Archer Gallery, located across from the career center, features unique art from local and student artists. The exhibit currently on display, “Space Rocks”, features 2D, 3D and textile art inspired by geological themes of space and time.
The exhibit is open for public viewing until Feb. 9.
For art professor Senseney Stokes, who runs Archer Gallery, the exhibit raises questions about how we treat our environment.
“[Space Rocks] is asking the audience to reflect upon the way that we use our environment and our resources and what the ramifications of that may be,” Stokes said.
One of the themes is threats to “biological existence”.
One of the pieces, by Dylan Beck, is titled “Orygun,” which shows a flower-like structure, oozing a vibrant green and yellow goo that pools around the flower like blood.
Another piece, by Jackie Brown is titled “Mutated Growth Cluster,” that shows vibrantly colored plant overgrowth smothering the rock it clings to.
Stokes noted the underlying themes of resource extraction should raise questions on how we treat our environment here on Earth.
Stokes enjoys the textile features of the exhibit since they’re made with a variety of material. There’s a “fossil quality” to them, she said.
“There’s so many different surfaces and textures that are very intriguing and rich,” she said. “All the pieces in it seem almost like relics or something precious and mysterious… there’s real mystery to the objects.”
One of the artists, Adam Sorenson opened up about his work and the display as a whole.
The intent was to make the art seem like real objects, part of the worlds displayed on the painting on the wall.
“It’s almost like I’m providing backdrop for these pieces, these space rocks.” Sorenson explained. “It’s almost like they came down and landed here.”
Sorenson created all the paintings. These are landscapes, displaying rocky mountains, lakes and mushrooms on the wall.
What’s different are the colors aren’t earth tones like green, blue or brown, but more vibrant colors like red, bright blue and purple. Also the mushrooms are bigger, more like trees than plants.
“I think there’s a real amazing, chromatic interplay that’s going on with the colors of the pieces, and the rocks on display,” he said.
Sorenson felt that even with unique colors and mushroom trees, parts of the paintings needed to be realistic to make the art seem more real.
“They go by those laws [of nature], gravity exists and waterfalls, plants grow,” he said. “I’m in reality in that sense.”
Sorenson said that helped with complimenting and making the other art pieces in the exhibit seem more realistic, like they came out of the worlds depicted in his paintings.
“. . . What is almost like a parallel reality are these hyper, unrealistic colors, these forms that don’t really exist.”
The goal of Sorenson’s work is to help other objects in the exhibit feel real by displaying worlds they could possibly come from.
Sorenson had been asked a year earlier to contribute to the exhibit when it was being conceived. He felt relieved, since he made some of the pieces for this exhibit long before he was contacted. Now he finally had a place to display them.
“I had never exhibited them, only one other guy had seen them,” he said. “And now I get to see them here, all together, on display.”
Sorenson is glad to create art that he feels is a “feast for the eyes” and to make a connection with the viewer, through the paintings.
“That’s always been important, to have that artist and viewer connection.”