Fine Arts department featured at Owens

Gallery highlights faculty talent.

“13 Artists: The Fine Arts Department Exhibition,” currently on display in the Owens Gallery, shows a wide variety of moods and techniques, appealing to viewers with many different tastes. The exhibition features the artistic talents of Mount Allison faculty in a diverse array of media.

Untitled (last year’s storm), by Chris Down, is one of the first works that visitors will see in the main floor portion of the Owens Art Gallery. The piece, made with acrylic and latex, shows a partially covered missing person sign. The facial features on the sign aren’t particularly distinguishable; it appears to be posted on a tree or telephone pole, and the bottom half of the sign is concealed by what looks like foliage. The piece is made up of greys and blues, giving it a dreary appearance.

The piece seems to represent the passage of time and, perhaps, the neglect of this missing person case by the general public. There is a significant mass of leaves surrounding the sign, indicating that it may have built up over time and with nobody cleaning up the area. The “last year’s storm” portion of the title also seems to indicate this passage of time.

Right next to Down’s piece lies Leah Garnett’s We walked through windows and basements into the trees, a three-dimensional, mixed-media piece. Florescent pink tape wrapping around wooden posts, strings hanging from ceilings and walls, stacks of plywood hung up on one wall, and a drawing of what seems to be different rooms in a building all come together in a single piece.

In a way, Garnett’s piece is physically interactive; the strings and the tape guide viewers through the space. Starting near one wooden post, the viewer is encouraged to walk over to the second post, then through an open space to see the drawing on the wall, and finally to the adjacent wall where the plywood is stacked. The piece does what the title suggests: it walks the viewer through objects that represent the windows, basements, and trees.

Upstairs in the main exhibition area, Dan Steeves’ work is on display, which includes a large overarching story, a piece made of etching on paper. As the title suggests, there are different story elements happening in the piece: a performing orchestra, a lone observer watching from the side, and the unclear silhouettes of a few people far in the background.

There are three clear story elements, and yet they are not equally defined. The stories range in clarity and emphasis; the viewer’s eye is instantly drawn to the orchestra, but may not notice the silhouettes in the background until a few minutes later. In some way, these are meant to come together and interact, and perhaps their relevance in the piece is relative to their relevance in the overarching story. Either way, the piece is interesting in that it invites viewers to look closely and find the meaning of these elements.

The exhibition will be on display on the main floor and second floor of the Owens Art Gallery until Nov. 16.


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