Student Life

Primary Visions art exhibition showcases student artwork

On the third floor of the Park Library and in the extended hours study room across from Java City, Primary Visions is showing their art gallery, which has an array of different artworks from painted mandalas to metal sculptures, Jan 21, 2014. (Taryn Wattles | Staff Photographer)

On the third floor of the Park Library and in the extended hours study room across from Java City, Primary Visions is showing their art gallery, which has an array of different artworks from painted mandalas to metal sculptures, Jan. 21. (Taryn Wattles | Staff Photographer)

Twenty-seven Central Michigan University students have their artwork on display for a month through a campus exhibition called Primary Visions.

Opening Jan. 13, the work will be on display until Feb. 11 in the Charles V. Park Library Extended Study Room and Third Floor Gallery Space.

The exhibition, also known as the CMU Department of Art and Design Foundations Program Exhibition, spurred from the Foundations Program, which ensure students have a foundation for all forms of art before specializing in a field.

“(Primary Visions) actually started when the department strengthened its commitment to ensuring art majors had a solid foundation in visual literacy before delving into specific areas of interest like painting, ceramics or fiber design,” said Sally Rose, the creator of Primary Visions Exhibition. “The Foundations Program was mapped out and the exhibition came out of that–a way to highlight the accomplishments of students early in their art practice.”

Since its creation six years ago, the Foundations Program has put on an exhibition to display the diverse art that students create in their foundation-making courses.

“Varieties of materials, techniques and research strategies introduced in the entry-level courses provide a solid foundation for developing the seeing eye and the skillful hand for visual expression,” a curatorial statement from last year’s exhibition said. “(And) the challenges of communicating visually.”

For upper-level art students, showcasing their artwork is not a foreign concept, but for those with less experience, Primary Visions offers a display opportunity not usually offered to art students at this particular level.

“The University Art Gallery always sponsors a juried student art exhibition, which is a great way for upper-level students to learn what it takes to prepare work for jurying and exhibition,” Rose said. “Primary Visions serves that same opportunity for students with a little less experience.”

Students are always pleased to have their work displayed, and Rose said there is a lot more to this art than meets the eye.

“I’m always pleased at the caliber of work the beginning students produce. I think the students also like getting their work out there, displaying it in a more public venue,” she said. “Just as words can inform and challenge us, so can visual expressions.”

The work present at the exhibition is diverse in its offerings, ranging from two and three-dimensional art to digital video art.

David Stairs, a graphic design professor who hung the exhibition, said it provides an opportunity for students to show how they have developed.

“Primary Visions displays our student’s efforts in their foundational courses, and provides insight to how young artists develop,” Stairs said. “The current exhibit showcases the work of 27 students from the gamut of our Foundations studio classes, which include drawing, two and three-dimensional design and digital design.”

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