Thursday, May 28, 2009

Recent Art Purchase Award Helps to Beautify Bracken Library

The 74th Annual Student Art Show, held at Ball State University’s Museum of Art, featured student artwork in all media, from painting and sculpture to video and furniture. Each year, a panel of jurors considers hundreds of student works for selection in this show, narrowing the final selection to between 100 and 125. The result is a student exhibition that showcases outstanding talent and quality artwork.

For purchase, the Ball State University Libraries selected New English by artist Michael R. Hurt, a senior from Redkey, Indiana. Originally, Professor Marilyn Derwenskus, Ball State Department of Art, started the painting. Upon her retirement this past year, she gave almost all of her unfinished sketches and paintings to students while encouraging them to reuse the canvas or paint over them, if desired. Michael chose this particular canvas for its composition and mysterious nature.

“I liked how the pillar on the left enclosed the scene while adding a sort of two-dimensional border uncommon to artworks,” he said. “I had sort of an immediate connection to this piece.”

Michael had always enjoyed the graffiti art found on railroad cars and in many urban settings. He was inspired by a graffiti artist named Heist from Toledo, Ohio. Michael commented that he had seen Heist paint whole freight train cars, from top to bottom and from side to side.

New English examines the differences and commonalities between two generations of artists – Marilyn’s generation, which covers periods of Abstract Expressionism, Neo-Expressionism, Pop Art, Op Art with influences from movements of the earlier 1900s, and Michael’s generation of graffiti artists who widely ignore the traditional artistic heritage in exchange for a self-satisfying culture.

“In the future, this style of art may be viewed as the most influential artistic movement in centuries,” he said. “Amidst this huge gap in artistic background, I think the piece holds together well while speaking volumes both conceptually and visually to the passing of the torch to a new set of artists and the remembrance of those who have come before us.”

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