Rounds Gallery domesticates wild: Art Review

Posted by Kristin Travagline

Rounds Gallery, located in the Skidmore residential life office, brings the wilderness into a warm, welcoming atmosphere during this brisk autumn season.

The gallery's newest exhibition "Wilderness" showcases student and faculty artwork, including a winter landscape photograph taken by President Philip Glotzbach. The exhibit displays a wide range of mediums including photography, collage, sculpture, drawing and painting. The diverse textures and colors represented in the artwork fill the white hallway with playful vibrancy.

Three of Molly Leon's '14 photographs hang in the exhibit displaying a bundle of peaches bright red, prickly berries with green tips and round, white seashells with raised, circular bumps.

"Control This" by Kate Imboden '13 consists of a series of five collages that use bold geometric patterns and a progression of bright colors moving from browns in the first collage to yellows, greens, and pinks in the latter pieces. Ironically, Imboden's art seems to boldly declare the futility of trying to "control" nature.

In contrast, Devon Mattison's '14 "Assorted Drawings" illustrate the breathtaking natural order of the wilderness. Mattison's precise use of color and lines captures the essence of a field of swaying, golden wheat set against a deep blue sky.

Adam Steinberger '13 made the ceramic "Tea Tree Set:" a teapot, three cups and a plate all designed to reflect a tree trunk. The square shape of the teapot, the bark-like grooves in the clay and the reddish-brown color give the piece an organic feel.

 However, Ali Carney-Knisely's '12 steel giraffe sculpture truly exemplifies the exhibit's theme.

Tracy Hensley, the residence hall director, Karen Donovan '12 and Nurya Gilbert '11 curate the gallery. This show is Donovan's second exhibit as curator, her first being the summer show "Living Places." For this exhibit, Donovan came up with the theme "Wilderness." "I see nature as an essential part of the human world, and how we react today effects not only the future of the environment itself, but whether or not we will be able to continue to react with it. I think it is important to notice the world around us, and who better to point out the world around us than artists?" Donovan said.

The exhibit received 25 submissions. She tries to accept as many submissions as will fit in the gallery. "For the most part I don't really ‘choose' or ‘select' the art. This semester I had multiple participants submit eight to ten photos and I had to either ask them to choose the three or four they thought worked best as a series of photographs or I chose a few myself," Donovan said.

When the submission period ends Donovan arranges the exhibit herself.  "Wilderness" is open during regular residential life office hours and will be on display through January.

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