UTM Department of Visual and Theatre Arts faculty members came together to open their annual exhibit on Monday, March 15, in the Fine Arts Building gallery.
Titled “Clue,” the exhibit includes the works of Sarah Haig, Graphic Design assistant professor; Carol Eckert, Art Historian and Art Education professor; Grace Eckert, Art Gallery Coordinator; David McBeth, 3-D Art Studio professor; Diane Shaw; 2-D Art Studio and Art Education professor; and Jason Stout, associate professor of Art Foundations and 2-D Art Studio.
“I think it’s important that the faculty exhibit their work and the students see the work,” said Douglas Cook, Chair of the Department of Visual and Theatre Arts. “Their instructors are not just teachers, they are artists as well.”
The show theme revolves around a UTM “Clue” game designed by Haig in what began as a joke. One day she said to her co-workers, “It would be really funny if we were a board game.”
She was also inspired by her Interactive Multi-Media class this semester.
“I thought, ‘Hey, I can make an interactive piece that doesn’t involve people being on their phones or using technology,’” said Haig.
Though modeled after the original game, every aspect of game revolves around the art department. Characters are art professors, weapons are items that could be found in the studios and the locations are rooms in the Fine Arts Building. Haig also made the box and playing pieces.
Forty-one works of different mediums are featured. Shaw and Stout presented oil on canvas paintings, McBeth made ceramic tea sets and bowls and the Eckhert sisters constructed bamboo structures.
The autobiographical installation is titled, “Two Steps.” Made with bamboo, each piece represents a year of the womens’ lives and come together to form significant events. There are a total of 18 structures with a story behind each.
For example, one structure made by Carol represents her time making her book. Another structure made by Grace, who is a fabric artist, is wrapped in rainbow colored thread to represent the year her daughter was born.
“We wanted to do an installation to encourage the students to think outside the box in their own exhibits,” said Carol.
Shaw’s submissions, “Nightfall,” “Evening Mist,” “Daybreak,” “Cumulus” and “Horizon” feature nature scenes while Stout’s six paintings take on a political nature.
His paintings are a colorful compilation of images like a boot, fist, flag and so on in what looks like a cloud.
“The pieces that I have in the show deal with visual metaphors that are based on conflict,” said Stout. “I wanted to make an image or picture that dealt with conflict but I didn’t want to specifically tied to one character that you could see… All of those things work to symbolically talk about specific things but only to touch on them and not dive too deep into them.”
Additionally, next year professors will take their exhibit on the road to display at Southern Missouri University as part of a reciprocal agreement between colleges.
“I invite the students to come on over and take a look and certainly there’s lots here to look at,” said Cook,
The exhibit will be up from March 15 to March 27. The gallery is open Tuesdays from 5-7 p.m., Wednesdays from 1-7 p.m., Thursdays-Saturdays from 4-8 p.m. and Sundays from 1-5 p.m.