Staff show their stuff

Imagine a room with a 25-foot long rainbow-colored predator drone, a beautiful wooden sailboat created with found objects and giant humanoid pieces of fruit on the walls. If this sounds like somewhere you’d like to visit, look no further than the Faculty Art Show, currently up in the Alexander Gallery in Niemeyer Center.

Kelly White, coordinator of visual arts and theater, said, “This is the first faculty show since 2007, so it has been seven years since we’ve got to showcase the variety of faculty and the mediums in which they are interested in.”

This show was curated by gallery director Kate Simmons, who teaches sculpture, three-dimensional design and color theory. It includes work from every member of the art faculty, both full time and adjunct.

Simmons described her piece, titled “Some Things That Start with ‘B’,” as, “A series of three different objects that are cast aluminum. One is a cast bark form, one is cast bread and the third one is a cast breast form, and these three objects are arranged on this handmade blanket that I made. My work right now is very influenced by rural living, domesticity and even my children.”

Charles Siegfried, who teaches drawing, two-dimensional design and art appreciation, was also happy to talk about his work. “#1” is a painting of a predator drone that spans roughly 25 feet. It’s a collaboration that Siegfried created alongside art students at South Dakota State University. Siegfried chose the subject matter because, “Drones are actually in the news all the time now concerning military applications and also the issues concerning surveillance.” He intentionally made “pastel, happy, peppy kind of color choices” for this piece, he said. Content aside, Siegfried’s work is about the joy of painting. “My work can be classified as a little bit political possibly, but the main thing is that I like the activity of making a mark,” he said.

Another eye-catching piece is an enormous wooden sailboat by digital media instructor Thomas Wasson, titled “Alchemical Object 1 (Hrava Floki).” This piece immediately came to mind for student Will Crawford when asked his opinion of the show.

“I thought it was pretty neat. I really like Thomas’ boat; that was pretty awesome seeing something that wasn’t necessarily like a painting,” said Crawford. He also likes “It’s Not You, It’s Me,” a whimsical painting of giant fruit heads by painting instructor David Anderson.

The Print asked Simmons and Siegfried why students should be interested in the Faculty Art Show.

“The students and the school need to know what their teachers are doing; that they are working artists, they’re not just instructors. We’re not just people telling you to do this assignment or that assignment,” said Siegfried.

Simmons added, “There’s a little bit of something for everybody. We have sculpture, we have painting, there’s aspects of drawing, photography, jewelry making, working with metal, ceramics … so whether you’re more three-dimensionally inclined or two-dimensionally inclined, [there are] a lot of different works and media to check out.”

The Faculty Art Show will be on display for the entirety of fall term.


Story By: Auriana Cook

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Auriana Cook