Wildwood Faculty Art Exhibition
This mixed media art exhibition features the work of six artists who teach at STLCC-Wildwood.
Faculty Art Exhibition
Sean Frye, Metra Mitchell, Joan Pirtle-Oakley,
Mark Oakley, Mark Weber and Matt Weber
On Display From
Jan. 25 - March 5, 2021
About the Exhibition
As Maya Angelou once said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” The same can be said for the artists featured in this exhibition.
Outside the classroom, each one is an active artist. What they teach in the classroom comes from years of practice and research. The ideas and images they produce in their studios are a reflection of their artistic journey.
The exhibit is curated by Mark Weber, MFA, instructor and gallery coordinator. While all works are on exhibit in the Gallery of Contemporary Art at STLCC-Wildwood, the public is encouraged to explore the works digitally on this page.
For more information about the artists, or to purchase any works of art featured in this exhibit, please contact Mark Weber at email@example.com.
Meet the Artists
Sean Frye is a fine art and graphic illustrator. He began his career teaching courses in drawing and painting before adding sculpture and design.
Frye is a veteran of the U.S. Navy. He holds an associate degree from STLCC-Forest Park, a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Webster University and two master’s degrees in fine arts from Fontbonne University – one in painting and the other in sculpture.
"While my disciplines have changed and vary over the years, digital art is my new love. This has been such a wonderful new addition to my creative understanding. I love learning new things and these new paintings represent that."
"I have spent the last 12 years learning and becoming comfortable with digital. I am a forever student and an instructor. Nothing gives me more pleasure than creating art in all of its forms. The works in this exhibit are labors of my new passion."
Metra Mitchell earned a bachelor's degree of fine art in painting and a minor in art history from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. She was later awarded a teaching assistant role from Fontbonne University, where she pursued a master's degree in fine arts in painting.
Her works have been exhibited in many galleries including: Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio; PhD Gallery in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis Artist Guild; Art St. Louis Gallery; Cinema Gallery in Urbana, Illinois; and The Foundry Art Center in St. Charles, Missouri. Institutions that have exhibited her paintings include: University of Alaska- Anchorage; Susquehanna University; Northern Kentucky University; University of South Alabama; Western Kentucky University; Fontbonne University; World Trade Center in St. Louis; and The Regional Commerce and Growth Association of St. Louis. She has also exhibited internationally in Eme' Exposition Internationale at the Centre Culturel et de la Vie Associative Villeurbanne in Lyon, France.
"I explore the intimate conflict between content and form through various archetypes whose identities are based upon context. This collection of mediated bodies and gestures are arranged/rearranged, making explicit both the framing and fragmentation of identity. I referred to this process as “visual surgery” which I described in three stages: confrontation, negotiation and collaboration. This process stimulates a cathartic experience where broader harmonies and complications are analyzed within the painted psychologically-charged dramas. Casting these different archetypes seeks to create a unique and critical image."
"With empathy, this new body of work investigates vulnerability/control, revealing/concealing patterns and the juncture between reality and illusion. Within the theater of painting, the bodies and the space physically become the playground. The texture of these paintings is achieved through the thick application and accumulation of slabs of paint, embedding the content into the painted illusion. In this way, the images should convey both conviction and ambiguity."
"I understand archetypes as universal, archaic patterns/images that derive from the collective unconscious and as the psychic counterpart of instinct. The interplay between scenes of emotionality address the continuities between the visceral, the psychological, the social and the historical. Each piece is the residue of the act of working toward a semblance of meaning where the vulnerability and endurance of the body continues to hold and reflect these emotional residues."
Joan Pirtle-Oakley, Ed.D.
Joan Pirtle-Oakley, Ed.D., is a retired teacher and school administrator. As a classroom teacher, she taught elementary art, Advanced Placement Studio Art, painting, drawing, ceramics and graphic design in the Parkway and Rockwood School Districts.
Throughout her career, she has supervised gifted education, special education, student services, curriculum and instruction, and assessment in multiple districts. She has also provided workshops for students and teachers on creativity, reaching divergent learners and art.
She holds a bachelor of arts degree in communications, a master of arts degree in educational processes and a doctorate in educational administration from Maryville University.
"Landscapes have always been a source of inspiration and fascination. I want to engage the viewer by heightening and altering colors that would not be found in the natural environment to provide an alternate perspective and experience to traditional realism. My hope is that my paintings take the viewer to a familiar, yet different sense of place."
Mark Oakley has been a freelance illustrator for more than 20 years. While the majority of his work has been in the area of comps and storyboards, he continues to produce work in other fields of art and shows his versatility through a wide range of subject matter and variations in style and imagery.
Oakley is best known for his work with Entrepreneur Magazine, the National Football League, Washington University in St. Louis, Mattel, Riverfront Times and St. Louis Magazine. He holds a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Webster University and a master's degree in painting from Fontbonne University.
"Any artwork executed by the artist is reconceived by the viewer. The concepts in my paintings intentionally serve as suggestions rather than pronouncements. Familiar, diverse elements are recombined in atypical combinations, allowing the viewer to reconsider their meaning as a whole."
Mark Weber began his career at STLCC in 1988 as an adjunct faculty member. In 1995, he was hired full-time at Forest Park, and in 2008, he was tapped to build the fine arts program at Wildwood.
Although Weber retired from the College in 2019, he continues to teach art courses and coordinate exhibits for the Gallery of Contemporary Art at Wildwood. During his tenure, he has spearheaded numerous fine arts initiatives, including helping student artists show and sell their work in the community through the Fine Arts Club Gallery Program.
Weber holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a master’s degree in fine arts from Washington University in St. Louis. Throughout his career, he has participated in nearly two dozen solo art exhibitions and more than 50 group exhibitions. His artwork has been displayed in numerous public and private collections, including the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Ralston Purina, and Hunan Normal University in Changsha, China.
"Working intuitively, with no pre-planning or design, such as drawings or photographs, the unrelated images are layered or bonded, to support the circle of reinvention. As the images, styles and colors may be unrelated, in a traditional sense, they bond together to form a new world."
"Things are not always what they seem. Fish believe that the entire world is filled with water, when there are certainly many worlds beyond…"
Matt Weber received his B.F.A. in photography from the University of Missouri – St. Louis in 2011. He then went on to earn an M.A. in 2013 and an M.F.A. in 2014 from the University Iowa - Iowa City in photography.
Weber works at St. Charles Community College, St. Louis Community College and Webster University as an adjunct professor in art and photography. He lives in St. Louis with his wife Melissa and their daughters Cecelia and Harper.
"Car Washes are a staple of modern life. They symbolize modern conveniences, leisure activities and contemporary technologies like our vehicles, sprayers and tract belts. In those few moments you sit back and relax there is an incredible show on display in front of you, sometimes purposeful, all taking place within a short span of time."
"This series is a photographic investigation of those moments encapsulating each fragment of time, splash of water, rolling of brushes, and patterns of light and color during the cleaning. I discovered from multiple washes an abstract and Impressionistic view of our modern experience, allowing me to reassess something I took for granted in my daily life and see it in a new way."