Ruth Grover spent much of Monday installing elaborate pieces of contemporary art at UTC’s Cress Gallery of Art.
She has worked as the director and curator of the gallery since 1999 and has seen a drastic change in both the quality and variety of contemporary art.
"For me, the breadth of the contemporary scene is just so broad," she said. "Contemporary art has changed so much. When I started, every piece in the gallery was a hanging picture."
What: 2013 UTC Department of Art faculty exhibition
Where: 752 Vine St.
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 1-4 p.m.
How much: Free
For more information: Click here
Grover is putting the finishing touches on the 2013 UTC Department of Art faculty exhibition, a biennial series that showcases art created by faculty. This year, there are 15 faculty members represented in various forms, from graphic design and sculpture to photography and printmaking.
The gallery officially opens today with a public reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
It will remain open to the public through Oct. 4.
Grover said the gallery has two purposes.
"Essentially, it gives students the opportunity to view what the faculty are doing, what their current practice is," Grover said. "But I hope students gain a dialogue out of this, too ... It’s not meant to point them in a particular path, but to help them explore their motivations and visions."
And there are plenty of paths to venture down.
The gallery is vibrant with color and, with the exception of a few paintings on the wall, composed of conceptual, contemporary pieces.
Lauren Ruth joined UTC’s art department in 2013. She teaches several classes focusing on 3-D art and design. Her submission to the gallery is a series of gleaming lips with toothpaste-commercial white teeth. The smiles are strung together to make a banner on either side of the gallery’s entrance.
"The teeth are heavily Photoshopped," she said.
Aggie Toppins, a graphic design instructor, created a new typeface for the gallery. Instructor Christina Renfer Vogel submitted several paintings. Dan Bethune, a sculptor, has several pieces featured in the gallery.
Grover said one of the most important elements of this gallery is to show students that being a successful artist is difficult but not an unattainable goal.
"You have to be really dedicated to your art and really dedicated to your career as an artist," she said. "There’s so much more to it: establishing relationships with galleries, working with people, how to feed those relationships."
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