Biennial art show highlights faculty talent

On Sept. 13 the Biennial Faculty Art Show opened in the main gallery of the Fine Arts Center. This unique exhibit allows students and others to get a glimpse into the artful world of the art department faculty. Normally one would see students’ works, a reflection of a student’s style, and the guidance of a professor, but with the help of Professor Robert Dilworth, these hard-working faculty members had their own work shine beneath the flattering gallery lights. When I asked Dilworth about the art gallery he was eager to answer my questions and he told me that every odd year he asks the faculty to submit their latest and prized work, with the first gallery opening in 2013. As my eyes bore into the art I could see that it was not just painting or drawing, it was digital media, printmaking, ceramics, sculptures and photography. Any and all was displayed, which is just another reason which makes this gallery so unique and special.

As I walked into the room I was excited to see every piece that I looked everything over once, and then went back to the beginning. One piece that caught my eye was 4337′ N / 70 12′ W, made of composite, graphite and ink by Jeffrey Bertwell. The depth of the drawing was mesmerizing, the landscape seeming to move and shift before me.

Another work that certainly caught both of my eyes was this three piece work, “Meditation on a Small Space,” by Lilla Samson. This large painting made of oil, oil bars, and soft and oil pastels was a wonderful collection of colors and depth, with a large rock sitting in the center. What was interesting was that it took up three canvases, all separate, yet put perfectly together to create one single image.

All of the art had a backstory, and I wish I could have known the inspiration to them all, but I did have the great privilege of asking Professor Dilworth about his featured piece. His piece, Backyard 2,  was a pleasing combination of blue and white paint, cut tracing paper and wax coated paper, maker, and emulsion on paper Triptych.

Professor Dilworth lived in Virginia and he interviewed family and friends and then asked himself, “How do I turn these voice recording and video recordings into a visual dialogue?”, so he took pieces of patterns and designs, took these things from their homes, clothings and carpet and furniture and wallpaper, and essentially created a “visual diary of who they are” tracing paper from cutouts.

Overall, this exhibit was an amazing experience to see the faculty’s hard work and the reason why they came to work in the art department at URI. One final question I asked Professor Dilworth was if there would be another Biennial Faculty Art Show, and he confirmed that 2019 would be the next show.