Art faculty paint layers of meaning in exhibited works

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By Megan Robinson
The Carolinian

Students visiting the C. R. Harley Art Gallery will find a collection of wholly unique, captivating, and thought-inducing pieces of art.

The effort and skill of the artists can be clearly identified, but the inspiration for those artworks might not be so apparent.

The art faculty exhibition will be on display until Dec. 1.

Jane Nodine poured her soul into three pieces displayed in the gallery – a painting, a print on paper, and a conceptual necklace. Nodine is an art professor, Assistant Chair of Fine Arts and Communication Studies, and Director of the University Art Galleries.

A look at the video playing during the artist reception Nov. 9 showed Nodine’s process. She melted bees wax and resin to use them as paint, a process called “encaustic painting”.

Nature is her inspiration. “I walk and I do a lot in nature just to kind of gather ideas,” Nodine said. “So I’m looking for colors, and textures, and ways to develop patterns that might be inspired by nature.”

Also featured in the gallery are three collaborative pieces by Mary Cooke, Drawing II instructor at Upstate. Cooke’s collaborators were given art kits with materials selected by the artist, accompanied by open-ended instructions. When the collaborators had finished their creations, Cooke took pictures of each one and collaged parts of them onto drawings.

Nodine’s final product depicted three small, interesting creatures that communicated a much larger message. Cooke’s inspiration was human’s impact on the environment.

“I was really inspired by Victorian Naturalist Drawing. My direction was also inspired by ideas put forth by the geologic chronological term ‘Anthropocene’”, Cooke said. “This term describes an epoch that begins when human activities have had a significant global impact of Earth’s ecosystems.”

Adjunct art professor and Gallery coordinator, Mark Flowers is featuring two pieces in the exhibit entitled “Blurring the Lines” and “Leaving Denver”. His “Blurring the Lines” depicts two people separated by panels of blurred lines.

Flower named labels in society as his creative inspiration.

“I heard this title on the radio when referring to the recent news,” Flowers said “I tried to capture the feel of that sense of uneasiness.”

Students can get to know their professors through their art. The exhibition offers a glimpse into their personal lives and passions. Even deeper than that, within that beautiful art, they can see fundamental truths about today’s world.

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