Students, members of the community, and alumni alike gathered in the Walsh Art Gallery on Tuesday, October 23 for the opening of Play Ball, a baseball art exhibit which honors Seton Hall University athletics as well as the baseball culture of the Greater New York City Area.
The baseball art exhibit, curated by Corene Linville and Greg Ferrara, Museum Studies students, featured original works of baseball greats such as Yogi Berra, Derek Jeter, and Craig Biggio in addition to countless Seton Hall baseball alum from past decades. Featured sports artists James Fiorentino and Anthony Capparelli did not strike out with their original contributions to the gallery.
“My Drawing I class is studying concepts such as line value shape, and negative space,” explains Seton Hall professor and artist Anthony Capparelli, “I want students to have an appreciation for artwork, and learn how to observe the world around them.” Shelby Hall, a sophomore student in Professor Capparelli’s Drawing I course, claims to have gained a wealth of knowledge about art from the class taught by trained commercial illustrator Anthony Capparelli. “I chose to compare “Bygone Bronx” and the Don Mattingly piece for my Drawing I paper because they’re my favorites out of the collection,” says Hall.
Mr. Fiorentino, artist of the watercolor portrait of former Seton Hall star player and Houston Astros catcher, Craig Biggio, had a huge contribution in planning the Play Ball! Exhibit. If that wasn’t already impressive enough, at the age of fifteen Fiorentino was the youngest artist to be featured in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for his Reggie Jackson piece; which hung beside paintings by Norman Rockwell and Andy Warhol.
Not only are these original works pleasing to the eye, they also serve a great purpose. Most of the artwork in the gallery is for sale, and the proceeds are to be contributed to the Ed and Allison Lucas Scholarship Foundation, which gives Seton Hall students with disabilities support and funding for accommodations needed on campus.
“I want to help the students be as equal as anybody else,” says Ed Lucas, a 1962 Seton Hall alumnus and blind sports writer, broadcaster, and motivational speaker. Ed Lucas lost his vision during a baseball game as a child when he was struck between the eyes by a line drive. Since that day, he has turned his passion for baseball into a reporting career. Lucas, who has been inducted into the New Jersey Sports Writer Hall of Fame, encourages people (disabled and non-disabled) that “there are no true handicaps in life, only inconveniences.”
“The Ed and Allison Lucas Scholarship Foundation gives back to students with disabilities on campus,” Lucas continues. “My wife Allison and I want to help fund adaptive equipment such as writing devices, Kindles, or even large screen computers to assist the students in daily activities.” Ed Lucas, who was the first Seton Hall student to use a Seeing Eye dog, understands what it’s like to need accommodations in order to strive as a student.
“I had a German Sheppard,” Lucas warmly recalls. “They called her the Queen of the campus since at the time, Seton Hall was an all-male school.”
The historical Play Ball! Exhibit will continue until December 7 in the Walsh Gallery inside of the library. “The exhibit is different; it appeals to everyone whether they are baseball fans, general art enthusiasts, or residents of the New York/New Jersey region. Everybody can relate to Play Ball!” says Hall. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
It is recommended that off-campus visitors call to confirm gallery hours prior to visiting. For more information, please call (973)-275-2033 or http://academic.shu.edu/libraries/gallery. The whole community is encouraged to step up to the plate and experience this phenomenal exhibit.
For more information please contact: