Art faculty exhibition to showcase professors’ artistic talent

Center Art Gallery pieces currently on display. Photo by Kellee Dragt
Center Art Gallery pieces currently on display. Photo by Kellee Dragt

The biennial Faculty Art Exhibition will take place once again on Oct. 18 from 7 to 9 p.m. This event is especially significant this year with the inauguration of President Michael Le Roy. There will be a reception held at the Center Art Gallery where people can meet the artists, ask questions, eat food and enjoy the art featured. Students are encouraged to attend and it is a free event.

Professor Anna Greidanus is one of the faculty members with several pieces on display. Her pieces include various ceramic bowls done in several different styles. Greidanus also has a very different piece on display called “Fragile Ecology: Fragments –Interactive Installation.” This piece consists of assorted pigeon bones in plastic bags suspended in the air.

“Within a healthy ecosystem with organisms, people can be robust but there’s still this amazing fragility that we all have. It sort of points to this idea that we really live by grace,” Greidanus said about her piece.

Michael Rodriguez is a recent Calvin grad. He was working for an architectural firm that was refinishing the domes on Saint Albert’s Basilica when he found a stash of pigeon skeletons that were well preserved. Rodriguez helped Greidanus retrieve them for her piece.

“Birds are amazing,” Greidanus said. “They really represent fragility and they are incredibly robust in a healthy ecosystem.

“Bird bones are really hard to find because they decompose quickly. They are all filled with air. As a result, people perceive bird bones to be much more fragile than other bones so it just adds to that metaphor of fragility,” Greidanus said in response to the amazing find of so many well-preserved pigeon bones. It also explains why she choose to use bird bones and not a different animal.

Underneath the bird bones are pinched porcelain bowls on top of sand with a bowl in the middle containing miscellaneous pieces as part of the participant exchange.

The participant exchange is where a person can come in and leave something that is personal to them. The object must be smaller than one of the pinch bowls on display and must represent a life-changing event.  The participant will not receive that object back but is able to take a pinch bowl home with them as a reminder of the piece.

Professor Frank Speyers also has multiple pieces on display. Speyers pieces are called plein air paintings or painting in the open air. The majority of his artwork is done on sight and in his studio with sketches or photographs.

“Old Friends” is one of Speyers paintings that is on display. The painting depicts Professor George Harper and Calvin’s past president, President Emeritus William Spoelhof. The scene is of the two men sitting together talking with a black backdrop.

“They are looking at the watch and it could be anything. I have no idea what they are saying. You could make any story up with it,” Speyers said.

Speyers’ other art pieces include stills from a town called Omena. Omena is a very small town in northern Michigan. The three-piece collection features the post office that was built in 1888.

“Omena is another word for ‘is that so.’” Speyers stated.

The reception will also be hosting the 90 years collection. This collection features pieces from Calvin’s personal art collection. The art exhibit is celebrating its 90th year of collecting art. Each piece of art chosen comes from a decade from 1922 to 2012.

Students are encouraged to come and visit the art gallery at any time and not just for the gallery occasion. The hours are Monday-Tuesday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday-Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

About the Author

Kellee Dragt

Kellee Dragt is a Chimes staff writer for the 2013-14 school year.

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