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Recent Arrivals’ highlights work of new grad students

Cody Cousino / Asst. multimedia editor

“Recent Arrivals,” an exhibition at Hopkins Hall, displays works from 28 first-year graduate students from the art department at Ohio State.

“This show really does a great job at depicting the diversity in medium and style of our incoming graduates,” said John McCaughey, a graduate student in printmaking. “There is so much going on in the art world today and I think this show reflects that.”

McCaughey said the students from each department interact and help each other try new things from other areas of art.

“It’s been really fun meeting all of these artists and observing the graduates bouncing ideas off one another and crossing into other disciplines,” McCaughey said. “You see painters venturing into sculpture and vice-versa.”

Prudence Gill, the director and curator for the Hopkins Hall Gallery, echoed what McCaughey said about the artists working together.

“You may not be able to tell who’s in what program, because everybody works and cross-pollinates among all the different areas,” Gill said. “That’s one of the joys of what happens here.”

McCaughey is one of the artists featured in “Recent Arrivals.” He had two pieces that focused on easily found materials.

“The process of construction and deconstruction of an environment is the inspiration for my current work,” McCaughey said in his statement accompanying the piece. “What interests me most about graffiti is not just the beauty and risk involved, but what happens after the vandalism takes place in terms of removal and/or deterioration.”

He works his surroundings into his paintings and prints.

“Whether I’m walking down an alleyway or reading the words on the bathroom stall, it all somehow makes its way into my paintings,” McCaughey said.

For the painting in the exhibition he used latex paint, wallpaper, newspaper, spray paint and other biodegradable materials. He said it made more sense to use materials that were more readily available to him, rather than fancy textiles.

Artist Nathaniel Hartman made an audio piece. He is a classically trained percussionist and is in the master of fine arts program at OSU.

In his piece “Elevated,” he sealed a siren inside a vacuum chamber to negate sound.

“The piece tries to recreate this perfect scientific vacuum and comment on warnings in our daily lives that go off silently,” Hartman said. “Originally I was inspired by the Columbus siren warning system that is tested every Wednesday at noon and its power to communicate fear with a simple high pitched sound.”

Each artist was asked to put together one to three pieces for the exhibition. The artists could create any kind of piece they chose, as they elected not to have a theme for this project.

“The show was pretty individualized,” said Michael Ambron, a painting and drawing graduate student, “which is why it was strange that it seemed so cohesive.”

Ambron had two pieces on display. He said he followed a theme for both.

“I’m currently working on ways of revealing the luminal and seemingly invisible worlds of vibrating static that seem to exist on the surface of everything,” he said.

The exhibition as a whole did not involve wide use of color.

“All the pieces are kind of quiet for the most part,” said Carolyn Baginski, a ceramics graduate student.

Baginski used color in her piece, but it was muted.

“I always imagine my pieces as being technicolor, but it ends up being pastel,” she said. “I think it works.”

Baginski discussed self-portraits as a possible theme for the exhibit, but said most of the artists turned down the idea.

Today, a few of the artists will hold a Topics Table at 11:30 a.m. in Hopkins Hall to discuss the exhibition and have lunch.

 

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