On the first floor of Adams Hall, exhibits leap from the walls of the Wolford Gallery to greet passerby. Paintings with vibrant colors, as well as black on white, photographs and sculptures are a few of the art forms that fill the gallery. Although they vary in medium, style, genre and a breadth of other areas, they all share one attribute: dimension.
The 12x12x12 Art Exhibit has run at Wheaton since Oct. 1, and is entering its final week of exhibition. It is a conjoined product of faculty and students inspired in different ways. Exhibits even include time-based artwork, which in accordance with the nature of the exhibit, runs for 12 seconds.
One of the artists, instructor of art Leah Samuelson, discussed her inspiration for participating in the exhibit bound together by a unique theme.
“The image references the annunciation and the advent of a very holy baby. I … mean to challenge, specifically, our biological notion of building family and ‘kingdom’; Jesus is personally adept at building both, but not through marriage and kids. I’m attracted to this element of the Christmas story because I don’t have any children. I’m provoked that a positive sign for Mary, the Mother of God, is followed in the narrative by her son’s negative sign — no offspring to speak of. I feel there’s room in the story for me to connect somewhere in between,” she said.
She also commented on the unique presentation, representing the contemplation that goes into selecting a medium for artwork.
“I am influenced by our art historian, Dr. Matthew Milliner’s scholarly emphasis on Byzantine images. They are enveloped in gold, a device that simultaneously attracts viewers, and because of its brilliance, pushes them back. Its complete lack of visually deceptive deep space commonly achieved through linear perspective draws attention instead to the surface of the piece, lest viewers be drawn in and led to a perceptually alternative space. The potential presented by a shiny, flat piece is an experiential paradox of awareness of the viewer’s own body or posture and access to an inarticulate mystery of that which is artistically depicted,” she explained.
Although Samuelson’s work represented the 2D art category, the artists who join her depict everything from disfigured faces and abstract shapes to videos and textured pieces. The gallery is open each weekday between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., a reminder of how many different voices can be expressed within just one set of measurements.