The Faculty Art Exhibition, currently running in Concordia’s Cyrus M. Running Gallery, combines the talents of nine distinctive artists with styles that embrace the dramatic and the demure, the whimsical and the dark, the bold and the reserved.
The pieces range from intaglio, watercolor, and graphite prints to graphic design to mixed media sculpture. It is this range in medium and style that provides a diverse and rich viewing experience for the audience.
The exhibition begins with landscape pieces from David Boggs. High value, light hues, and loose brushwork in pieces like Mist over the Falls and End of the Day provoke a quiet and reflective response. They seek out the emotional response to landscape as the artist emphasizes the play of light and color in lieu of realism.
The show takes a turn for the whimsical as you walk out of the entrance hallway to view the works of Dwight Williams’ sculptures of clay and wood, Eric A. Johnson’s reduction relief prints, and Mark Sorgaard’s Polka Dot Polka Dot series of photographs. Ross Hilgers, Duane Mikkelson, and Mike Marth’s respective works of ceramics, sculpture, and mixed media elicit bold, visceral responses from the audience. As I was looking at Mike Marth’s work, Michaela Chorn, an art student attending the gallery, joked, “Yeah, Mike will go out in May on large garbage day and scour the sidewalks for pieces for his work.” She continued, “It’s art that doesn’t just represent the area, but actual materials that come from the area.”
In addition to what one might think of as “traditional” forms — i.e. painting, sculpture, mixed media — this show tips its hat to the art of graphic design with pieces by Jeff Knight, adjunct graphic design instructor. Clever, minimalist design is executed in pieces like Wish bone (currently part of collections at the Plains Art Museum) and in graphic t-shirt design. One design for a shirt, my particular favorite, depicts a tractor and jests below: “My Dad Feeds Your Dad.”
The show finishes with Heidi Goldberg’s prints that range from achromatic intaglio to the intricate tri-fold process executed in the Angel Oak Study series, which uses intaglio, graphite, and watercolor. The prints exhibit boldness in their strong sense of line and dark hues.
This exhibition makes a wise curatorial choice to isolate each artist in their own space instead of intermingling the artists’ pieces throughout. By being able to see the artists’ works in context with one another and to view the range of pieces they have created, the viewer is able to experience an intimacy with their work. One is able to pick out common themes, techniques, and intent.
The exhibition opened on January 15th and will continue to be available to view in the Cyrus M. Running Gallery until February 17th.