Wood, plastic and clay dominate student art show

Student artwork selected as the best 3-D pieces of 2006 are currently being displayed at the 3-Dimensional Student Invitational Show in the Student Union Gallery. The faculty-selected student works will be on display through April 6.

Art professors selected exceptional 3-D works that were created by students during the past year to participate in the show. In addition to the opportunity to show their work, artists also have the chance to win a $100 prize, which will be awarded to the artist whose piece is selected as the best in show by gallery visitors.

One contender for the prize, John Tucker, crafted a porcelain wall hanging he described as a macrame basket. The piece is full of texture and has an array of natural colors produced in the kiln by various metal oxides and salt.

“I usually make woven ceramics,” Tucker said. “I really like symmetric things, so I have been trying to make some asymmetrical things.”

Overall, the show conveys an organic appearance. Much of the art is ceramic, with a complement of wood and metal works mixed throughout.

Danielle Allman’s “Experiment in Color” is a large grid of copper-colored squares that seem to float effortlessly. The squares are held together by slivers of gold- and copper-colored metal fragments, which float randomly over the work.

Contrasting to the organic feel to the show are a few pieces made with the ultimate man-made material _” plastic.

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John Wilcox’s piece, “A Novice God,” includes a plastic mannequin. He calls his style “sculptural painting,” in which he combines otherwise unrelated items _” in this case, the mannequin, a handmade wax-and-wire creature, and wax, paint and salt all framed in rough wood _” to convey his message.

“This is part of my series I’m working on right now called ‘The Sadness of Eden,'” Wilcox said. “This deals with man as a god, hence the name ‘Novice God.’ We’ve reached the point where we we’ve gone outside the circle we were meant to be in.”

The gallery hosted an opening reception March 28, and visitors seemed to be pleased with the show.

“I think it’s a really clean show. It’s not cluttered. It gives a lot of breathing space,” said Kat Tomka, an art professor at UAA who nominated two of the artists.

UAA student Karla Berry liked Kyla Strid’s piece, “Shaker Shuttle.” The ceramic piece has a central pod shape with a hollow interior, sturdy legs and salt and pepper shakers extending from the center at even angles. The piece is well proportioned and glazed to a high gloss in a creamy color.

“It reminds me of a frog,” Berry said.