Portrait of Goodness 
March 22, 2022 - University of Dayton Campus News

The oil paintings on display on the second floor of Raymond L. Fitz Hall represent an array of subjects - friends, family, classmates and even a few faculty. Each portrait tells a story, including one of a special friendship that started with a simple hello.

UD maintenance tech Melvin Andrews greeted Claire Pawlecki the same way he greets everyone he encounters as he goes about his daily routine. She found that he always had time for a smile, a hello and perhaps a short introduction. Pawlecki soon began chatting with Andrews every time she came to Fitz Hall, home to UD's Department of Art and Design.

"His kind energy is what attracts people to him, and it's something that hasn't dwindled in the slightest over the years I've known him," she said. "He's been someone who never fails to cheer me up, and I can't help but smile anytime I hear his keys jingle from down the hallway and hear him go 'How's my girl doing?'"

In fall 2021, Pawlecki enrolled in Painting I, an art and design course in which students begin oil painting and produce a portrait as their final project. Art and design professor Jeffrey Cortland Jones introduces students to various artists throughout the semester, and then has them select one to model a portrait after when creating their own work. Pawlecki chose Kehinde Wiley, a New York-based artist whose paintings feature Black men in traditional Old Master styles and poses. [Read More]