By Amy Wells
Editor's note: Starting today and appearing every Wednesday, Outlook will preview selected performances and exhibits offered by the College of Fine Arts as well as tell the stories behind the events. Read on for more details about two new college offerings that showcase the talents of three faculty members who returned this year from sabbatical and the fall quarter work of 10 first-year graduate students.
The copper-tile mosaic easily dominates the gallery wall, reaching about 6 feet high by 10 feet wide. At first glance, the piece's bold geometric pattern commands attention. But a closer inspection of "Vignette" reveals that each of the square copper tiles depicts a scene ranging from a city street to an intimate embrace.
The "story" that can be constructed from the tiles depends on how one chooses to read the piece -- from the bottom, the top, side-to-side or even diagonally.
"Part of my intention is the renewable closure that each time you look at it you will see something new," said Professor Art Werger. "Hopefully with these little interconnected images (viewers) will make up their own stories anyway. The narrative is that I provide clues and little vignettes but then the actual narrative only takes place in the viewer's mind."
Werger's copper installation is just one of his many works on display as part of an exhibit at Seigfred Hall titled "From Sabbatical," which features diverse pieces by three School of Art faculty.
In addition to Werger, Robert Peppers, professor of painting, is presenting "Gifts," mixed media works based on sacred diagrams used in meditation practices. Associate Professor of Sculpture Marilyn Poeppelmeyer's pieces depict conflicting emotions about domestic life using handpicked fabrics and meticulous sewing.
Other Werger pieces portray realistic scenes viewed from unusual angles, creating prints of dream-like detachment.
"I started the series as a stream-of-consciousness narrative based on photographs I've taken over many years," Werger said. "I did one completed print from the beginning of the day to the end of the day. It is this ongoing diary where each was a new start and a response to the previous day's work and gradually it built into this story."
The exhibit is on display through Feb. 21 at the Ohio University Art Gallery in Seigfred Hall 536. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Admission is free.
Despite their individual specialties, the School of Art's 10 first-year graduate students spent the weekend working as a team, busily hanging and adjusting their works for their first exhibit titled "Surface Tension."
Their works create an eclectic mix, with three students specializing in ceramics, three in painting, two in photography and one each in printmaking and sculpture.
Caitlin Nolan, a printmaking student, said it was invaluable for the artists to exhibit together and see their work in context with that of their peers.
"Even if the work superficially appears to be different in many ways, themes will become present that you may have not recognized when viewing your work in the autonomous studio environment," Nolan said. "It's not just the similarities that can bring a new light to your work, but the difference also can help us to define and evaluate our work and the work of our peers."
Nolan said it was encouraging to the students to see faculty exhibiting new work at Seigfred Hall.
"It's one of the biggest fears of students of art that we will ultimately have to 'grow up,' get a 'real job' and never have time to make work," Nolan said. "The university setting values the personal endeavors of its faculty and acknowledges that allowing faculty to be fulfilled as artists ultimately enriches the education of students."
The students' work is on display through Jan. 30 at Trisolini Gallery in Baker University Center 405. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Admission is free.
Be sure to check out these other arts events on campus:
- Catch 'Interiors, Exteriors and All Around' featuring the 360-degree photography of alumnus Thomas Schiff at the Kennedy Museum of Art before the exhibit closes Sunday, Jan. 25. Admission to the museum and parking are free. For museum hours and other information visit www.ohio.edu/museum.
- The Multicultural Center Art Gallery is featuring the exhibit "The Master's Art," which includes pieces from the personal collections of artist and accessories designer Tanya Thompson and her family. The gallery is located in Baker University Center 215.
Visit www.finearts.ohio.edu/artsforohio to view the events calendar.
Updated at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 14, to revise the closing date for the panoramic photography exhibit. The new date was just released by the Kennedy Museum of Art.