Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Art Event: Department of Art and Art History SMP Show 2013

Michael Bargamian, Chance Hazelton and Amanda Schmeltz are currently exhibited in Boyden Gallery.  Seeing as they are all seniors here at St. Mary's they are showing their St. Mary's Projects as well as speaking on them.  The exhibit opened Monday, April 15th and will be open until Saturday, April 20th.

Michael Bargamian, know to many as Mikey-B, is addressing mankind's dependency on written word.  He states that "words are controlling us constantly and we often become dependent on this manipulation in order to function in our modern world".  In order for the audience to question their perception of written word Mikey-B has left the second half of sentences scrawled into his work illegible.  Because of this the viewer can never fully grasp what he has written, and instead has to ponder potential phrases and interpretations.  In my opinion this makes the piece partially the viewer's; the artistic projection and the viewer's interpretation become an interactive art piece.

I am a huge fan of Mikey as both a being and an artist.  I believe the concept and aesthetic he is aiming for is achieved and even surpassed.  The simple color palettes and somewhat messy mediums used in producing his art contrast the complex and ordered state of language.  Upon viewing the exhibit I did question what many of the pieces said and turned it over in my mind for a while.  When I found out that was the point I kind of laughed a bit; his work was definitely effective.

Overflow, Amanda Schmeltz's installation, is a site-specific installation formed from circle cutouts and painted circles.  Her aim is to express the comfort, relief and awe she experiences in relation to her Christian faith.  She hopes to have the audience "reflect upon their own sense of self in relation to their surrounding world, just as Christianity beckons [her] into a reflection about [herself] in [her] environment."  I would say that Amanda is both aesthetically and conceptually successful in her installation.  The blue circles are calming as well as overwhelming; from what I know of her efforts behind this piece her relationship with God is quite similar.  Viewing this installation was humbling because of it's size.  Personally, when anything is large enough to walk through and under I feel a greater connection due to physically interacting with the piece.

Chance Hazelton's aim is to "remind people to stop speeding through life and finding shortcuts and instead reinvigorate your relationship with the world around you."  Today we are flooded with images and symbols that are synonymous with words and phrases.  Rather than appreciating our surroundings strictly for their visual value, we speed past them and have quantitative, not qualitative, interactions.  Chance constructed three images using a variety of multi-media tools.  Her goal was to breakdown ordinary landscapes into something unfamiliar through "removing color, inducing an extreme linear perspective and including collaged reproductions of the images."  I believe Chance was successful in unfamiliarizing a landscape, causing the viewer to linger and appreciate their surroundings rather than pass them by.

Overall this exhibit was awesome to attend and it was great to see friends exhilarated by their final project.
Hopefully I will have the pleasure of viewing some of their future work.

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