‘Big, ugly and angry’
May 7, 2009
Filed under Scene
“Hamburger Fishing,” “Obama in Egypt” and “Globe” are the names of just a few of the student art pieces on display at the Foster Gallery for the remainder of the semester.
Students from all majors were welcome to submit art pieces to the show. This year’s judge was artist John Garrett from Albuquerque, N.M.
In Garrett’s juror statement on the pieces, he said, “The piece must be speaking with a clear voice. It might be a quiet voice, it might be a loud voice, it might be a whisper, it might sing.”
Garrett chose senior art student Eric Lee’s piece “Globe” for first place. Lee’s piece depicts the Globe Elevator in Superior, and is created from oil, gunpowder and ash.
“When the elevator was built, it was the largest on earth and represented a prosperous America, a country in full bloom,” Lee said. “Now, more than a century later, it represents market collapse, national anxiety and an uncertain future. It also calls into question American identity, such as who are we?”
Lee, who won $100 for his first-place painting, describes his work as “big, ugly and angry, like an industrial accident” and was surprised when he won first place.
“I don’t consider it my best work,” he said. “So I was generally surprised, but grateful for the honor.”
Senior Hanna Agar received an honorable mention at the Juried Art Show for her digital photo, “Fallen Angel.” The photo shows a man kneeling on the floor with wings sprouting out of his back.
“The man is dripping with a thin, white liquid and appears to be in agony or despair,” she said. “He is lit by strong, dramatic light that emphasizes the paper feathers.”
Agar said her creativity for the pieces comes from stories.
“I am very inspired by myths and legends and like to create images that are very narrative,” she said. “‘Fallen Angel’ doesn’t reference any particular story but at the same time could be interpreted as being based off of many different stories.”
As for other work at the show, Agar mentioned Lee as a favorite of hers.
“I always love Eric Lee’s work,” she said. “His work is really amazing. He does paintings using gunpowder explosions and paint.”
Lee thinks this year’s show was especially strong.
“It was a very good showing from ceramics to photography. . I thought the level of craft and vision was excellent in many of the pieces,” Lee said. “All the more reason I was surprised to have won. The students should be very proud.”
Foster Gallery director Tom Wagener said students of all majors should come see the show, not just art students.
“I think it’s important for art students to exhibit their art and show their passion and their work. It’s good exposure for them,” Wagener said. “It’s nice for other students to see what is going on in Haas as well.”
Wagener also said this past year has been a great success for the Foster Gallery.
“We’ve done some really atypical shows,” he said. “They were all a challenge, but they were really interesting.”
For more information on the Foster Gallery, visit the Web site