College of Architecture biennial faculty art show opens March 21

College of
Faculty Art

3/21 – 5/19
Stark Galleries

4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Thursday 3/21

A diverse array of artwork including interactive multimedia installations, sculptures, photographs, video, drawings and paintings created by faculty from the Texas A&M College of Architecture will be exhibited March 21 – May 19 at the J. Wayne Stark Galleries, located in the Memorial Student Center on the Texas A&M University campus.

Held on campus every other year for the last 40 years, the College of Architecture Faculty Art Biennial is returning to Stark Galleries after a three-year hiatus allowing for the recent MSC renovation.

"Those who teach students foundational skills needed for successful careers as architects, artists, designers and technical directors at movie studios will be showing their own work," said exhibit coordinator Mary Saslow, a senior lecturer in the Department of Visualization who teaches traditional and digital painting, drawing and animation.

"This year's show features images, sculptures and interactive works created at the juncture of art and technology," she said. "The work interprets worlds known and unknown, reflecting the artists' personal and historical memories."

An opening reception with featured artists will be held 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21 at Stark Galleries, located on the first floor of the Memorial Student Center. Admission is free and public parking is available at the nearby University Center Parking Garage.

Nineteen College of Architecture faculty and staff artists have contributed works to the 2013 exhibition:

  • Ergun Akleman, professor of visualization — computer scientist, digital sculptor and caricaturist — draws humorous, delightfully nerdy cartoons;
  • Dick Davison, professor of visualization, once again offers sophisticated coloristic works as big as all outdoors — visionary oil paintings based on work of the artists he loves and on the view out the back door of his studio by the Brazos River — they transform scenery into a continuum of light, shade and color;
  • Howard Eilers, associate professor of visualization, photographs important, unsung local events;
  • Philip Galanter, assistant professor of visualization, has developed an interactive multimedia machine, "ChromaVox," that responds to sampled colors with a variety of synthesized voices and chromatic light displays;
  • Weiling He, associate professor of architecture, shows videos depicting two edges of the earth’s surface: the dynamic labyrinth of fissures and chambers of underwater caves, and the vast volume of space felt while falling through clouds;
  • Rodney Hill, professor of architecture and creativity champion, designed and carved a ceremonial mace full of vivid symbolism for the Texas A&M University campus in Qatar;
  • Karen Hillier, a former member of the Department of Visualization faculty, does exacting, delicate, two-sided drawings of handkerchiefs and clothing in her work “Unforgotten, My Grandmother’s Closet,” which transforms memory into large abstractions drawn on a translucent base with the care of a quilter or engineer;
  • Felice House, an assistant lecturer in the Department of Visualization, shows painterly work from a recent series: large serious and assertive portraits painted in oils;
  • Bill Jenks, assistant head of the Department of Visualization, created an interactive sculpture providing subtle guidance for the spiritual traveler;
  • Carol LaFayette, associate professor of visualization and laconic recorder of strange truths found on and under her forty acres outside of Bryan, Texas, uses advanced technologies to explore quiet cycles of death and destruction, presenting them as video or interactive installation. Her presentation responds to the great drought of 2011, documenting her attempt to save a giant old pecan tree, watering it with five hoses and exploring holes with a 10-foot-long, custom-made portable snake camera.  “There are a lot of holes after a drought,” she said;
  • Gerald Maffei, professor emeritus of architecture, teamed with his wife, Joan Maffei, to bear witness to inhumanity, creating powerful black and white images of Iraq war victims. Quoting newsman Ted Koppel, their art, they said, is a reminder that “war is a dreadful thing… to sanitize it is a dreadful mistake;”
  • Michael O’Brien, professor of architecture, creates finger paintings of Texas landscapes on an iPad, showing in swift gesture what he sees just outside of town and across Texas;
  • Frederic Parke, professor of visualization, explores the idea of wrap-around scanned digital images as a kind of totem and the sculptural totem pole as a series of totem representations;
  • Russell Reid, senior lecturer in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, is a mural artist showing recent abstracted work;
  • Mary Ciani Saslow, senior lecturer in the Department of Visualization, digitally paints flying maps, blowing winds, and burning suns – gold and black and red – memories of suffering through droughts and storms transformed into her own symbolic visual language;
  • Robert Schiffhauer, an associate professor of visualization known for his portraiture and figure drawing and his ethical choice of subject matter, turns his attention to the Lakota Nation. Fueled by anger and regret, his colored ink drawings bring to life memories of those who were killed at Wounded Knee, confined in reservations, or whose children were taken for training in brutal schools;
  • Jinsil Hwaryoung Seo, assistant professor of visualization, works at the intersection of body, nature and technology, creating interactive work that is both beautiful to the touch and intriguing to the mind — like a lovely, sewn dress that responds to the viewer;
  • Phillip Tabb, professor of architecture, stipples Italy, creating small complex pen-and-ink drawings of aerial views high above Tuscany and the Santa Chiara Study Center in Castiglion Fiorentino, or drawn at sites around the village. Not the places themselves, nor flat photographs, the images portray a personal language of dot and line that keeps memories of moment and place alive; and
  • Glen Vigus, assistant lecturer in the Department of Visualization, used photographic techniques to transform a tree into a Rorschach test pattern.
posted March 6, 2013