The current show at the Hugh McPeck Art Gallery in the Student Union is a frenzy of creativity with a wide range of artists and styles.
“Hickory Cartoon Show” features over 35 students and professional artists who collectively contributed over 50 pieces with an animation or cartoon aesthetic.
The work ranges from 2-D animation and sculpture to water color and screen printing.
“It’s very eclectic,” art student and show organizer Milo Stickle-Frizzell said. Stickle-Frizzell is a former employee of The Northern Light. “My intent was to get as wide a range of mediums and styles as possible.”
Stickle-Frizzell is a member of the Hickory for Animation and Cartooning club, which focuses on aspects of art not covered by UAA’s art department, like political cartoons and animation.
Selene Still, a member of the club, submitted a video breakdown showing a side by side comparison of her work process next to her final product of a fully animated raven.
“Cartooning is very diverse in itself, because it’s going across genres, going across types,” Still said. “Cartooning can also mean animation, it can also mean comic cartoons, it can also mean just the characterization of something or the or the simplification of something, so you have that liberty to deal with that one word.”
The exhibit has the spirit of an underground art show and gave some aspiring creators, who have never had their work displayed, the chance to show their pieces in a public setting.
Art major Levi Werner submitted a piece called “City Life,” a free-standing clay sculpture resembling a grey coral-looking city standing on spindly, root-like legs with what appears to be collections of blue fungus growing from their upper halves.
While Werner’s art has been displayed in other shows, he said getting work seen publicly for the first time can be stressful for artists. They tend to blow things out of proportion and worry about what preconceived ideas a viewer might have about their work. He thinks this show was a good way for new artists to get over that hump.
“I think it’s a really positive thing for introducing people to the gallery type of environment, and it just helps boost people’s confidence,” Werner said.
Sarah Haley of Student Life and Leadership said the show is bigger than what’s normally at the Hugh McPeck gallery and more cohesive than other multi-artist exhibits she’s seen at UAA.
“I think this is work that artists have truly put themselves into,” Haley said.
Stickle-Frizzell hopes the show will inspire other artists and students to take the plunge and try something like this for themselves.
“I think that this is sort of a good opportunity to show students that you can make a big community art show like this, because they teach you how to make art at UAA, but they don’t teach you the other half, which is really the business side and the entrepreneurial side of art,” Stickle-Frizzell said.
There are already plans for a similar show next year, which Stickle-Frizzell said will be even bigger.
“Hickory Cartoon Show” will be on display from now until Friday, Oct. 6, concluding with a First Friday reception and artist chat from 5 – 7 p.m.