VMA student exhibition showcases various disciplines, department unity

By Nick Moran | 3/12/18 2:18am

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GVL/Hannah Zajac-- Five Chapters Photography Senior Exhibition in Haas Center for Preforming Arts on Tuesday 28 Nov 2017.
by Hannah Zajac / The Lanthorn

The Department of Visual and Media Arts Student Exhibition showcases student work on a variety of levels, ranging from art across multiple disciplines to the curation of the show itself. The exhibition, which will be held in the Padnos Student Art and Design Gallery from now until Friday, March 30, features work selected by faculty from various disciplines within the Department of Visual and Media Arts (VMA).

The curation of the exhibit is student-run through professor Anna Campbell’s curatorial studio class, where students group pieces of art together and create themes for exhibitions.

The exhibition, formerly known as the Annual Student Jury Show, has since shifted to include work from the photography and film and video production programs since their merger with the art and design department to create the VMA. Morgan Lloyd, a curatorial studio student, said the revised show is about unity of the arts while also including a more equal spread of work across the disciplines.

“The show is trying to bring all of the departments together as one because that’s what we are now,” Lloyd said. “It’s (also) trying to make sure everyone gets a fair share and is equally shown.”

Curatorial studio students had a variety of responsibilities in organizing the student show, from designing the catalog to creating and printing the poster. Lloyd said she had the responsibility of creating a 3-D model of the Padnos Gallery so that students and faculty could plan the show more effectively for both this show and future exhibitions. 

“Right now, we don’t have a 3-D model,” Lloyd said. “We don’t even have a drawing of it. We just have the floor plan, which is just basic measurements, and not even all the measurements are there. So, this (model) gives a better visual to people.”

As part of the exhibition, Megan Galvin, another curatorial studio student, has a piece titled “The Wollar Project," which is a 35-foot flag that was installed on Rumsey Street. Accompanying the flag was a tax form to display monetary loss, using the “Wollar” to give grief a numeric value, she said.  

“We wanted to talk about loss and the various forms of loss, and how oftentimes it’s an intangible value,” Galvin said. “You can talk about how you’ve lost so much money or something else, but oftentimes, loss is something that can’t be evaluated in a number amount. So, we created the Wollar.”

Galvin said the group carefully considered the neighborhood in which the flag would be installed while it was being made. She said the VMA show will be an interesting challenge because the setting doesn’t capture the exploitation surrounding the neighborhood, an influential aspect in the creation of the flag.

“The piece was meant for (Rumsey Street), and it was ideated around content that is now going to be removed because it will be placed in the gallery,” Galvin said. “It’s now an experiment in transferring something to another space and how to convey what the intended project was when it’s completely taken out of its intended space.”

Lloyd’s piece, a brooch for advanced metals 2 titled “Constructing Connections,” explores meaning created by juxtaposing different “found objects.” Lloyd said while being in the show is gratification for her work, it is also the chance to showcase the work done in metals. 

“All of your hard work, all of those late nights, all of those early mornings, those 12- to 14-hour days are totally paying off,” Lloyd said. “It’s also nice to be one of the people who are representing the metals area.”

Galvin said that despite the medium, the show and the work in it strive to highlight the unity through the newly created VMA. 

“It’s a lot of work, work, work, whether it’s classes or creating work, so (the show is) for everyone to be able to share their ideas (across the VMA),” Galvin said. “It’s cool to be updated and share those ideas that wouldn’t have otherwise been distributed.”

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