Gallery displays artists’ flexibility

By Jill Miller
Staff Writer

Art curator Paige Ward, shop technician of the art department, admires the Westmoreland and DePriest art exhibit showing in the Penick Academic Complex.

Art can be a mystery to those who do not take the time to try to understand it, as is the case with “All Things Great, All Things Small” by Union alumnae April DePriest and Laura Berkmeyer Westmoreland.

“All Things Great, All Things Small” is an exhibit that deals with the way a human’s perspective is affected by where he exists. The artists said the images were inspired by the way the artists felt about particular issues and ideas they explored as students.

The two used a variety of mediums. Westmoreland said she used ceramic tiles, grout and acrylic paint on canvas. DePriest used reclaimed wood, light bulbs and gel graphics transfer.

Westmoreland’s work “includes glimpses of scenes that one might stumble upon while looking out a plane window or up at a vast sky — these images are fleeting but they give us momentary perspective,” she said.

DePriest’s pieces “are more domestic in nature, and [I hope] that [my] work creates an environment that encourages conversation, discussion and fellowship,” she said.

The exhibit is an example of what can be accomplished through hard work.

“It is an ongoing departmental effort to connect our students with alumni who graduated in the arts and are practicing in the field, said Lee Benson, chairman of the art department. “This allows our students first-hand opportunity to see, observe and develop community with these older peers and creates enthusiasm for art as a true vocational path with great rewards.”

The idea of confusion or concern about what students will do after college, especially with art degrees, is a theme in Benson’s interpretation of the exhibit.

“I think what they’re talking about is the way we travel through life — how we get from point A to point B and how that’s sort of a metaphor for ‘How do we plan the arts?’” Benson said.

Benson spoke of the struggle students have when they believe their calling is the arts. Students begin to question how or why or even if they should enter the arts when they enter college without an artistic background, he said.

“The hope is that the students will see that the arts, like any other vocation, is a call from God on your life,” Benson said.

The artists agree that their goal for the exhibit was very similar to Benson’s view.

“Ultimately, we want students to be encouraged in their journey as artists,” Westmoreland said.

Westmoreland wrote in her artist statement, “In one way or another, all these things are great, and all are small, which is part of the wonder of it.”

If you go

‘All Things Great, All Things Small’ is on display in the Penick Academic Complex art gallery. The gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and from 1 to 4 p.m. on weekends. The exhibit will run until Oct. 4 and is free and open to the public.

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The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.