Nov 1, 2004

Artists Reconnect with their Alma Mater at the U

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota Art Galleries proudly announces the opening of the first major Art Department Alumni Show since 1999. Entitled “Reconnecting: A USD Art Alumni Exhibition,” the show presents work by over 100 artists who attended the university over the past thirty-five years. The show is open Nov. 1 through Nov. 21 in the Main Gallery of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts free of charge to the public weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 1 to 5 p.m. on weekends. There is a public reception on Nov. 5 from 7-9 p.m.

According to Cory Knedler, Chair of the U Art Department, exhibits like this are an important way to keep in contact. Knedler, who holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the U, indicates the show represents a new era for the department. "I understand the importance of a connection with your alma mater. Alumni are always curious about what is going on back on campus because they invested so much time and energy and continue to carry the title of the institution on their resumes long after leaving the campus, not to mention that some of the first memories as young adults, on their own for the first time in their lives, were made right here."  As the new department chair, Knedler sees many positive changes on the horizon including improvements in the facilities, curricular innovations, and new faculty.

Over 300 U art alumni were contacted about the exhibition, and many of the 100 plus who will participate offered reminiscences about their time at the U. Dennis Kuronen, Director of Graphic Design Communications, Digital Design and the master's program in digital design at Philadelphia University, Philadelphia, Pa., said, "Having graduated in 1969, I am one of the old-timers, I am sure, but it is interesting to see that a couple of the faculty I know are still here, Lloyd and Martin. I didn't study with either of them but met them later. I was of the generation that saw the transition from Oscar Howe and Wilber Stilwell to the brief experiment with unstructured studios in 1967-68 and then the arrival of Bob Aldern and the others in 1969. Great people, all of them."

"Reconnecting" contains a wide variety of art styles and techniques reflecting the various avenues taken by alumni since leaving the U. In some cases, artists have adopted new media or explored time-tested materials; as a result, the exhibit ranges from computer art to stone carving. According to Knedler, it is encouraging to see such broad diversity in form and content since it confirms that students leave the U prepared to adapt to new experiences and continue to grow as artists.

For additional information, contact: John A. Day, Director University Art Galleries, The University of South Dakota 414 E. Clark Street, Vermillion, SD  57069 (605) 677-3177,

About The University of South Dakota
Founded in 1862, The University of South Dakota is designated as the only public liberal arts university in the state and is home to a comprehensive College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Health Sciences, the state's only School of Law, School of Medicine, the accredited Beacom School of Business and the College of Fine Arts. USD has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students taught by more than 400 faculty members. More information is available at

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Doug Murano -- Marketing & University Relations
University of South Dakota
(605) 677-6258
(605) 677-6534 - Fax
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414 East Clark Street • Vermillion, SD 57069
605-677-5759 • 605-677-6534 fax