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Faculty gallery engages viewers

Brandon Barb, A&L Editor

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The annual faculty art exhibition opened in the Fine Arts Center Jan. 12 and will remain open until Feb. 3. The small gallery showcases Tobias Brauer’s work in graphic design, and the large gallery is reserved for the faculty members that wished to contribute.

“It’s not representative of everyone in the department but it is a good sampling,” gallery director David Knight said. “It’s probably one of the hardest shows to install during the school year, because you don’t know what art work [the professors] have until they bring it in.”

One professor has a sculpture made of ceramic animal eyes and another has a picture printed on cloth of two British celebrities. A third professor has the whole small gallery to showcase his new font. But the whole gallery features a mixture of different art styles.

Candice van Loveren Geis, professor of art appreciation and education, has her piece “What a Tangled Web We Weave” in the main gallery. She has been working on the same series of pieces that combines cloth and photography for four years.

“My work previously dealt with cloth and photography, but I was always interested in anatomy,” Geis said.
Her piece “What a Tangled Web We Weave” features David and Victoria Beckham, but a viewer wouldn’t be able to tell from a glance. Her process for the piece involved taking a photograph then printing that photo on a piece of cloth. The Beckhams’ faces aren’t in the photo; instead their muscle structures are visible. Geis hand embroiders the muscle structures of the couple over the photo.

“Some people find [the series] a little bit disturbing. It’s a little frightening, but I don’t want the art to just be pretty and pleasurable to look at. I want you to look at it and confront the idea of what our bodies are,” Geis said.

It takes Geis 60-70 hours per week for three weeks in order to finish one of her muscle structure pieces. She has done other pieces on Britney Spears and David Beckham.
Though Geis will continue to work with cloth, she believes it is time to move to something new. “I honestly don’t know if I am going to make any more of these. After I got done with this one, I was like ‘maybe I’ve explored this topic enough,” Geis said.

Ana England is a ceramics professor and her piece “See” features the eyes of the animal kingdom. When looked at from afar, the piece resembles a bug’s eye.
“What I’m interested in is how so many things are the same in different species,” England said.

Her work with the animal kingdom started when she was working on an exhibition for the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s publication of “The Origin of Species.”
On “See”, England has included the eyes of a horse, grey whale, elephant, pink flamingo and her husband. The materials for the piece include ceramics, silicon and polystyrene.
The small gallery features simple black and white posters illustrating graphic design professor Tobias Brauer’s newly created font.

“I like the idea of designing the voice of a time,” Brauer said. “Because our society is moving more towards text-based communication, I see type faces as being representative of different periods of time.”

Brauer first figures out what is out there in the typeface world. Then he hand draws all the characters of the typeface. He then transfers everything over into a computer.
For five years Brauer has been designing type, but it has taken a little over a year to finish his new typeface, called “Apposite.”

“I’m trying to get people to not take [type] for granted,” Brauer said. “As a society we consume type so much, I’d say most of the time it is ignored or not visually appreciated so hopefully this [exhibit] gives everybody the chance to think about that stuff for a little bit.”

The exhibition is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and admission is free. According to Knight, the gallery is a great way for students to get to know the professors they have in class or are thinking about taking a class with in the future.

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Faculty gallery engages viewers