Art show invites vieweres to play with classics

The artist of this show, Kenna Bates, is a photographer for The Northern Light.


Lite-Brites, classic sculptures made into wooden cutouts, and the tools used to make them displayed as jewelry are some of the pieces of artwork in Kenna Bates’ show, “Step Into an Interactive Sculpture Garden,” in the Student Union Art Gallery.

Bates, a senior in the art department, was given the opportunity to put on her own show because she won the “No Big Heads” self-portrait exhibition last December. Bates’ self-portrait was also included in the current show. It is many blocks made of paper with a different image on each side which, when put together correctly, displays her self-portrait.

Bates said she did her show as a study. Bates’ emphasis is in graphic design, but she intended the current show to illustrate what she’s learned in other media.

Paige Bordthauser, a UAA 2006 graduate with an art degree, works in the Student Union Gallery and said she’s noticed many visitors there from UAA Orientation groups.

“Other people often see the product,” Bordthauser said, “and the process often goes unnoticed or not understood, and this is showing it.”

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Bates said she based the show on the familiar tourist-trap item of a wooden display with a hole for a person to take a picture of the face with a different body. Bates encourages visitors to take pictures with the sculptures and interact with some of the artwork.

Bates said the sculptures were made as a joke about the tourist trap, especially the classic sculpture of David by Michelangelo, which has a hole in place of the fig leaf.

Most of Bates’ artwork on display show the importance of the process used to create her artwork, with the tools in a case, set up like jewelry.

Bates said, “I wanted to focus on the creation, the sketches, and the whole process of creating the show. To me, it’s more than just finishing the sculpture.”

Bates’ artwork is on display in the Student Union Art Gallery until the closing reception Thursday, Aug. 31 from 5-7 p.m.