Texas A&M: Architecture Faculty Presenting Personal Artworks In Biennial Exhibition

Faculty from the Texas A&M University College of Architecture will be displaying their works of art in an exhibition, Architecture Faculty Biennial, in the J. Wayne Stark Galleries through May 14.

More than 20 years ago, University Art Galleries Director Catherine Hastedt saw a wealth of art being produced by faculty in the College of Architecture, and said she approached them about putting together an exhibition.

“Outside of the College of Architecture, I did not feel the campus as a whole truly understood the great art that was being produced there,” Hastedt said. “I approached some of the faculty about hosting an exhibition in the galleries, and they loved the idea.”

Every two years since 1999, faculty from the College of Architecture have been bringing their works of art to the Stark Galleries in the Memorial Student Center for the exhibition, which runs roughly over the course of eight weeks and is free and open to the public.

Felice House, an associate professor in the Department of Visualization, has been participating in the show since 2012 and echoed Hastedt’s statements about exposing the community to local art.

“I’m excited to inform and remind our Aggie family that there is a thriving art community at Texas A&M housed in the College of Architecture,” House said.

House’s works in this year’s show will feature landscapes of West Texas. With her large canvas paintings depicting mesas, rocks and desert plants, House said she aims to send a message to viewers.

“I seek to inspire awe in the viewer and remind my audience of their role as stewards of the land,” she said.

House said her inspiration is rooted in a quote by art historian Robert Hughes: “One of the projects of art is to reconcile us with the world, not by protest, irony or political metaphors, but by the ecstatic contemplation of pleasure in nature.”

Similarly, other faculty artists in the exhibition seek to reflect on the past year and the worldwide pandemic with their art projects.

Anatol Bologan, assistant professor in visualization, said he works to humanize otherwise disembodied experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic. He stylistically paints elements of photos from news reports, medical data, and imagery pertaining to virology and human cell structures.

“The intent is to highlight the multilayered experience of this time, as we all live in an interconnected and technologically-driven society, full of contradictions, political division and misinformation,” Bologan said.

Other faculty will present the pandemic through their own artistic lenses, including a projected animation of COVID-19 data by U.S. states; a 100-day pinhole camera experiment using items such as hand sanitizer, the last sheet of toilet paper, and zinc lozenges; the hobby and art of bird watching; and an artist’s painting of his young daughter amid a time of isolation.

Hastedt said the exhibition not only brings the University Art Galleries and the College of Architecture together, but provides additional opportunities for Texas A&M students.

“I have formed strong relationships with many of the faculty over the years, and they have reciprocated by giving lectures, bringing their classes to see other exhibitions on display, as well as hosting art-making workshops for students who otherwise would not have access to studio classes,” Hastedt said. “I hope visitors to the exhibition will have a better understanding of the wealth of talented artists on this campus.”

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