Art show showcases something ‘completely different’

Those in the mood for some unusual artwork can head to the Arts and Interactive Multimedia building to see the work of 16 talented senior artists on display. (Photo Courtesy of Seiichi Villalona)

A piece of broccoli that’s actually chocolate, a giant pair of knitting needles and an array of beautifully framed pictures depicting roadkill — that’s different.

Maybe that’s why the current student exhibition in the Arts and Interactive Multimedia building is called “And Now for Something Completely Different.” The art show, which opened this past Wednesday, exhibits the work of 16 senior art students using a variety of media to depict some of their proudest personal projects.

The theme of the show centers on the different styles and approaches of the students, allowing all of them to bring their strengths and interests to bear.  Starting with this individual framework, the group collaborated to build a cohesive overall show.

“Each artist has very different ways of working and approaches to making work, from installation sculpture, digital multimedia, photography, to chocolate replicas of real-life objects,” said Matt Pembleton, senior art education major. “Each section (of the exhibit) has its own feel.”

Pembleton’s work features two seven-foot-tall needles knitting a net of wire twice as large, and though it may seem surreal, the piece is knitted as if the needles were handheld. What’s the end result?  Well, that remains to be seen.

“It is an ongoing project that’s all about the process of making it and will go on until I finish all the spools,” said Pembleton. That may be a while, as he plans on having about 25,000 feet of wire invested in this project before it’s over.

“Hank’s Desk” was another piece of installation sculpture that the show featured, and it was one of a few pieces that strongly encouraged interaction. Consisting of a desk with various items laying on top of it, the work entices the spectator to sit down and secretively look through the personal items of an elusive but interesting stranger.

A few postcards with long messages, a book opened to a particular page and a typewriter inspire thoughts of Hank and encourage the observer to participate in the art by building an image of this mysterious man.

Sculpture, however, is just one of the arenas in which these senior art students work. The exhibit consists of a number of digital paintings, interactive multimedia projects and much more.

Much of this work elicits reactions that clash with each other, such as the chocolate that is convincingly sculpted and colored to look like broccoli, or the classy picture frames that show sad and gruesome photos of roadkill.

As the show progresses, the artwork will continue to evolve, leading into the next installment in the student exhibition series, “And Now for Something Completely Different New.” This show, which will open later in the semester, will involve these student artists “taking existing artwork and adding objects to it … while reimagining and changing the layouts,” according to Pembleton.

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