Artists in Action: JSU students open gallery with a moving exhibit
by Hervey Folsom
Special to The Star
Mar 23, 2012 | 3804 views |  0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An example of the moving art created by Jacksonville State University art students for their new gallery. Photo: Special to The Star
An example of the moving art created by Jacksonville State University art students for their new gallery. Photo: Special to The Star
It was modern art in motion, no doubt about it.

Clearly, this exhibit for Jacksonville State University’s new student art gallery was destined to go places. Once they understood the assignment art instructor Allison McElroy gave to her mixed media class, the 18 students worked tirelessly for at least 15 class hours. They cut out paper squares, using rulers and X-acto knives until more than 9,000 squares had been accumulated. Once their work was finished, they decided to make outfits from the paper shapes. Then, five of the most courageous students from the class donned the outfits and walked throughout the campus.

“We were instructed to decide how to make a large creation by using a basic square,” said Ray Wetsel, student coordinator of the gallery project. “This time, thankfully, we could agree, even though we’re a diverse group.”

The title of the installation was “Silence is Loud.” The students were told not to speak to anyone they saw in the cafeteria or walking the halls; the project was to let art speak for itself and to show how multiples can affect the viewers’ experience.

“It was quite a spectacle,” Wetsel said. “But I, for one, learned a lot about the process and patience.”

Some people pretended not to see the students, he said, others stared, and some started snapping pictures.

The paper outfits — not square at all, but clever — were exhibited earlier this month as the initial exhibit in the gallery. “Beware the Squares,” the fliers read, and the show was complete with a video and refreshments, all coordinated by the students. The one-room gallery is called Room One-Twelve-A (for Room 112A) near Hammond Hall Gallery.

The space is temporarily closed for construction, but more student displays — contemporary and traditional — are being planned, Wetsel said, and the artists and dates will be announced. The gallery is for students from JSU and other colleges. Students may submit a proposal to him at or call 256-613-5330.

“I’d like to talk to anyone who is interested,” Wetsel said. “Lots of art students here hope to reach the professional rank. Ongoing exhibits like this will provide experience in hanging and promoting their work as independent artists.”

Juried Student Show

The art department’s Juried Student Show is up in Hammond Hall Gallery through April 4. Approximately 45 students entered their most creative work for judging in painting, printmaking, watercolor, design, ceramics, photography, drawing and graphic design. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

JSU Concert April 9

In contrast with modern form, the JSU University/Community Orchestra turns back the clock for several centuries in music with its Spring Concert at 7:30 p.m. April 9 in the Performance Center in Mason Hall. It is directed by Michael Gagliardo.

Four movements from four different symphonies by Joseph Haydn will be played. The Austrian composer was a pioneer in the development of the symphony and the string quartet, it is stated in “Music,” a textbook by Roger Kamien. Since Haydn wrote 104 symphonies, the selection range was large, but choosing certain movements from his scores was the best fit for this occasion, Gagliardo said. “In a way, it’s like presenting a Haydn retrospective,” the director said.

Haydn, who wrote “Farewell Symphony” (one of his most famous works), wrote music that was robust and direct, according to Internet sources. It was enjoyed throughout Europe in the 1700s and is still enjoyable listening today. His humor and fancy for the unexpected especially comes out in “Surprise,” a moderately slow movement from Symphony No. 94, and in “The Bear,” a fairly fast movement from Symphony No. 82.

English composer Henry Purcell’s “The Gordian Knot, Suite I” and the overture from Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” will also be performed. Purcell was at one time the organist at Westminster Abbey and became well-known for his church and ceremonial music as well as theater music, according “Music.”
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