Weight and Weightless: A Pop-up Exhibition

The COVID-19 Pandemic has made some changes to our gallery schedule and we’ve missed hosting a few of our traditional exhibits. We are excited to share some new discoveries as we explore opportunities to showcase the amazing creativity of our Islanders!

Our most recent pop-up exhibition includes sculpture pieces from the foundations courses taught by Leticia Bajuyo and David Hill. Each assignment had unique requirements that lead to the pieces we saw in the show. Students in Professor Bajuyo’s course were charged with creating a sculptural solution to a skeletal structure with skin that began with the concept of wings. In the process of creating their wings, students were increasing their design and construction skills. Each pair of wings is a different sort of flight for me, the adventure is unique and reflected in the materials and shapes. When I asked the instructor about the exhibit, she replied with this message:

“Sculpture making is rarely seen beyond the doors of the 3D art studios; thus, I regularly seek opportunities for the students to display their sculptures outside of the art building. In this complicated time, it is especially important to share outwardly successes and developments to step back and see what we have created and to share with others that #covidcantstopus.  I am tremendously proud of all of the students for researching a wide range of wings, considering what type and size of wings they wanted to incorporate into their individual approach, designing wearables fit to their bodies, and working safely both on campus and online.” 

The students in Professor Hill’s class were prompted to investigate with a subtractive approach. Rather than putting materials together, these pieces were reductively carved to incorporate selected design elements into the final form. The students were exploring form, mass, and volume and created compelling pieces that draw one in. My eyes slide along the curves and curl up, under, and around. I find it hard to resist touching the pieces and feeling the shapes. Professor Hill shared the following:

“I’m proud of the students in the show and the class at large. They were ferocious and brave in their approach to this investigation. But they also proved their comprehension of creating a form whose contour asked visual questions and offered visual answers. The viewer has to walk around and look from above and below to see that conversation. Hard edges on the forms create sharp shadows. Softer edges yield transitions from light to dark. Some objects have unexpected cavernous spaces that conceal surprises. Others have projections visible from behind that viewed from a different angle, are not what they seemed to be.”

When taken in together, the contrast of the selected pieces makes each group the more powerful. I am always amazed at the skill and creativity of the student artwork we are privileged to host. This exhibit was an unexpected surprise, and we are the richer for it.