“Persistence”, “Piles”, “Death Deferred”: MOVE reporter heads to artworked Jesse
The Undergraduate Visual Art & Design Showcase features art of all mediums from MU students.
When I arrived at Jesse Hall on Monday, artwork lined the walls, and the atrium was filled with artists, instructors, friends and family members browsing displays and enjoying hors d'oeuvres. They quietly conversed and moved from piece to piece, appreciating the work of MU students.
The Undergraduate Visual Art & Design Showcase, held at Jesse Hall and running from Jan. 30 to Feb. 3, had its opening reception on Monday, Jan. 30.
The showcase includes 35 pieces of art in an array of mediums, from photography to floral design. There are also nine short videos displayed in Jesse Auditorium in the genres of fiction, non-fiction, documentary and animation. These films premiered the night of the reception and will be shown throughout the remainder of the showcase.
During my time at the showcase, I was also able to browse through some of the art on display myself and have some conversations with three different artists whose work stood out to me.
Kailey Brooks, a sophomore plant science major, was the first artist I talked to. Her unique floral design piece, “Persistence,” lays just before the southern entrance of Jesse Hall. At first glance, I saw a figure lounging, looking up as if into the trees of a forest or clouds passing by. However, I found I was wrong in my initial observation.
“The neutral tones of the bark and of the plant and floral material inside her that gives a calm, reserved feeling when the eye first looks upon her,” the description plaque, written by Brooks, for the piece reads. “Persistence has been badly injured, but yet, continues to hold on to hope in her last moments.”
The exterior of Persistence was created entirely of natural materials. Bark, moss, leaves and flowers comprise her exterior while a wire frame molded the whole into the shape of a human being. Brooks said it took her more than thirty hours to make.
Due to her natural qualities, like the living flowers leaves that decorate her body, “Over the course of the Showcase, each person will see Persistence differently as her body slowly begins to change and deteriorate away,” according to the piece’s description.
The second piece that stood out to me was a series of prints by Edward Henuber, a senior art major. His medium is printmaking, specifically printmaking in the intaglio process. This entails etching designs into a metal or treated paper, filling these etches with ink and then pressing this etched template onto paper to create a print.
His work, titled “Piles,” was a series of intricate and hectic designs of industry and other figures of implied significance layered upon one another to create a mass of chaotic entropy. These designs and figures filled the entire page of two of his pieces, leaving me in wonder at the amount of time and persistence it must have taken to etch something this articulate and complex.
When I spoke with Henuber, he said his piece represented an “expression of chaos.”
“[In my piece], disparate functions of infrastructure come together to make the world a better place,” Henuber said.
The third was a film by junior film studies major Nathan Wright titled “Death Deferred.” The film featured the thoughts of a young man as he wanders through a surreal world, entranced by grandiose introspection. The camera work and visual effects were captivating, pulling me along through the intensity of his realizations with quick, vivid shots of his surroundings leading to a powerful climax.
The film also features original music that plays behind the tumultuous journey through his mind, adding to the intensity and movement of the story. I was able to speak with Wright after the screening, and he identified his film as an experimental documentary. Instead of being a documentary about the actions of people, it instead documents the way someone thinks — either about themselves, their surroundings, others or even existence. It’s definitely a film you won’t want to miss.
The showcase continues through the rest of this week, ending Friday with a keynote address by Sarah Leen, director of photography for National Geographic. Viewing of the artwork runs the rest of the week from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., when they will also be screening films in Jesse Auditorium.
Edited by Katherine White | email@example.com