At a reception for the artists on Tuesday, Harris Art Gallery visitors studied the work in the exhibition “Structural Integrity.” Jay Jones, professor of biology and biochemistry, and Keith Lord, associate professor of art, examine the details in “Untitled 1” by Jennifer Vanderpool. The show will run through May 7.
On display in the Harris Art Gallery are the creative works of four very talented Los Angeles based artists all with a unique style of art.
All fours artists use their own form of layering and constructing to form two-dimensional and three-dimensional pieces that are full of so many different elements, those viewing them could look at it many times seeing something new each time.
“I did a number of studio visits last fall and spring,” Dion B. Johnson, director of university art galleries, said.
Johnson said an idea or theme emerged, and he presented the ideas to the four artists.
The first artist, Barbara Kerwin, used intertwining square and rectangular shapes as well as corresponding colors to create a visual experience.
Kerwin used oil and wax on different panel pieces to give the paintings slight dimension and shape, while taping off sections at a time and painting square shapes to get perfectly straight lines throughout the piece.
The next artist used a familiar item and gave it new meaning and shape by cutting it up, rearranging it and adding paint.
Christopher Pate incorporates different found maps and silkscreened patterns along with layers of paint to create his unique works of art.
“His use of the maps, in a way, allows you to know what the material is but not to know its original purpose,” Krystle Barbosa, senior liberal studies major, said. “It gives it a new use and myself as a viewer, a new way of looking at it,” Barbosa added.
The last two artists’ works that were showcased were in the three-dimensional category and were full of several different elements.
David McDonald’s work includes many wood pieces, mortar, wire and lots of color.
One piece in particular contains several hues of every color ranging from darkest to lightest on little slices of wood pieces that he then built into a visual appealing and intriguing structure.
The color pallet alone for this piece of art is reason enough to stand and admire the work for an extended amount of time in addition to its visually appealing nature and pattern.
Another one of his pieces included the use of wood, mortar, enamel and wire to construct a sculpture that consisted of box shapes stacked on top of each other with one big piece that extended up the wall it leaned against.
The last artist of the four had the most elaborate pieces which were full of so many elements that one could stand looking at it for hours and still find a new aspect of it.
Jennifer Vanderpool uses several different materials and vibrant colors to create garden like three-dimensional pieces that are reminiscent of fairy tales.
Vanderpool uses materials such as silk flowers, twine, beads, jewels, glitter, folded paper and even old gelatin boxes just to name a few to attain the clever and visually unique concept.
Johnson visited the solo exhibitions and studios of Pate, McDonald and Vanderpool in 2008.
He created a relationship with all three artists.
Johnson met Kerwin in 2009 when he visited her exhibition and studio.
When Johnson presented the idea to all four artists, they were all enthusiastic to work with him.
Johnson also said the artists were very excited about how the presentation went.
Johnson said it is one thing to have a vision for an idea, but it is another thing when you actually see your vision done.
“It’s very playful and cartoonish and it keeps drawing me back to figure out every element to it,” Brittany Gorski, junior liberal studies major, said.
“It’s almost as if you get lost in it and are in your own little world while viewing it,” Gorski added.
From perfectly shaped boxes to a rainbow of colors to reconstructed maps and flowered gardens, “Structural Integrity” has something for everyone and is sure not to disappoint.
“It was really well received,” Johnson said.
The “Structural Integrity” exhibit will be at the Harris Art Gallery until May 7. The gallery hours are Monday-Thursday 11a.m.-4 p.m. and by appointment.
Lauryl Bakke can be reached at
Natalie Veissalov can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.