Thoughts from the UCA Art Community & Happenings at the Baum Gallery of Fine Art
I am quite partial to a lot of the work in the BA/BFA exhibition, but some of that may simply have to do with the fact that I am friends with several of the artists that are showing. I must say, I am incredibly proud of my peers. The distinctive qualities of each artist in the show is inspiring, and I really think it shows the strength of the art program.
I cannot deny that I am blown away by Mark Monroe’s installation and that I am awfully proud of him. We were in 2D Design together, and to see him transform into the artist he has become has been a treat. I think one of the best moments in the Baum Gallery thus far this academic year has been Mark’s two faculty advisors, Sandra Luckett and Holly Laws, dancing and blowing kisses into the camera, trying to get a reaction out of Mark as he watched in the small monitor in his performance. And it did—it made him smile. It was one of the most endearing things I have ever seen.
Other works I got to see as they were developing, which includes the multiple paintings assembled by Jordan Karpe. I was in Advanced Painting with Jordan last semester, so I actually got to see a lot of these wonderful little paintings as they were being created. On the last day everyone got a chance to see how Jordan was planning on hanging these works in the gallery, and I knew then it would be a hit…and it was. But of course, he surprised us all with a Rauschenberg-esque multimedia painting, which turned out to be one of my favorite works in the whole show.
I could go further, but I think you get the idea. When you are an art student and you’ve seen where most (if not all) the artists have come from, it is thrilling to see them in the BA/BFA show. It becomes personal, and you cannot help but wonder what your show will be like. Regardless, this is a show to see whether or not you are an art student. If anything, it shows the Conway community what a gem we have in the UCA art department.
Until next time.
I just got back from the Baum Gallery opening of the 2012 BA/BFA show. Mark Monroe is one of the many talented graduating class featured in this show. He has been a great friend to me and I have always looked up to him as a personal mentor whether he is aware of it or not. His collection consists of installation works, functional pieces, video features, audio features, and so much more. He has put so much work into this show.
I helped install parts of the show myself, but it was so much more exciting to see people in the space reacting to his art for the first time. The audience observed the distorted video displays and listened to the sounds of melodic music created by students of the Arkansas Deaf and Blind School. One of my friends actually began to cry when she heard the beautiful melody created by braille recordings of text message conversations between Mark and his boyfriend. The scale of the show is so inviting. Mark’s message of the social networking craze are perfectly translated in the multiple features of the show including an installation of altered pictures from his own social networks that the audience is encouraged to take home with them. It is so symbolic that these pieces of documented moments in Mark’s life are being given away to the world echoing the way they are given to the public when posted on social networks; also it feels like he is letting go of the restraints of social networking by removing himself from these photos and giving them away as if they are no longer wanted.
Works from the other artists have also impressed me tonight. Sculptures by Howard Neal were beautiful in there raw form of rusted and shattered metal. Jordan Karpe has a painting unique in its focus on composition, something that most artists do not tend to express an emphasis on.
I always feel the importance of the shows at the Baum Gallery after the first opening when everyone first begins to interact with the art.
-Cathleen Brignac, intern of the Baum Gallery