The art professors at UAA have once more donned their critic’s caps, and the students they’ve deemed worthy are currently being showcased in the Student Union Gallery’s annual 3D Invitational.
Unlike like in Claybody earlier this semester, where professors selected student works done (at least in part) with clay and ceramics, the 3D Art Invitational is open to any student work that falls under the category of three dimensional, from pottery, to sculptures, lighting fixtures and jewelry.
“This is actually the first time that we’ve displayed jewelry here. In the past we did not have locking cases, and the jewelry department was kind of wary having little, tiny things out and available, especially pieces that are shiny and worth lots of money,” said Philip Obermarck, the Student Union Gallery Manager. “So, now we have a locking case or two, and we can show smaller and more valuable works.”
Obermarck, a senior Fine Arts major, was also chosen to show a piece in the gallery.
“This piece was originally part of an assignment in the sculpture class; the constraints were that it had to be a found object piece, meaning that you find the different things and then assemble them into a new thing, and then it was also assigned as a steampunk piece,” he said. “Some of us already had knowledge of steampunk, and others had no idea what that was.”
Steampunk, originally just a sub genre of science fiction literature that explores an alternate history in which the world is powered by steam, has branched out to include music, fashion and art. Obermarck’s piece, “Untitled Mechanism 2,” incorporates typical steampunk elements, such as brass, copper and wood, as well as a genuine steampunk aesthetic due the use of brass telescope-esque eyepieces, a bold rounded base shape and the overall appearance of an accidental invention.
“It actually had a steampunk name, but when I was putting my portfolio together for grad schools, I included this piece and I dumbed down the title,” he said. “It was originally designed as an Aetheric Observation Vessel.”
On the other side of the spectrum is the minimalistic piece by Fabiola Alcala, an arts and psychology double major in her junior year, which is made of birch wood.
“I did a lot of grinding and sanding to get the basic shape,” she said. “And, I added a doorknob in the center, and you can pull it out; it [the lid] has a little cylinder [inside].”
Minimalism in art, according to Alcala, more about presentation than other forms.
“[It is] art in its simplest form. It could just be a square, and not apply any meaning to it. It’s just beautiful because that’s what it is,” she said.
Alcala wants to put her double major to use when she graduates by incorporating art into her work as a therapist.
“There’s such a thing as art therapy, so I’m looking into that,” said Alcala. “Unfortunately, UAA doesn’t have a program for it, but I know there’s a lot of volunteering type of work here that involves art and people with disabilities. So, I think it’d be fun to do, just as volunteering.”
The 3D Invitational runs in the Student Union Art Gallery from Thursday, March 1 until Thursday, March 22. The Student Union Gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.