The University of Indianapolis bi-annual Faculty Art Exhibition opened to the community on Nov. 14, featuring artwork submitted by each full-time Art & Design faculty member, as well as pieces submitted by adjunct faculty in the art program. The exhibition will be open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., until Dec. 16 in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center Gallery.
Associate Professor and Chair of Art & Design James Viewegh approached this year’s exhibition from a different angle with Gallery Coordinator Mark Ruschman.
“[This exhibition is] more like the process we faculty go through to create our own artwork.… It’s to show that sense of process, that sense of the tools we use to create our forms,” Viewegh said.
In order to demonstrate this theme, faculty artists submitted pieces in varying stages of progress, often accompanied by the tools used to create the artwork.
Viewegh submitted an oil painting that took more than 500 hours to finish with initial sketches and preliminary photographs as well as four different pictures taken throughout the piece’s progress. He also submitted a collection of wood-work which featured two finished pieces, a table saw jig tool and several sections of partially finished panels and corners in order to show the process of his work.
Assistant Professor of Art & Design Barry Barnes submitted large clay pieces that were still “leather-hard,” meaning the material was still damp and malleable. “It’s a little bit risky,” Barnes said. “ … If somebody [went] in there right now they could take a key out and have some fun.”
Barnes explained how submitting unfired clay to the gallery would allow him to show students his process.
“Over the next four weeks, I’ll start pulling a few pieces out at a time and taking those pieces through the firing process, with the addition of more glaze and surface work,” he said. “My goal, at the end of these four weeks, is to actually reassemble the pieces that I have in the gallery, but in the finished state, so students will totally see my process.”
Assistant Professor of Art & Design Katherine Fries displayed a number of tools with her artwork, including a monotype press, a letterpress, paint scrapers, paint rollers, masking tape and a ruler. Fries’ choice to show the actual tools she used to create her work may have had something to do with the way she describes her work in her artist’s statement, as focusing on an “increased awareness of objects; our relationship with them, and their potential value,” Fries said.
There were various ways that faculty displayed their processes and artwork. Assistant Professor of Art & Design Jonathan DiBlasi presented handwritten notes and screen grabs of program code for his “spectrograph” pieces. Assistant Professor Rhonda Wolverton included a timelapse video covering the installation of a sidewalk piece she titled “TTYL.” Assistant Professor Randi Frye showed a notepad containing several sketches and ideas for what would become the design for her “Hullabaloo Press Logo.”
For Associate Professor Julia Taugner, her finished submission of a graphic map and guide for the Pogue’s Run Waterway was not completely able to demonstrate the process by which she completed it.
“The end [product] cannot show the interaction with teams of amazing people, which is such an important part of visual communication design,” she said.
Viewegh described this collection of various art media and processes as a highly worthwhile experience for all members of the community.
“The exhibition in general is just a really great opportunity for the campus community and the surrounding community to see what the Art & Design faculty here at UIndy do.… It shows the kind of things that we can teach our students. Everything that we teach is in our own work. It’s not like we’re spewing a bunch of garbage. What we say is what we do,” Viewegh said.
Viewegh also explained that the gallery is a “teaching gallery.” He said that students are not only taught “through the artwork that’s on the walls or in the exhibition but also through the process of installing the work.”
The next exhibition featured in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center Gallery will be the Letterpress Hullabaloo exhibition, from Jan. 17 to Feb. 10.