Art exhibition shows off faculty talent

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Adjunct and full-time professors of the Department of Art & Design once again had the opportunity to showcase original artwork through a faculty exhibition that opened Jan. 22. The event, which happens twice a year in the Christel DeHaan Gallery, invites members of the University of Indianapolis community to visit campus and view the exhibition.

Photo by Jayden Kennett

“‘Building Barrios not Barriers’ is an installation that is part of that [series of] work to subvert known language and American symbols of immigration to create dialouge and to share real immigration experiences,” said Assistant Professor Rhonda Wolverton in her statement.

The primary purpose of the event, according to Art & Design Coordinator Hazel Augustin, is to serve the students of the department by giving them the opportunity them to see the practical work that their instructors do in the field, as well as potentially gain ideas for their own portfolios.

“The students need to have an opportunity to see what the faculty is doing when it comes to their artwork,” Augustin said. “The students’ exposure to their professors’ work can influence and inspire their own work.”

There were various mediums of art on display for attendees to view at this winter’s exhibition. Eight styles of art were shown, including photography, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, animated illustration, visual communicated designs, paintings and drawings. All of the artwork featured in the exhibition will be on display until Feb. 8.

“The students’ exposure to their professors work can influence and inspire their own work.”

Members of the surrounding community are also welcome to view the faculty’s work. Mark and Mary Grove, who regularly attend music concerts as well as art exhibitions, said attending regular events on campus is an enjoyable way for community members, like themselves, to show their appreciation of UIndy. The Groves joked that the free cookies provided to attendees at the opening were an extra incentive to attend.

“The University of Indianapolis always has a way of enriching the lives of others,” said Mark Grove, “be that the students, faculty, [staff] or people like us who are here out of our love of art, music, and free cookies.”

Photo by Jayden Kennett

“Memory castle: A monument to my childhood clotheslines, 2019” is a silk installation by Sarah Pfohl. Pfohl said this was her first use of silk in a piece.

Professor of 3D Design, Studio Art and Sculpture Nathaniel Foley submitted his aviation oriented sculpture for the exhibition. Foley discussed his background as an artist in his short biography, sharing that he grew up in a family of pilots. Foley began his artistic career building model planes, which eventually translated to the use of construction techniques.

The processes Foley uses in his work must be adapted to work despite imbalance and tension. This is because the sculptures move in direct opposition of fundamental forces, such as gravity. This same kind of passion for technique  and precision is what Foley said he hopes to convey to his students by showcasing his craft, and what students will ideally then apply to their own work.

Associate Professor and Chair of the Department Art & Design Department Jim Viewegh also displayed work in the exhibition. Viewegh described the intensity and time it took to produce one of his pieces on display, titled “Lost.”

Viewegh said he spent more than 500 hours working on the painting, which features a man holding a child in front of a window with an interior that is splashed with blues and greens as light casts onto the floor in front of a rocking chair. For Vieweigh, it was rewarding for students to see the finished product, he said, especially considering the time and dedication he put into creating the piece.

“It is important for my students and any art student to see what their professors are doing in their field of study. The artwork shows a little bit of who they are and what they are practicing,” Viewegh said. “This is a biannual event, so our original artwork doesn’t get an opportunity to be shown to students every day.”

Freshman visual communication design major Zeke Fredrickson said that the faculty art exhibition was not only a great way for students to see some of the professors’ artwork, but also to gain insight and influence from the art on display.

“Seeing my professors’ work on display in a more refined setting like this gallery puts into perspective the influence art can have on someone,” Fredrickson said. “As a student, seeing the techniques and skills that influence me, also influencing my professors, is pretty incredible.”

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