Through October 29, 2014, the Philip J. Steele Gallery will host a compilation of works from RMCAD’s faculty and staff in a collective exhibition, Even After Everything. From multimedia video to clay sculpture installations, the exhibition is a testament to the multi-modality of art that the school’s work force creates independently of academic convention. Robb Fladry, Head of Graphic Design and curator of the exhibition, acknowledges “[a]s an art and design college, it’s important for the students to be able to see the work of their faculty. All of our faculty are working artists and designers in addition to being full time educators and a show like this brings this all together.”
Irene McCray, Foundations and Fine Arts faculty member, is featuring her painting, “Gently, Please.” The piece portraits a fragile, naked man coiled upon twisted sheets, depicting a friend of hers who has been struggling with suicidal impulses. “I wanted to capture something of his turmoil and plea for help by positioning him in a contorted, uncomfortable, and strained pose. Through the painting I can feel hopeful that his strength of character will allow him to last into the vast possibilities for his life.”
Across the gallery hangs “Woman, River, Night” by David Quakenbush—RMCAD’s Multimedia Producer. The layered photograph is part of a series that intersects strong women with elemental/natural forces, uncanny levitation and long exposure light painting. Quakenbush’s technique uses relatively minimal image editing to achieve its lucid dream feel. “[I]mage elements are combined and ruminated on, with the final composition coming together intuitively based on the frames and layers we managed to capture during the shoot.”
Even works from RMCAD’s online faculty members made their way to the gallery. Ben Pond, who teaches remotely from Ohio, is showing his visually insatiable drawing, “Specious Present_1.” For Pond, the process behind his work is a bit more complicated than your standard still-life fruit bowl. “I set up a camera and film either myself or a friend talking for 60 seconds, then play the film in slow motion and draw—trying to react to the movements as they happen on screen. Every hour or so I will stop and spray-fix the drawing so that I'm able to build layers and build a record of history/time.”
The only recurring theme noticeable amongst the gallery’s installations is the meticulously tactful process behind each work's creation. While Even After Everything offers a glimpse into the diversity and depth of faculty and staff members’ artistic explorations, it also unifies the school’s community through universal homage to the distinction of expression.
Students and the public are invited to two gallery talks where the exhibition's artists will provide an in-depth look at the process and philosophy behind their work. Hosted in the Philip J. Steele Gallery: Monday, October 20 at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, October 23 at 1:30 p.m.