium, is grounded by the elegant precision of her drawing and unending interest in process itself.  “I love the craft of the Old Masters,” she has said.  “The history of materials is fascinating.  For me, reading about pigments is recreation.”  She paints in egg tempera, oils, encaustic, watercolor, fresco and her drawings can be gold, silver or copper point as well as charcoal or graphite.

Cynthia R. Matyi (BFA – Fine Arts/Painting ’93) returned to school after a lengthy career in health care to pursue art and her Appalachian and Scots-Irish roots.  In 1985, while on a visit to Scotland, she encountered a rhythmic style of art which has intrigued and dominated her paintings ever since. Interlacing, spiraling, restless motifs used by ancient tribes on tombs, weapons and jewelry and later transformed by monks into the beautiful, disturbing and complex Celtic illuminated manuscript pages, now play an important part in the large oil paintings she creates.

“I feel that this style, with its fantastical variations on the interconnectedness of the natural world, adapts well to the themes of my work which include ecology, peace, renewal and creativity.  The intimacy of the designs fascinate people, and I add many chromatic variations to delight and attract viewers on the aesthetic basis, first, while gently luring them into the world of the painting and the message it contains.”  Matyi still finds time to play traditional music with the band, Silver Arm, and the founder and artistic director of the Cincinnati Celtic World Festival.

Nodas Papadimas (BA – Interior Design ’95) subsequently completed the Masters of Architecture program at Miami University in 1998.  Since then he has worked as a Draftsman/Interior Designer with Federated Department Stores and Greiwe Architects, Residential Designer and Project Manager for Elam and Associates, Architectural Intern and Project Manager with Anderson Associates Architectures, Associate Architect with Kennedy Homes and now, since 2010, as Principal/Partner, Synthesis Architecture Planning & Interiors.  And, since 2005, he has shared his expertise as an adjunct faculty member in the (renamed) Department of Interior Architecture & Design at the Mount.

Papadimas adds, “I really enjoy working together with diverse groups of knowledgeable people at Synthesis in order to find creative design solutions for our clients.  The different work experiences that I have received have given me profound insight into the different design and building industries.  I strongly believe that my background and learning compliments the larger goals of Synthesis, and these varied experiences have served well in the classroom.  I feel I am a talented designer, with a professor’s mind and a salesman’s heart.” 

His extensive travels have taken him to Central and South America and throughout much of Europe including an 8-week independent travel study in his boyhood home of Greece.  He follows, “Ever since I came to this country, my dream was to practice residential and commercial architecture.  My attention to detail while balancing form and function has always been my primary focus.  I design buildings not just for the aesthetics and for the families who will occupy them, but also for the impact that these buildings will have on the environment in the coming years, as well as for the next generation(s).”

Aimee Sposito Martini (BA – Graphic Design ’94) has for the past ten years served as Cincinnati Opera’s in-house graphic designer, design manager and illustrator.  Working directly with the Marketing Team, Sposito designs and manages all the printing for the company, including: programs, posters, brochures, billboards, banners, bus shelters, websites, newspaper and magazine ads, postcards, invitations and identity systems.  She also designs merchandize that includes: t-shirts, buttons, posters, notecards, and mugs. And, she has illustrated 18 full-color opera illustrations used for the past 6 years of company branding.

Sposito adds, “I have always had a passion for painting and illustration.  With the summer festival season illustrations my goal is to convey the beauty, magic and heightened emotion associated with each individual opera.  We’re inspired by a particular aria, a character, or a turning point in the opera’s story.  I merge and cut photographs to create the images’ foundation/composition, then add airbrushing to smooth and soften the image.  Ultimately, I aspire to create something “painterly” that also allows some of its photographic quality to shine through.”

Natalie Hellman Shelly (BA – Art Education & BFA – Fine Arts/Ceramics ‘06) pursued her interest in clay at the University of Missouri with an MFA in Ceramics completed in 2011.  Following her TA experience at U of M, she was a visiting ceramic artist through the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft with multi-week workshops in Elizabeth, IN, and two in Louisville.  She is now in her second year as an instructor at Indiana University – Southeast in New Albany.  Her undergraduate minor in art history and graduate minor in drawing serve her well in teaching several foundation courses that also includes beginning Ceramics.  Her own contemplative ceramic work has been shown in galleries in Arkansas, Kentucky, New York, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, and Texas.

Shelly states, “I seek to establish responsive relationships through mapping, drawing, and nurturing intimate interactions between line, shape, and object in my ceramic sculpture and drawings. These relationships open and affirm the connections between viewers and their surroundings by emphasizing careful and meditative interaction. Through my use of chosen materials, I present a temporal experience rooted in this sensitive interdependence while also commenting on the potential for objects and materials to express relationships of beauty and fragility. Through arrangements within composed and self-contained environments, I seek to craft delicate forms, lines, and shapes of intimate scale and minimal palette. It is through these interactions that I strive to elicit a state of stillness and repose.”

Studio San Giuseppe is a nonprofit art gallery located in the Dorothy Meyer Ziv Art Building on the campus of the College of Mount St. Joseph, Delhi and Neeb roads in Delhi Township, 15 minutes west of downtown Cincinnati.  Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 1:00-5:00 p.m.  The Gallery is closed on major holidays.  Admission is free.  For more information, call Studio San Giuseppe at 244-4314.

Image credit: 
Cynthia R. Matyi, 
The Flabella Bearers, Oil on Canvas, 2012