Each November, the art faculty at William Woods University get the chance to show off their talents during the Faculty Art Show in the Mildred Cox Gallery in the Gladys Woods Kemper Center for the Arts. This year, the show runs Nov. 7 to Dec. 9, with an opening reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 10.
Faculty members Jane Mudd, Terry Martin, Bob Elliott, Nicole Petrescu, Valerie Wedel and Jennifer Wiggs will put together a display of paintings, graphic design, mixed media, installation and ceramics.
Explaining why he thinks it is important for faculty to display their work for students to see, Martin said, “Teaching is about role modeling and showing students the style and content that inspires us to create one’s art. Also, it is advantageous to have the original art for purposes of explaining the use of one’s choice of art tools and materials.”
“When We Tread Lightly,” an installation by Wedel, adjunct professor of art, will be the major focal point of the show, taking up the entire center of the gallery.
A temporary art installation, it is composed of 1,000 hand-thrown clay pods that appear to grow out of a red earth floor. Pathways in the dirt allow for visitor movement within the space. Hundreds of voile fabric forms hang from the ceiling, just above visitors’ heads.
“While the space is accessible, people must be very mindful while walking so as not to step on any pods,” Wedel said. “Once fully inside the piece, visitors sense being enveloped by the clouds above and pods and dirt below.”
She encourages visitors “to consider their own sense of discomfort while in the space,” and added, “Engaging with the piece requires careful and slow movements, and during the time spent in the space, people can directly appreciate that their actions have consequences.”
According to Wedel, tangible materials and limited bodily movements encourage viewers to observe their relationships to the material world, to themselves and to others.
“The visitors become participants as caretakers of the space,” she explained. “These collaborative opportunities allow participants to step outside their normal behavior patterns to embrace a graceful way of interacting with their world, as well as with their inner selves.”
Admission to the Cox Gallery is free. It is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
At top: “Gulf Shores” by Terry Martin