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Through the Lens of Dr. Jack

Posted Mar. 31, 2014


The Kent State Salem campus is hosting a display of artwork created by Dr. Jack Vazzana, an associate professor of sociology at the East Liverpool campus. The pieces were created by the giclee (zhee-clay) technique which uses digital pictures that are computer altered and printed by ink jet.

Vazzana is a visual sociologist whose pictures “explore iconic, existential meaning in American culture, challenging the viewer to see beyond the obvious.” He began taking pictures as a young child and his interest grew throughout his educational and professional careers.

Originally from Pittsburgh, he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in sociology from Duquesne University. He earned a doctorate degree in administration and policy studies from the University of Pittsburgh.

Vazzana’s works were exhibited in the prestigious Louisville Visual Arts Association in Louisville, Ken. Sponsored by the Kentucky Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, this juried show is highly competitive. He was one of only 22 artists whose works were accepted from more than 200 applicants.

While at Duquesne as a student in the 1960’s, Vazzana created more than 40 cartoons titled “The Doors” that are now archived at the university’s Gumberg Library for their sociological significance.

He began his teaching career at the Community College of Allegheny County before moving to Robert Morris University. In 1999, he joined the faculty of Kent State East Liverpool.

According to Dr. Richard Serpe, chair of the Kent State University’s department of sociology: “Within sociology for the past two decades, there has been a discourse focusing on making sociology accessible to others. The term that is used to frame this discussion is ‘public sociology.’ Jack’s juried work dealing with culture, inequality and everyday life is not only relevant from a scholarship and creative active professional activity, it brings topics central to sociological discourse into an interactional and educational frame that makes connections beyond the spoken word.”

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Media Contact:
Tina Smith, 330-337-7427, tsmit170@kent.edu