By Lauren Robinson, Opinions Editor
Imagine holding something that you can feel. Something that takes you back to your grandfather’s workshop: A motor; a propeller; a wrench; a screwdriver; a piece of carved wood that your hands seem to disappear within. These objects allow you to engage your brain and hands when looking at the artwork.
The Campus Gate Art Gallery will exhibit various sculptures from artist, Tom Haney. The sculptures are pieces featured from his collection, Foundation to Fruition. Haney incorporates different tangible objects that give the artwork a kinesthetic feeling, allowing the viewer to touch and interact with the artwork.
Tom Haney has been showcasing his artwork full-time since 2000. As a well-qualified artist, he has experience in the commercial and film businesses respectively. He has worked on numerous movie sets creating props for movies as well as commercials that air on television and in theaters.
The collection features some mechanical pieces as well as some static pieces. A few of his older pieces have a Southern influence that is reflected throughout the pieces. Time and effort is no stranger to Haney; as it can take up to a week to complete one particular piece.
As a child, Haney was very inquisitive and quite fond of disassembling things and then assembling them. He has a knack for creating things that remind his viewer of old traditions and memories. Haney uses old tools to bring a nostalgic presence to the artwork and the viewer and an excellent way of incorporating a fresh twist in everything that his hands create.
If you are looking to experience something new and something old all at once, make time to visit the Campus Gate Art Gallery. It can be a time of exploration, or for some a time to re-familiarize themselves with things that have been a long-lost pastime. Foundation to Fruition will be on display starting March 3rd until April 1st.
By Brittney Bennett, Staff Writer
Arriving 10 minutes early to the opening of the Campus Gate Art Gallery’s new exhibition “Integrate,” I was nervous about being vis-à-vis with the artists and their work. Though greeted initially, I was left to meander at my own pace, trying to take in each piece to grasp what each artist was trying to convey.
I started with Darius Hill’s collection of mixed media pieces, which focused on his racial identification as an African American male. There were digital pictures of young men sporting the once fashionable “afro,” along with print images of hair picks, among other painted figures and shapes. As I continued around his portion of the exhibit, I kept noticing the hair picks and how he, in the first set of paintings, had the traditional rigid lines of an ordinary hair pick; but as he added new pieces to the collection, the hair picks now had multiple colors and resembled humanistic figures.
Once the majority of the visitors had arrived, Hill gave the opening speech and told of how his inspiration evolved into the individual pieces. However, I felt he was far too ambiguous with his inept ramblings, which never truly answered the question of what his art meant to him as an artist and his reason for such creations.
I did enjoy his artwork, especially when titles such as “The Jim Crow” series force those who are viewing the work to try and empathize what the artist was feeling while creating the art. I was merely disappointed in his anticlimactic opening. I was expecting nothing less of exuberance and passion for what he was expressing; but alas, he was reserved and soft-spoken.
On the other hand, his wife, Bethanne Hill, seemed to enrapture listeners with her body language and overall passion while speaking of her half of the exhibit.
I enjoyed her portion of the exhibit just as well; especially how she incorporated modern painting technique with an Aboriginal influence in the sense of coloration and dramatic outlines of the figures. Seeing the decorative and tribal designs of the CDs made me want to play the folk music recorded on them, in order to get the full experience of what had inspired her to make such interesting works of art.
Overall the “Integrate” exhibition by Darius and Bethanne Hill is truly remarkable, especially with all of the rural and social themes scattered throughout. The impending chill of November makes this a great stop for contemplation and inspiration.