Art and Design students organize art exhibition at WSU Shift Space
A Wichita State Art and Design course assignment allows students to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to the real world.
Graduate, undergraduate and former students in the Professional Practices for the Studio Arts course, taught by School of Art and Design associate professor Robert Bupb, planned and executed a regional art exhibition at the WSU Shift Space gallery called “Dissociative: Pushing Against the Norm.” The exhibition features work by master’s candidates from an 11-state region. It opened Wednesday, Oct. 30, and will conclude on Saturday, Nov. 30, with a reception Friday, Nov. 29.
WSU students were in charge of marketing, art installation and planning of the exhibition and reception. The theme of the show was selected by the class.
Master of Fine Arts student Heather Bal’s role included installation and setup of the space, as well as working with the artists to make sure they had all the information they needed for the show. For Bal, the experience solidified how much she enjoys what she is doing and reinforced what she wants to do with her degree. After graduating, Bal will look for gallery job opportunities, she said.
Pushing against the norm
This exhibition challenged regional MFA students to create pieces that represent how they are pushing against reality and norms as an artist.
“You want a theme that an audience can relate to,” Bupb said. “I mean, who isn’t pushing against the norm in some way or hasn’t at some time?”
The theme’s intention allowed artists to push beyond the expectations of the media or genre and what it is supposed to do, said Trisha Coates, MFA student, who was in charge of installation, as well as working with the artists.
Jodi Throckmorton, Ulrich Museum of Art curator, served as the exhibition’s juror. From more than 100 entries, Throckmorton selected the 13 pieces displayed, as well as the winner of the Juror’s Selection, which includes a $400 cash award. Technical ability and the artists’ interpretation of the theme were among the criteria used for the selections.
“The work chosen for the exhibition ranges from creepy to beautiful, figurative to abstract, serious to funny. The wide range of work and choices of subject matter reflect the plurality of the received applications for the exhibition and, more widely, the state of contemporary art,” Throckmorton said in her juror’s statement.
Throckmorton and Bupb encourage all audiences to visit the exhibition to get what they can out of the artists’ work and interpretation of the exhibition’s theme.
For those not familiar with contemporary art, Throckmorton said, an exhibition should be approachable, yet challenging, allowing each audience to think about itself, the world and contemporary issues through the artists and their work.
The exhibition breathes nicely in the WSU Shift Space. You are able to enjoy each piece individually, as well as the show as a whole, said Tony Marshall, MFA student who ran marketing and advertisement for the exhibition.
Stop by the WSU Shift Space gallery, 416 S. Commerce St., Suite 102, through Nov. 30 to view all the pieces featured in the exhibition. The exhibition is free to the public, and the gallery is opened Wednesday through Saturday, 1-4 p.m. and Friday, 5-9 p.m.