Winter 2015 at Wriston Art Center Galleries
The Wriston Art Center Galleries at Lawrence University, Appleton, WI feel a little bit like a cave. A bright cave, filled with curiosities, and one that nevertheless one meanders down into to discover the next cavern, each one a bit more impressive than the last. Friday 16 January marked the opening of the winter 2015 shows, featuring three distinctive exhibitions within the three interconnected Wriston gallery spaces.
The first gallery features a fantastic selection of student work from a recent symposium: "Art and Biodiversity Conservation" with a collection of work based around the study of wolves in Wisconsin. With contributions from numerous students, the work ranges from gorgeous illustrative drawings to computer-generated graphic prints.
In the second gallery room is a stunning floor installation of handpainted ceramics entitled Continental Drift by Sarah Gross. Recalling historic porcelain painting and other styles, mostly executed in blue and black glaze, the ceramic pieces spill and meander across the floor. One is constantly aware of them as the viewer has to walk through defined pathways with nothing separating them from the piece but the edges of the piece itself. I like how it inherently demands interaction; to pass through this gallery to get to the final room, one must be aware of it and therefore participate in it.
Finally, Jason Yi's numerous brightly colored works inhabit the final, most spacious of the Wriston's three galleries. One finds a wooden construction anchored to the floor with multicolored tape, chairs and a ladder towering overhead and completely wrapped in bright red plastic wrap, and a series of stunning multimedia drawings on pegboard related the artist's particular attention to ideas of construction and support. Yi deftly strikes a balance of texture, color, size, and even density. I left the room wanting to go build something, which is always a great measure of success in my book.
On until 15 March 2015, the winter show at Wriston are definitely worth a visit. The gallery is always free and open to the public. Visit lawrence.edu/s/wriston for more information.