Walk across the Academic Quad, step up the two sets of cement stairs and “You Are Here” — at the Ithaca College faculty art show, where the display of mixed
media and bright paintings, structural sculptures and large-scale photographs, represent what art at the college means.
This year’s faculty art show, “You Are Here,” at the Handwerker Gallery features work created by faculty in the college departments of art, cinema, television-radio, and photography and media arts. Some of the pieces stand on their own as singular works, while others are pulled from collections already produced.
As its title suggests to its viewers, “You Are Here” showcases an array of talent at the college through different media. Though obviously missing a consistent idea or theme that would pull the pieces together as a show, as a whole the collection works as more of an exploration of the talent that people at the college are exposed to.
First on the list of captivating talent is that of Jeremy Long, assistant professor of art, who also had his work featured in the show “The Figure” in September. His style shines again with his large-scale oil on canvas titled “The Delivery.” The
painting shows a seemingly plain scene in a home, made surreal with its manipulation of realistic physics and a mix of architecture, clothing and props from different time periods. The piece is fascinating with its use of bright color. More striking though is the man to the left of the scene — presumed to be the “deliverer” — with his piercing eyes staring at the woman on the right; the same bright eyes also seen in his work show in “The Figure.”
One of the largest and certainly the most colorful pieces displayed, “Orchid Multiples” by Pamela Drix, lecturer of art, is an interesting representation of the natural world. Taken from the collection “Cassandra’s Dilemma,” the piece is made up of 60 colored rectangles with etchings of flowers and leaves shown in bright reds, purples, greens, blues and yellows. All pinned up to the wall, the rectangles bear together a resemblance to a quilt. Each rectangle is left with rough edges, a small detail only seen when looking closely, but nonetheless a nice touch of natural edge added to the more modern colors.
The most innovative piece in the collection is made up of three ovals of bleach-white plaster made to resemble the windows inside a cockpit. The three oil paintings are the scenes seen from within a plane. The left painting, “PHL-PBI,” has a mix of greens in the ground in the scene, with a touch of brown and a brilliant blue sky. The center, “STL-DTW,” is the sight of the plane’s wing up in the calm and cloudy sky. And the right, “DTW-ITH,” has more brown and red than green, with the two colors making a checkered pattern on the ground. The paint colors make the scenes crisp and bright from far away but more impressionistic upon closer look, with the colors and lines of the paint mixing together. The piece as a whole reveals the perspective a plane offers and takes a look at the world from the only place all its changes and effects can truly be seen: above.
The rest of the works in the faculty show all bring interesting perspectives to different themes, some about the fragility of nature, like the pieces by Susan Weisand, professor and chair of art, and some about other cultures, like “Pakistani Couple at Spring Festival,” a portrait by Janice Levy, professor of cinema, photography and media arts, from her collection “Saudi Arabia from Within.” The portrait shows a man and woman standing together, with the man smiling at the camera, alert and friendly, and the woman staring off, almost a shadow in the photograph — a distinct representation of the role of women in the society it was taken in.
Overall, “You Are Here” works as a portrayal of what being “here” at Ithaca College means for its artistic community. There is a mix of media and thematic coverage to offer viewers if nothing else a myriad of pieces to look at.