Artist hopes students are ‘Touched’ by the exhibit

Photo by Autumn Walter | CIGAR | Hallway exhibit “Touched” was created by Michael Yefko.

Anyone who has a passion for art can now go view “Touched: Drawing Views” by Michael Yefko. It is currently being showcased in the Corridor Gallery inside the University of Rhode Island Fine Arts Center. Throughout the years, the University has showcased different exhibits from a plethora of artists, whether it be a professor who teaches here at URI or an artist off campus. For the first few weeks of February, URI will be showcasing Yefko’s art.

Yefko is a part-time faculty member in the Fine Arts and Art History Department. After creating the beautiful pieces of art in “Touched: Drawing Views,” he was given the opportunity to showcase them in one of the galleries on campus. After sitting down and having a conversation with Yefko, it was evident that he really puts his heart and soul into his pieces of art and they are certainly deserving of an audience.  

Now, when one first approaches this gallery they may have different interpretations of the drawings, but that is exactly the point of these pieces of art. It became apparent that what Yefko really wanted was to not have one clear message, but rather have the audience create their own interpretations.

“They are, for me, incredibly abstract because I’m interested in mark making and how a mark can be read as a metaphor by the viewer,” Yefko said.

When viewing these drawings, he wanted everyone to see the emotion and work he put behind it. However, the interpretation everyone takes away should be their own.

The gallery highlights the inspiration for Yefko’s art. All of the pieces showcased in the gallery are drawings of landscapes, forests or tree stumps. Along with the art in the gallery, Yefko has provided an artist statement for his audience. In this statement, Yefko states that he went on a road trip through Nevada, Utah deserts, Yellowstone Park, the upper Great Plains and more. After viewing all of these landscapes he saw an underlying theme, which inspired him to create these drawings. After letting the sceneries sink in, he decided to share his experience with others. This is what led him to create his abstract drawings.

Yefko claimed that his inspiration was due to the emotions, patterns and nature he viewed while visiting these scenic landscapes.

“There’s something more than what’s there,” he said. “When you see one drawing and then see another drawing, it’s what the viewer experiences by going one to another; it should mean something.” This is also how he came to name the gallery, “Touched: Drawing Views.”

Yefko believes that art touches people personally. He wanted to portray how the scenery he viewed in nature touched him and make his art touch his audience as well. The topic he chose is very emotional and reaches the hearts of many viewers, which is why this gallery captures the essence of being “touched.”

Overall these pieces art by Michael Yefko are meant to captivate people who are viewing it or even just passing through the corridor. No matter who is glimpsing his art, it will wrap them up in many emotions and simultaneously present Yefko’s own emotions.

This gallery is currently open until Feb. 23, and can be viewed in the Corridor Gallery anytime that the Fine Arts Center is open.