Fine Arts Center Hosts ‘The Symbiotic Relationship’ Exhibit

by Diane VanDyke

Image by Jasmine Alleger, “Ishmael & Queequeg,” mixed media.

Image by Jasmine Alleger, “Ishmael & Queequeg,” mixed media.

While artists may work in solitude in their studios, they value collaborations to both enhance and expand their creativity. To highlight the significance of these partnerships, Montgomery County Community College is hosting an art exhibition with Moore College of Art and Design graduate students to present “The Symbiotic Relationship: A Celebration of Empowering Creative Partnerships.”

This collaborative exhibit opens Oct. 13 and will be on display through Nov. 7 at the College’s Fine Arts Center Gallery, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. A “Meet the Artists” reception will be held Wednesday, Oct. 22, from 5-7 p.m. Both the exhibit and the reception are free and open to the public—everyone is welcome.

The exhibit will feature a wide-spectrum of contemporary artwork in various mediums created by Moore graduate students Melinda Houvig, Aimee Gonthier, Chello Sherman, Alexander Conner and Denise Nelson, and Moore Graduate Studies MFA alumni Dawn Kramlich, Caitlin Peck, Ben Panter and Jasmine Alleger. Selected MCCC fine art students Collin Cousart, Joseph Schiaffino and Rachael Hoffman were paired with Moore graduate students, and their collaborative works also will be on display.

“The theme of the show was developed to give participating artists an ambiguous starting point from which they could develop and explore relationships for them, as well as the world, and the different aspects of collaborative relationships,” said exhibit curator Melinda Houvig, a second-year graduate student attending Moore for her master’s degree in Fine Art, Studio Practice.

The theme will be represented through the myriad dimensions of the words “relationship and collaboration.”

“Some artists have chosen to examine mutually beneficial relationships, while others examined parasitic relationships, which also are forms of symbiosis. It’s going to be a very eclectic show, and I’m truly excited,” Houvig said. Houvig has a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from West Chester University and has worked as a professional fine art model for colleges and non-profit art centers throughout the Main Line area.

“I hope the exhibit will broaden students’ perspectives and the community’s perception of graduate work in the art world. It’s multidimensional, research-rich, passion driven and open to so many avenues of experimentation. The BFA is no longer the stopping point of an art degree,” Houvig said.

Montgomery County Community College has a program-to-program transfer agreement with Moore College of Art & Design that allows students to seamlessly transfer and earn their baccalaureate degrees. Moore’s graduate studies community consists of unique programs in Art & Social Engagement (launching 2015), Community Practice (launching 2015), Studio Art, Interior Design, and Art Education, with an emphasis in special populations that prepare students with the skills, knowledge and resources to become professional artists, designers and teachers.

For more information about Montgomery’s art programs, visit For more information about Moore College of Art & Design, visit
Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Sunday. For more information about the exhibition, contact Galleries Director Holly Cairns at or 215-619-7349.

For the more information about upcoming exhibits and activities, like our Facebook page at, and visit our website at
Help support the arts and art education programs at Montgomery County Community College by becoming a Friend of the Galleries. Donations are tax deductible. For more information, contact the College Foundation at 215-641-6535.

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