New artist exhibition making “waves” with URI community

Photo courtesy of Kayla Michaud |The new installation in the Fine Arts Center utilizes both sculpture and digital art.

Digital mixed-media artist Anne Morgan Spalter was invited to the University of Rhode Island to display her exhibition entitled “Cosmic Waves” in the Fine Arts Center’s main gallery. Spalter’s exhibition is an example of what happens when you cross art with technology while incorporating landscapes, but with an other-worldly feel.

“The show is designed as an installation that brings these pieces together into a cosmos so hopefully viewers will feel as if they are entering a whole universe of worlds that are related to one another in a unifying environment [versus] just seeing stand-alone pieces hanging next to each other on a wall,” said Spalter.

Her art is entirely made up of landscapes. Spalter hopes that after viewing her artwork people will leave the gallery with a greater appreciation for modern landscapes around them, even ones that they may see everyday. Spalter was invited to display her work at URI to reflect the digital art and design program that URI offers to students.

Her Cosmic Waves exhibition is a great representation for students of “not just what is done but what can be done,” said Bob Dilworth, URI art professor.

This exhibition in particular is a great eye opener for students to realize that when it comes to creating art, the opportunities are endless. All her pieces begin with collecting original images and videos that she then adds an other-worldly or a planetary-type feel to.

“The source material begins as a view into a larger world but ends up becoming a whole world. The show is designed as an installation that brings these pieces together into a cosmos,” said Spalter.

Spalter wasn’t always a fan of digital art. As an undergraduate in the late 1980s the fairly new development of using a computer to create art didn’t appeal to Spalter.

“I have to admit I started out thinking there was something wrong with it and that art should be made by hand,” said Spalter.

Her perspective on digital art changed after graduation when she was working in New York City and had a bit of access to art software on the computer she used in her cubicle at work, when no one was looking of course.

“By the time I got to graduate school in painting I had unknowingly become a computer art addict,” said Spalter. As her interest in digital art grew so did the technology available to her at the time.

It’s been noted that students have been excited to view Spalter’s artwork displayed in her Cosmic Waves exhibition. Some of these students were inspired by the possibilities Spalter creates within each individual piece of hers. She sets an example for what they can create beyond the page.

“The possibilities are endless and I think when you see not just the images on the screen but the rug in the middle of the floor, the balls, the projection and you realize they are many different ways one can apply this process to your art,” said Dilworth.

Overall, Spalter’s Cosmic Waves exhibition has been greatly admired by members of the URI community and serves as a well reflected example of the uprise in newer art forms.

Spalter’s work is displayed permanently in country at the the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY and the Rhode Island School of Design Museum in Providence, RI. It’s also permanently displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. She also has shows in New York, Miami and Florida.

Spalter’s artwork will be displayed in the Fine Arts Center from now until Feb. 23. Viewing hours are from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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Kayla Michaud
Kayla is a sophomore Film and Journalism double major who started writing for the Cigar the beginning of her freshman year. Outside of the Cigar, Kayla works as a Speaking Center Tutor on campus and enjoys photographing events, playing the cello and the ukulele. Email: kayla_michaud@my.uri.edu Twitter: Kayla_Eileen18