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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Art Review: ‘Design it Yourself’ exhibit puts pen in visitors’ hands

    A couch with something like “”I have to pee … and I’m gonna go here,”” written on it may not be considered high art. It may not even be considered art at all.

    Yet statements like this are just what the artists who put together the latest exhibit in the Joseph Gross Gallery were going for.

    Free expression and communication are the focus of the exhibit “”D.I.Y.: Design it Yourself,”” which reminds us that everyone can design something and not just stand on the sidelines. “”Design it Yourself”” is an interactive exhibit that allows visitors to add their own rights of free expression to art.

    In the attractive and colorful exhibit, the walls are covered with totes, stickers, posters, drawings and clothes. The floors are covered with couches, tables, chairs and rugs. The exhibit was curated by Ellen Lupton, and Maryland Institute of Art faculty and graduate students made the works originally placed in the gallery, such as the posters and clothing. Others have been added by visitors.

    Even the white “”Design it Yourself”” information cards the gallery gives out are colored on and posted on the walls by visitors.

    In addition, the two white couches and various tables, stools and rugs have been written on by visitors with Sharpies provided by the gallery. Parts of decoration look like the back of a high school bathroom stall. The “”I have to pee”” comment is just one of the many statements of free expression made by the visitors.

    In the attractive and colorful exhibit, the walls are covered with totes, stickers, posters, drawings and clothes.

    Other statements and drawings range from “”I’ll drink this plate of hot sauce for $5″” to “”Over 390 people die every year in the Arizona desert trying to obtain a better life for themselves and their kids. You call them illegals. I call them humans.””

    The range of comments goes back to the idea that we can all create in our society. Someone even wrote a quote from the movie “”Old School.””

    One comment that especially sticks out is something written in large letters on the side of the white couches that says, “”Cops aren’t people.”” Some may be offended, but it is, after all, free expression. I just wouldn’t try selling that couch designed by possibly hundreds of people to a police officer.

    The Joseph Gross Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

    Admission is free.

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