by Blanca Villalobos
Juried exhibition at the Littman & White Galleries
This January, upon entering the Littman gallery for the ‘Open’ exhibition, it is possible to admire the variety of artwork selected by John Motley, an art critic who has been published in the Oregonian, Artforum.com and Art in America to name a few. The Littman & White galleries are maintained and operated by PSU students, located on the 2nd floor of SMSU. “This has been the first time an exhibition of ours has a juror,” says Cass Ray, one of the students who helped install the art pieces.
During the opening, Motley spoke about his process in which he selected the artworks that are now located in both galleries until the 30th of January: “I wanted this exhibit to show an engagement with contemporary art trends”, he commented. The artwork that was not selected for the exhibit has been installed in Food for Thought’s gallery, a coffee shop located in the basement of Student Smith Memorial Union.
There were students who presented works of art different from their disciplines, “My background is in photography,” says Katie Yancey, a contemporary art practice student in the MFA program. Yancey won best in show with her 3-piece work composed of two photographs accompanied by a video titled ‘I’ve Never Been a Painter’; en this video we hear the voice of two women, although with a possibility of both voices belonging to the artist. These voices describe the abstract and blurred colors that are seen in the film. The audio is interesting: the woman’s voice is heard between two monologues that are saying the same things but with a difference in that one is heard with a bit of delay than the other.
To the left of Yancey’s work we see three collages by Joel Stotesbery, a young man with roots in Hesperia, California who was one of the two participants for runner up. The collages are black and white works of art that have an old and grainy characteristic whilst having defined subjects that carry an air of punk rock; imagine posters from punk and new wave bands from the 1970s. An Art Practices student, Stotesbery speaks about the diversity of art between the PSU community and the lack of communal dialogue: “I think there is a lot of diversity already, it’s just happening in secret.” Stotesbery hopes that PSU will more opened events in which students will be able to show their work, without divisions between the different sub-departments and mediums. Perhaps the art department can help others who wish to exhibit their work, so that not only art students may do so but students outside of the art department can as well. Only that way will the goal to diversify the PSU art community succeed. In addition, “There wasn’t sufficient publicity so as to know that this was an opened exhibit for the entire student body to participate in,” complained Kenia Perez-Correa, one of the many students that did not know anything about the exhibition or the galleries at PSU.
An opportunity in which you can be part of a new art movement on the PSU campus is to involve yourself with the Time Arts Club, a club with the goal of uniting people together at events that include sculpture, live music, visuals, installations, performance art and more. Their next event, titled ‘(This is) Happening #2’ shall be on Friday, February 22nd at Neuberger Hall, room # 293, from 7pm-9pm. The club also has a Facebook page, just search for ‘Time Arts Club’ and send them a friend request. I promise that this will be an experience that you will not want to miss.