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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Staller Art Gallery Opens 2010 Faculty Art Exhibit

To many, art exhibits are silent, lifeless and in some people’s perspective, rather mundane.  But Stony Brook University faculty artists have made it clear, it is possible to create an exhibit far from mundane, and even further from lifeless.

Sept. 15 was opening day of the Faculty Art Exhibit at the Staller gallery. Until Oct. 23, the gallery will be home to paintings, sculptures, mixed media installations and works on paper, created by 17 current and past members of the art department’s faculty and professional staff.

The gallery is truly spellbinding.  Upon entering and viewing the ingenious works of Stony Brook faculty members, it is impossible to not feel inspired.  Closest to the doors of the gallery sits Christa Erickson’s “REplay Series: Femme,” created in 2005-2006. Symbolic of the burden society places on women when it comes to looking and acting like a woman, the black heels are filled with pins and the compact mirror plays a video of a woman applying and reapplying lipstick until it looks perfect.

Upon further exploration of the room, the viewer comes across  masterpieces such as Mel Pekarsky’s  impeccably calm renderings of landscapes, Gary Schneider’s eerie photography of faces of different individuals combined (slightly disturbing, but awesome) and  Dan Richhot’s, “Gemini,” a piece created of construction adhesive and wood.

The pieces are interesting to look at, but what is more captivating is knowing that each piece has a different meaning to each person who comes upon it.  Richholt’s piece, for example, is one of the most visually interesting, and also one of the most perplexing.  Consisting of twisted strands of wood, and plenty of wood glue, Richholt created two heads on a pedestal, and wrote “Stop Beating That Dead Horse” around the perimeter of the rectangular base.  It seems this piece must have some personal significance to the artist, because to the viewer it is merely a complex sculpture with a perplexing phrase and two somber heads.  It is nice to look at, but it is also nice to know there is meaning behind it.

Of course, nothing could bring more life to an art exhibit than the one thing that is noticeably abundant in this one: video and mixed media.  Several video pieces are present in the gallery and can be watched by the public at any time. Takafumi Ide’s “Decipher” is just one of these pieces that surrounds the viewer with sound as he or she stepped inside a circular arrangement of wires, speakers, lights and short panels.

The gallery is, in essence, breathtaking.  There are works of vibrant colors and subdued tones, of bold design and understated docility. Basically, there is something for everyone, whether the viewer is a fan of art exhibits or not.  The exhibit in the gallery is unconventional and innovative, but that is not a surprise, because so is the art department that created it.  It is amazing to see what the faculty can really do and to see why it is that they have been chosen to teach people how to do the same (but differently).

The gallery is open 12 p.m.-4  p.m. from Tuesday to Friday, and 7 p.m.-9 p.m. on Saturdays.  The gallery can also be explored for one hour before and during intermission for select performances at the Staller Center, including the Emerson String Quartet performance on Thursday, Oct. 21 and the SF Jazz Collective on Saturday, Oct. 23.  Admission is free.

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