Art exhibition features work of students

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UT grad Nikki Hampson and studio art senior Miriam Weber discuss a photo at the “Looking for a Fight” exhibit in the Visual Arts Center Friday night. The exhibit features the work of three artists who combine traditionally feminine and overtly aggressive elements in their artwork.

Photo Credit: Amanda Martin | Daily Texan Staff

In two adjacent rooms, the Visual Arts Center now has an exhibition featuring three undergraduate art students’ work and one featuring almost 1,000 DVDs with video art by Israeli artists.

About 200 people attended the opening of the two exhibitions Friday. In “Looking for a Fight,” three studio art students — Lucy Parker, Isabella Burden and Layne Bell — showcased their work in an exhibition produced by the Center Space Project, a student organization at the VAC. The Mobile Archive, a traveling collection from the Israeli Center for Digital Art, will be at the center through Dec. 17.

Studio art senior Parker, one of the artists showcased in the student exhibition, said the theme of female gender roles has a deep connection to the artists’ personal lives.

“We have to think about it every day because we’re constantly reminded of our bodies and of our relationships,” Parker said. “There’s no way we can’t think about our aesthetics because they really are a part of our personal lives.”

Noah Simblist, a 2010-2011 VAC curatorial fellow, organized the Mobile Archive exhibition with current curatorial fellow Kate Green. Simblist said the exhibition would give students a unique opportunity to view video art.

“Video is often the kind of thing that is not usually very accessible just because a lot of video art is sold in editions,” Simblist said. “If it’s a video, often we can’t reproduce it too many times because that’s the work of art itself.”

Allie Underwood, president of the Center Space Project, said the student exhibition was one of four exhibitions the group chose in collaboration with Visual Arts Center staff this year from 24 student proposals. Underwood said she was interested in the students’ feminist theme.

“I like this idea of the feminine but then it also making you sort of uncomfortable,” Underwood said. “It’s an interesting way to think about female and the female body, but then also how there’s also sort of a power to it.”

Underwood said the Center Space Project provides a unique opportunity for students, especially undergraduates, to learn how to put together art shows as curators
and artists.

“There’s not a class on how to put together an exhibition, how to propose a show or anything like that, and this space has allowed us to do that,” she said.

Studio art senior Sarah Jumper said she enjoyed the variety of artwork in the Looking for a Fight exhibit.

“I really like how they incorporated video and sculpture and photography,” Jumper said. “It shows that they have a broader spectrum of ways of working and thinking.”