Professors of Art Department curate a multi-meaning experience

"Sculpture3: Material Method Meaning" is on display now at the University Gallery in the Student Center.

Professors of sculpture, furniture design and 3D design, John DeHoog, Brian Nelson and Jason Ferguson of Eastern Michigan University’s Art Department, have come together to co-curate a three-dimensional sculpture show in the University Gallery located in the Student Center.

The exhibit, “Sculpture3: Material + Method + Meaning,” came into place with the renovation of EMU’s Art Department sculpture building, which includes a brand new section and new equipment.

“It’s a good opportunity to get people interested in sculpture through the show and to promote the new sculpture facility and to get students involved,” said Ferguson.

The exhibit showcases national artists with contemporary sculptures made of a variety of materials such as fiberglass, metal, wood and even baking flour.

“It’s interesting,” said Yuri Lawrence, a junior Fine Arts major at EMU. “There are nice pieces.”

Some notable artwork selections would include David Meyer’s “Scrutinizing the Clouds.” Made of synthetic fabric, the artwork resembles clouds and is hung in front of a blue painted wall.

Once a graduate student under him, Ferguson described Meyer’s artistic philosophy.

“He is interested in the way we experience the world through our own eyes and the tactile senses. He kind of blurs those lines in his work by making things that are obvious look a little obscure. There is imagery in the piece, but he will never tell you what it is. So everyone is going to experience it in a different way,” said Ferguson.

Melissa Vandenberg’s “Sew to Speak”includes a sewing machine, fabric and power cords. A direct historical context through her grandmother, the sewing machines are tied together and require a dual operation where it can be performed either by one person who switches between the two machines or two people where one person works on the bottom and the other on top.

“Her work, in this piece, is like a combination of objects and performance,” said Gallery Director, Gregory Tom.

Another piece on display is Melissa Vandenberg’s Sink or Swim: Family Style,”which includes U.S. flags, wood and a life vest.

“Students can look at the ‘Sink or Swim’piece and get multiple meanings and can take away multiple things,” said Nelson.

It is important to note to visitors that some of the objects on display are delicate and it is important to remain cautious of the art pieces being shown.

“The show pushes people to expand their boundaries of what they think art is and what sculpture is and maybe don’t think it can be made of baking flour and shapes stenciled on the floor or maybe they don’t think that furniture can be sculpture,” DeHoog said. “It gets students to rethink what art is, what sculpture is.”

There will be an opening reception on Wednesday, Sept. 23 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The exhibit will be on display until Oct. 15, and students can earn Learning Beyond the Classroom credit by attending.

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