By MADELENE BIRENBAUM
The Faculty Art and Design exhibit in the Marian Art Gallery, on display from March 3-24. Patrons will enjoy the representations and the diversity of Mount Mary College’s leaders in the art and design programs.
When entering the Marian Art Gallery, pay attention to the feet walking on stones. This piece, entitled “Walking There” was made by Cameron Bond, ceramics teacher. The feet depicts the struggle of humankind as we travel over the rough paths in our lives, symbolized by the compass planted in the center.
Fashion department chair and assoicate professor, Aeran Park, has included some fashion drawings. These drawings represent how she teaches within the fashion department. In her crisp yet delicate drawing, “Lift IV,” the eye focuses on its fine lines and muted colors, charateristic of the chic fashion world. This can also be seen through the abundance of fabric and careful detail.
Photography teacher Paul Calhoun’s succinct and sentimental photograph, “Migrant Workers (2012),” depicts two young children lying in bundles of blue burlap sacks, after their family’s hard day of work. It shows their way of life and their joy from hard work. The children wear smiles as they bask in the sun-drenched field.
Bond’s ceramics captures your attention due to the open interpretation of “An Army of Foolish Virgins.” A repetitive array of ceramic bowls lay on the floor catches a visitor’s eye. Read the short summary next to the exhibit. It reflects what Bond said, “the fullness of mistakes” that humans make every day.
Each crafted pot, 490 in all, symbolizes what Bond calls our “infinity of mistakes.” As with the bowls and our mistakes, some are repetitive and unique like the mistakes of our lives. Her description of “Embrace,” a ceramic of two skeletons embracing, described by Bond as “tender.” Her delicate, yet commanding soul vase, “Hunping for Another Time,” is a social commentary on social media. It is a sacrificial vase, and when paired with the microchip design inside, prompts a patron to ponder the role of technology.
There was a point where the faculty’s artwork fell short. Professor of fine art Jordon Acker Anderson’s “In the Beginning: Rib Covenant” captured attention but lacked in the composition. Evidence of this lack of composition was seen with the flowers, rib and portrait. While the outlined, blurry face invited introspection, the surrounding environment seemed generic at best. The flowers lack dimension in comparison to the portrait.
Art therapy professor Chris Belkofer’s “Untitled,” although a striking vision using bright orange, seems too basic; however, the complimentary gray and orange colors are pleasing to the eye.
Other noticeable pieces worth mentioning are fine arts Professor Brad Anthony Bernard’s mixed media and mixed colors canvases. Pay careful
attention to each inch of canvas. They are portraits surrounded by a collage and map motif, which makes a continuous pattern for his pieces, symbolic of life’s journey.
Bernard based his paintings on stories about people he met in his travels in Mississippi. His patterning is striking. The faces of the subjects show the reality of their lives. In a self-assured way, Bernard describes these pieces as “portrimentaries,” or portraits documenting symbols, stories, maps, and information about the individuals depicted.
When asked what he wishes visitors to get out of his artwork, Bernard said, “To be curious about the individual or the place they’re from. I’d rather the viewer take what they can from it.”