Fanfare in the gallery


Zachary Araki

Leia O’Connell, a senior kinesiology major, and Katherine Davis, a senior sociology major, check out the abstract artwork for the Contemporary Art Gallery’s opening reception of the “Real to Not Real” exhibition.

Zachary Araki, A&E Editor

Fanfare celebrations will find a place in the Contemporary Art Gallery with an exhibition of abstract painting and a fashion show.

The “Real to Not Real” exhibition showcases abstract representational painting. It will be up until Nov. 9. 

According to Instructor of Painting Thomas Walton, an exhibiting artist, the exhibition “opens up avenues for people to see that painting can be used a medium for expressing a multitude of feelings and concepts.”

“Part of the strength of having a show like this is to show that painting is not a one-liner, that painting has the capacity to communicate a lot of individual concerns,” said Walton.

The gallery brought in paintings from New York, Philadelphia and California among other areas. Eric Huckabee, an exhibiting artist, discussed the range of artworks found in the exhibition.

Huckabee said, “It gives very specific views of how paining can be utilized and how it can be approached while still negotiating similar questions within the work even though they end up in different places how they look in the end or how content is being approached.”




Walton described his works in the exhibit as psychological.

“The physical nature of it, the color of it, the way it feels when you’re applying it to a canvas kind of combine together to allow myself to kind of work in a more intuitive, more subconscious way,” said Walton. “This is beneficial when you’re interested in psychology or how things feel rather than just how you might think about things. Painting allows for me to sort of create something that takes you away from your head and closer to something to do with your heart.”

Huckabee described his painting as being more like poetry than a novel developing over time in line with a record of thinking.

Huckabee said, “What I’m interested in is the idea of how can we visualize thinking as if thinking was a concrete thing, how can we make it a tangible thing, have a record, and how do we see that thinking and translate it. Say I’m interested in the idea of waves. What are the visual formal properties of waves in its thing but also in relation to other waves so those ideas can expand?”

Huckabee enjoys the malleable nature of painting.

Huckabee said, “It’s very flexible in how it can be used just tangibly, but it’s also something that it’s incredibly versatile and allows one to think about things visually and construct materially through that visual thinking over a period of time. It’s almost forgiving in a way. If I get some sort of structure going, it’s very open to being changed in how it’s approached or how I approach it.”

Fanfare in the gallery will go beyond the painting exhibition. On Oct. 25 from 5-7 p.m., CAG will host its first “Wearable Art Fashion Show.”

“This is something new we’re trying this year as a collaboration between the sculpture students and the theatre students,” said Instructor of Costume Design and Make-up Technology Emily Billington. “We’re including the performance, production side of things for the art students to experience as well as the theatre students get to use their creativity in a different way because they’re making an art piece that the model is then wearing.”

Currently, the show will include about 10-12 pieces with the audience voting for the favorite at the end. The idea for the show developed during the spring after a student expressed an interest in the show. Billington and Professor of Sculpture Jeff Mickey began working towards the show.

“There’s a good mix of art and theatre students involved right now,” said Billington. “There are a couple of pieces where there’s two artists on one piece, so they’re collaborating on one piece. So far, I think I’m seeing there’s some interest there.”

The pieces will follow the wishes of the artist rather than any set theme. Mickey and Billington will develop their own pieces for the show. Billington discussed the development of her piece.

“It’s changed a lot,” said Billington. “I started out with a really crazy, elaborate idea, and it’s stayed the same concept, but it formed over time. I have fabric and sculptural elements involved in my piece. Developing it, I took some personal experiences that happened to me recently develop the idea of it as well as things that are happening currently in our society.”