Award-winning IUP artist revives Student Art Association

Stephanie Bachman

Staff Writer



Maddy Barrante (senior, studio art) is an award-winning IUP artist who helped revive the Student Art Association.

She currently serves as president of the organization and, with the help of her other officers, revived the club from fewer than five members at the end of the this past school year to more than 20 current members.

The Student Art Association is one of the oldest organizations in the department of art. The goal of the club is to bring together students from various studio disciplines.

Additionally, the organization manages the Miller Gallery, which is a display of student work located on the third floor of Sprowls Hall.

Barrante elaborated on the Student Art Association and its goals for its members.

“We are designed to give inspiring artists as well as students only interested in the arts the knowledge on how to hang a show to gallery standers,” Barrante said.

“We are trying to do more than just that.

“We hope to form a community of emerging artists and encourage each other in our artistic endeavors.”

While Barrante is a studio art major, her focus is on painting. Since coming to IUP, she won second place at an Eco Art show in Pittsburgh.

Her piece for the art show was made of recycled material.

Dr. Andrew Gillham, chairperson for the department of art, knows Barrante from the IUP Student Art Association. He described why she is not just a standout student among art majors, but also among students across campus.

“She has shown exceptional leadership skills and is a positive influence on the student population,” Gillham said.

“Maddy stands out because of her proactive attitude. She is dedicated to her art.

“She is supportive of her peers and a wonderful advocate for the department of art.” She offered advice to other students at IUP, especially those interested in doing more with art.

“I would tell any undergrad to get involved with as many clubs and activities as you can. I still regret waiting until my senior year to get involved,” Barrante said.

“As to any art undergrad students, I would say get involved in clubs,” she said, “but also put your work out there as much as possible, enter as many shows as you can, and always keep producing more work.”