Greenhill, NC Center for Arts, is holding the exhibit, “Insistent Objects: Works by Young NC Sculptors,” from now until Nov. 6, 2016. The collection is comprised of eighteen artists all differing in age, live in North Carolina, and either teach art or have graduated from an MFA art program.
The exhibit is, in its entirety, a focus on pieces made from by hand as well as mass-produced, consumer objects and materials, ranging from items such as porcelain, to oak, to steel.
The “Insistent Objects” artists, intend to challenge the way the viewers see their sculptors, as they portray that one artistic medium, mixed with another unlikely match, can create something more breathtaking than ever thought.
The exhibit was visually stunning; as soon as I stepped into the room, my eyes bounced from piece to piece, trying to decide where to start. The first thing that was very evident to me, was the level of originality in every piece, the colors and the different mediums used, it was very energizing to walk into a room with so much contrast.
Aaron Earley’s piece, “Derelict 07,” was the first piece that caught my eye, because it is exactly what I thought it wouldn’t be. Walking towards the piece, I was sure it was some combination of wood mixed with other items; however, this was an illusion, and the piece was actually made of cast iron, steel and copper. It was beautiful. Throughout the exhibit, I found myself thinking, this art is not it seems to be, which wrung true to the entire exhibit.
A similarly shocking exhibit, was that of Mario Galluci, entitled: “Three Rocks ed.1/3,” in which viewers see three rock formations created from cut and folded archival digital prints. Pieces such as Galluci’s, really push one’s imagination to see beyond initial judgment, and take in the truth of what is in front you.
Austin Sheppard’s “In a State of Unknowing,” was a work of art that needed a second glance and maybe a third and fourth. The piece has two parts; the first was adorned with an 18th century helmet, created with charred wood and other objects. Next to that piece, was a photo of Sheppard wearing his creation in a valley; an abrupt contrast to the darkness of the headpiece, and the beauty of the rolling hills. What is so beautiful about this piece, is that the creator made a parallel between the materials he used and modern society.
“From far away, we may look tough and unbreakable, but get closer and we have our burns and our cracks,” was the bluntest and most truthful words from a piece throughout the exhibit, that may change the way one looks at art.
A piece that also commented on modern society, was Rachel K. Garceau’s “January swim,” a stunning piece made from porcelain and steel, in which umbrellas of different sizes and heights hang from the ceiling.
Garceau’s description reads: “I began to recognize how an umbrella floating in space describes the person beneath it. And further, how two umbrellas moving alongside each other one another, can offer a different image of a relationship. I observed a couple walking down the street together, and noticed their umbrellas above them — one taller the other, slightly tipped open to one another, gracefully moving along together.” This piece was about human relationships, and how umbrellas can simply represent the interactions we have with each other.
I have never been so moved by an art exhibit as I was by this one; it challenged the way I now see art, as well as the meaning behind it. The last piece I saw before leaving was a fairly simple one, but at the same time, it left the biggest mark on my heart.
It was another piece by Galluci, titled: “Box Trap,” which featured a white crate propped up by a stick, with a slab of meat underneath; awaiting whatever animal comes to retrieve it. There was something so striking and sad about the piece that I had never experienced.
The entire exhibit will wake up certain emotions in its viewers, and that is what makes it extraordinary. People go to see art to be moved, or changed or challenged, and “Insistent Objects” does all three and more. It is an experience not to miss.