Feb. 3, 2010
New art exhibit features variety of work by students
MARYVILLE, Mo. - About 30 art works of varied media, including photography, print-making, ceramics and sculpture, comprise a juried undergraduate student art show that opened this week in Northwest's Olive DeLuce Gallery.
The exhibit opened Monday (Feb. 1) with an opening reception that featured a guest lecture by Dr. Sally J. Cornelison, associate professor of Italian Renaissance Art at Kansas University. Cornelison also juried the exhibit with Glenn Williams, assistant professor of art-sculpture at Northwest.
"We're really proud of the work that they're doing here and we're happy to give the students an opportunity to showcase it for the public," Williams said, adding the exhibit features some of the strongest work produced by Northwest students in the last few years.
Dustin Koopman, a senior sculpture major from Falls City, Neb., was awarded Best of Show in the 3-D category for his artwork, which consists of three oversized water pipes.
Koopman said he was inspired by the works of sculptor, Claes Oldenburg, who is best known for creating large replicas of everyday objects, including "Shuttlecocks" at Kansas City's Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Koopman's work was inspired by a recent tour of the University's mechanical rooms and looking for objects that were crucial to buildings' every day functions.
Koopman assembled the pipes by rolling flat sheets of 16-gauge steel. He formed nearly the entire sculpture, including the wheels atop each pipe, by hand. The work also includes 60 large nuts and bolts, and the pipes weigh between 100 and 200 pounds each.
"I blew them out of proportion and kind of introduce them to your personal space and let you interact with them," Koopman said. "My main goal is to pull these types of forms and mechanical things out of the back of these rooms because nobody sees them every day."
Cornelison said she selected Koopman's work because it portrayed a sense of process.
"It made me think of soldering, and it made me think of physically putting them together," Cornelison said. "It makes you want to twist them and turn them on, like you're in a submarine, closing up the hatch. I like the physicality of it."
Rachel Arnold, a senior fine arts major from Titonka, Iowa, was awarded Best of Show in the 2-D category for a series of 17-by-20-inch digital prints she composed from a group of photos. The prints are arranged in a triptych - a piece of art that consists of three panels - and depict natural textures such as tree branches, flowers, snow, ice and rocks.
An honorable mention was awarded to Christina Wills for her work featuring 150 cigarette packs arranged in rows and painted with an array of colors, shapes and patterns. Wills is a senior art major, with a ceramics emphasis, from Waynesville, Mo.
"I love that what she was doing was taking something bad for you, something deadly, something very enjoyable for those of us who have ever done it and literally put a layer of candy on it," Cornelison said. "I thought that was really clever and a neat way of playing on what it represents."
The exhibit ends Feb. 26. The Olive DeLuce Gallery is open 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1:30 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
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