Gallery Write-Ups

One 2 One

Everyday when I would pass by the Llewellyn Gallery at Alfred State, I would hear a little game beep or jingle and people chuckle gleefully. The One 2 One gallery by Joe McKay was brought to life thanks to five unique works of art; the Cellphone Telegraph, Falling From Segway 1, Streetview Images, Tablet Tumbler and a game titled Two Mice. Students lingered in the room, excited to play with the exhibit. Everything was hands on and inventive. Even I used the space as an escape from classwork and stress. The interactive game Two Mice had me and my friends playing together, striving to reach the high score. Joe McKay created an environment people could escape into. His Tablet Tumbler brought alive the childish joy of rolling around a toy and listening to it congratulate you with a little noise. McKay designed his gallery to be something people could experience, not just see. He wanted his art to involve others, like he had done in galleries before. One of his works, Cellphone Telegraph, was two flip phones, with the wires haphazardly strung between them, on either end of the gallery. When one person interacted with a button at one side the phone on the other side would flip open, allowing people to communicate from opposite sides. That kind of innovation allows him to bring life back to dying pieces of electronics while still keeping his art engaging and fun. McKay’s art is reminiscent of Surrealism in the way he sought to use old technology in new ways, while often countering their real purpose. Tablet Tumbler reworked expensive tablets in to motion counters that would chime when rolled a full 360 degrees. A tablet is programmed a certain way to do a certain job, however McKay and his associates reworked it to something new. He also found himself influenced by fellow artist Perry Hoberman and his comedic artworks and Canadian animal lovers Fast Wurms and their collaborative works with their cats. The beautiful, fun gallery was welcomed at the college on February 25, 2016 and remained until March 17th.

Alfred University BFA Exhibit

The Senior Art Exhibit at Alfred University was an interesting amalgamation of talents. From performance pieces and videos to pottery and photography. Every room had something different. “Residue, Masonite” by Sarah Ambrose (2016) was a brain teasing art piece with letter hovering in off a wall in a seemingly chaotic composition, making reading the words exceedingly challenging. I couldn’t help but linger on the piece, trying in vain to decipher it. I also found myself having trouble figuring out what it would be considered. Its not an abstraction or simplification. It almost seemed surreal in concept. All those pieces together had me lingering on the work for several moments. “Disfigured Esteem” by Caroline Zimmerli (2016) was a ceramic sculpture made to look like twisting wood. The first thing that resonated with me about this work was the title, disfigured esteem calls to my mind a feeling of not having high esteem and feeling twisted and confused. The piece is clearly an abstraction of feelings and thoughts. The empty space gives the illusion of depth. Finally, “Object Language” was a set of colorful wooden sculptures fixed to the wall. Parts jetted out while others were hollow as if the pieces were meant to fit together. The minimalistic style helped to keep the work simple and enjoyable for all ages. All together, the Alfred University Senior exhibit was a unique and thought provoking experience.

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