Art exhibit analyzes society


Xavier Johnson / The Advocate

Psychology major Tayler Meulpolder takes a look at Katie Richardson’s 2016 piece “Rabbit Skin Rug” in the “Messages: Material Matters” exhibit in the Eddie Rhodes Gallery in A-5 on Monday.

By Dan Hardin, Staff Writer

People question if life imitates art or if those roles are reversed. But in the works displayed currently in the Eddie Rhodes Gallery in A-5, the impression visitors leave with will transform the way the sky is viewed.

The fine and media arts department exhibit entitled “Messages: Material Matters” is on display from April 5 until May 18, following the opening reception, which was held April 8 from 1-4 p.m.

The exhibit contains the eclectic works of Cynthia Jenson, Dixie D. Brown, George-Ann Bowers, Katie Richardson, Roz Ritter and Susan Doyle.

The gallery’s hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Wednesdays, the gallery is open longer and extends its hours from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Entering the Rhodes Gallery, patrons are bombarded with Dixie D. Brown’s piece “Vis Funesta” (Latin for deadly force).

“Vis Funesta” is a sortie of hand knitted gray and black wool bombs hanging from the ceiling of the room. Reaction to the bombs oscillates from causing individuals to think and the thinker to become an individual. For some, it raises questions and promotes interpretation and reaction.

First-year art student Robert Lyles said they look like rockets that would be used for taking satellites and payloads into outer space.

“Now that I know that they are bombs,” Lyle said, “I find that to be very freighting.

“I would not know what to do if I were to walk out of my house one morning to find myself confronted with a darkened sky full of bombs.

“I suppose, I would run and find a place to hide.”

Brown’ is just one of  six mesmerizing, controversial and thought-provoking artists whose works are on display at the Rhodes Gallery.

Brown’s exhibits have been known to be controversial. In Sausalito, her overhead exhibit caused a stir and she was asked to remove the collection.

Second-year art student Cleydi Chavez said, “They look like blimps to me. I prefer to be optimistic rather than pessimistic and I refuse to entertain the thought of destruction.”

Brandon Crowl, a second year art student said, “I see bullets.” Crowl said that if he was ever confronted with this scenario in real life, he too would run and shelter in place.

Art major Kenneth Caston said, “Running and hiding may not be enough. I just do not see how that would help,” Caston said

Brown wrote a message to the visitors to her exhibit who would see her artwork.

“My innate fascination with the natural world has been overcome by worldwide threats to nature and to humanity,” she wrote.

“In my artwork now, I feel compelled to expose the paradox of temporarily ‘saving’ and ‘safety’ using vast and lasting destruction. I use symbolism, irony and satire to expose deeper meanings.”