Artist to explore military, Texas A&M values in interactive exhibit

 

"Respect" will run Sept. 11 – Oct. 12 at the Wright Gallery with an opening reception 4-6 p.m. opening day.

Air Force veteran and artist Jenn Hassin will explore core values instilled in Texas A&M students and U.S. military recruits through a large-scale, interactive, collaborative art installation made from hundreds of deconstructed military uniforms. The installation will run Sept. 11- Oct. 12, 2018 in the College of Architecture's Wright Gallery in Langford Architecture Center Building A.

An artist's reception is scheduled 4-6 p.m. Sept. 11, 2018 in the gallery.

Hassin’s art, which has been exhibited in museums, at the Pentagon and commissioned by private collectors, is labor-intensive and made from thousands of conceptually symbolic rolls of handmade paper. She shreds and processes newspaper, letters, military and prison uniforms, and other meaningful papers and fabrics into pulp, which is strained and formed into paper sheets. The paper is folded and rolled to become stunning large-scale art displays which are multi-layered both visually and interpretively and often confront political and social issues from the foundation of the work.

“Tactile, subtle and powerful, Hassin's work engages the senses and the emotions long after the viewer’s initial contact." said Stephen Caffey, Texas A&M art historian and architecture professor.

In preparation for the upcoming installation, titled “Respect,” which Hassin considers to be the most pivotal value shared between Aggies and the military, a material-preparing workshop was held at the College of Architecture in July. The 20 volunteers, including Texas A&M Corps of Cadets members, made quick work of cutting up dozens of donated military uniforms.

“I realized early in my career that having volunteers would be necessary,” Hassin said. “It would be impossible to do alone, and it also wouldn’t be what it is without the community.”

It was one of several workshops she will host to prepare for the exhibit. Volunteers shred the uniforms, hand-make paper with the processed fabric pulp, and roll finished paper sheets into small tubes. During their work, Hassin encourages discussion about political and social issues, such as those facing U.S. Veterans, and about how the military has affected volunteers' lives.

“I’m glad I came.” said volunteer Audrey Mays, a junior university studies – architecture major and Corps of Cadets member. “This is almost like a memorial. We’re taking a piece of the past from these military members and honoring their service.”

Senior environmental design major Allondra Rojas said she is looking forward to seeing the finished product.

“I like that I’ll be a part of this,” Rojas said. “I’ll be able to go see it installed and know I contributed.”

The interactivity of the project will continue into the exhibit where gallery visitors will be invited to contribute to the art by writing about respect on the uniform paper, then rolling and adding it to the exhibit.

Sarah Wilson

swilson@arch.tamu.edu

posted July 27, 2018