3-D student invitational brings out colorful mysticism

The Student Union was a buzz April 1 as the university settled back into the swing of things. As part of the festivities, the art gallery opened its doors to the First Friday art walk with a reception and invited viewers into the 3-Dimensional Student Invitational. The collection of 27 sculptures posted on walls and placed on pedestals created a bright banquet of color and texture. Earthen pieces intermixed with vibrant glazes create a modern collection with both practical uses and visual interest. The viewer is first drawn into the gallery by a curvy modern glass sculpture with fluorescent green, pink and yellow hanging in the middle, a piece by John Prentice.

The use of textures is predominant in this collection. Natalie Osip’s sculpture contrasts a smooth hallowed ball placed inside shriveled, petal-like appendages. The title, “Reliquary Ceramics,” helps to better understand the sculpture. “Reliquary” means a container or shrine where relics, for example, the remains of a saint, are kept. The hallowed ball contains an interesting contrast of textures as well. The outside is smooth and shiny and is covered in an even deep brown glaze. Inside, however, is a soup of glaze and ridges.

A sculpture that stands out for its island colors is Lisa Crowley’s glazed “Vessel #2.” This jug has a tropical theme with designs of color inside thick black lines against a background of milky white. Gazing from behind patches of color is a mystical black creature with a peering eye. This interesting addition brings a comical and relaxed look to the design. The inside of the jug is a rich reddish-brown.

Micha Sanders contributed two sets of oil and vinegar canters sculpted from clay. They have a modern and earthy look. Making up the lower part are three cylinders stacked on top of each other. The cylindrical look is finished off with a long tube-like spout. Adding to the earthen character are gentle colors. One set is painted in a robin’s egg blue that allows the clay to show through giving it an antiquated look. The other set is painted in an off-white glaze and speckled with gray giving it a rock-like texture.

Other mediums also contribute to the show such as Caroline Carnicelli’s “Series in Black I” bronze sculpture nicely set against stained walnut wood. The sculpture of a man’s back pays special attention to muscles that are both shiny and tarnished, making it look rustic.

Some interesting pieces in this gallery include an interactive sculpture of a luminescent pea green cube that invites the viewer to look into a peephole and press a button for light. A touch of absurdist humor or perhaps social critique can be found in Enzina Marrari’s “\Bell”Jar’\” puppet sculpture. Within the glass bell jar, a wooden puppet hung with red strings sits upon a velvet armchair. The puppet can be controlled from outside the bell jar. Each piece in this colorful collection was done by senior level UAA art students.

The 3-Dimensional gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The exhibit will be open until April 7.