Multidimensional Creighton Michael Exhibit Closes

Emily Kress

Colgate University’s Department of Art and Art History prides itself on its artist series held each semester, which brings artists and art historians in a variety of media to discuss their work. Last Wednesday, January 29, was no exception as the series resumed for the spring semester, marking the closing of artist Creighton Michael’s exhibit.

The exhibit first opened in the Clifford Gallery on October 23, 2013, although the real excitement behind the work lay in its creation. Michael’s work was a collaborative effort, directed by the artist himself and assembled by various students, including those without studio art backgrounds. Following a set of guidelines and grids for each piece, students put together works involving a wide array of materials, from metal to plastic to string.

The interaction between artist and community, however, did not stop at the completion of the work displayed in the Clifford Gallery. For the exhibit’s closing, Michael involved more students, musicians and animators, adding other forms of media to further interact with his sculptures, which he describes as three-dimensional drawings. Premiering on Tuesday, January 28, was the completed “ShadowsTrilogy.” In the initial exhibit in October, Michael included a projection of the animation “ShadowsSpeak.” The full trilogy, including “ShadowsSpeak,” also included “ShadowsWeave” and “ShadowsPast,” short animations that were created from scans and clippings taken from “ShadowsSpeak.” Although “ShadowsSpeak” was projected on a flat wall in the Clifford Gallery, the full trilogy was screened in the Ho Tung Visualization Lab, creating an immersive, although brief, experience as community members viewed the black-and-white, line-based animation.

The following day, students and faculty gathered in Golden Auditorium in Little Hall, just across from the exhibit in Clifford Gallery. Yet another collaborative effort in Michael’s exhibit was a performance by the Saint Rose Camerata. The faculty chamber ensemble-in-residence at the College of Saint Rose, the Camerata consists of flutist Yvonne Chavez Hansbrough, violinist Amanda Brin, violist Matthew Johnson and cellist David Bebe. The quartet’s performance consisted of three nouveau-classical chamber pieces. First, the four musicians played Andrew Norman’s “Light Screens,” an airy piece chosen to complement the feeling of experiencing Michael’s art. For the next piece, only Johnson and Bebe remained onstage to play three movements composed by Walter Piston: “Allegro risoluto,” “Andante sereno” and “Allegro brillante.” The Camerata regrouped for the third and final piece, “Construct,” written specifically to accompany Michael’s sculptures and exhibits in 2010 by composer Bruce Roter, who attended the exhibit’s closing. While each of the Camerata’s selections complemented Michael’s artistic style, “Construct” seemed to embody it, alternating between staccatoand long, sweeping notes, evoking drawings through sound.

The exhibit in Clifford Gallery ended with work performed by students. Seniors April Bailey, Mallory Rowley and Sebastian Sangervasi choreographed and performed an original dance piece inside of the gallery. Their dances around and between Michael’s sculptures emphasized the forms of the works themselves as well as the lines the dancers’ limbs created, complementing each other well.

The incorporation of music, dance and animation added to and complemented Michael’s initial three-dimensional drawings, overall enhancing the exhibit while demonstrating the multifaceted nature of art at Colgate, and in general.

Contact Emily Kress at [email protected]