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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Student art descends into abyss

    Shane E. Bekian / The Daily Wild
    Shane E. Bekian / The Daily Wildcat A variety of photographs on display at Abyss: The Perpetual Place art exhibit at BreakOut Dance Studio on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014.

    Two UA art students are holding the opening of “ABYSS: The Perpetual Space,” an art exhibit at BreakOut Studios this evening. The exhibit features a collection of mostly two-dimensional art, including photography, mixed technique pieces, illustrations and one painting all relating to the concept of the mysterious abyss.

    “When you think of abyss, it’s like you’re looking down or out into this sea of black,” said Alyssa Ferguson, an extended media art junior, “but what’s beyond that? What’s after what you can’t see?”

    Ferguson and Audrey Molloy, a studio art senior, are the co-curators of “ABYSS,” a project that began as a course requirement.

    Ferguson and Molloy wanted to put together an exhibit defying the traditional white-walled, museum-style art gallery and instead create a space where talented artists could gain exposure, and members of the community from all walks of life could experience their work. This led to “ABYSS” finding a home at BreakOut Studios, a local dance studio.

    When first planning the exhibit, Ferguson and Molloy were introduced to Todd Wilson, owner of BreakOut Studios. Wilson was willing to donate an unfurnished, slightly rundown room to the curators and allowed them to do whatever they pleased with the space. Ferguson and Molloy refurbished the room and repainted the walls, and spent the past two days hanging up the artwork that will be featured in the show. They have also taken advantage of the studio’s floor-to-ceiling mirror installed on one of the walls.

    “We had originally thought of a dance studio [for the exhibit] because of the effect that the mirror makes,” Ferguson said. “You’re looking in the mirror, but you’re looking at the whole room, and we got the idea that, that is perpetual space.”

    Fifteen artists are featured in the gallery, including Ferguson and Molloy. Thirteen of these artists are UA students, one is a local Tucson artist and one other is an artist from Los Angeles, Calif. When Ferguson and Molloy were hunting for art for the gallery, they first tried a general call for artists. Although they found a few people through their first attempts, they decided to contact their friends and peers in the UA School of Art, who they knew had created or were working on pieces that would fit in with the theme of their gallery.

    Dominic Valencia, a 2D studio art junior, is one artist whose work is being featured in the show. Valencia has contributed two lithographs and a 4-by-4 painting.

    “When the curators were talking to me, they were stressing the quality of change and leaving it open to our interpretation,” Valencia said, “so my painting focuses on the change in your state of mind from childhood to adulthood.”

    All of the artists were also given the option of putting their work up for sale.

    The opening of the gallery is tonight, but “ABYSS” will be on display and open to the public until Jan. 10. After “ABYSS” closes, Ferguson and Molloy plan on creating more galleries in BreakOut Studios since Wilson has granted them the space.

    “Seeing a ton of different types of people who aren’t normally exposed to this white-wall gallery space and having it thrown in the middle for them to experience has been really nice,” Molloy said when asked what her favorite part of the process has been.

    “ABYSS” will open today beginning at 5:30 p.m. Ferguson, Molloy, the other artists, friends and families will all be in attendance, as will members of the community and possibly some curious passersby. The event is free, and complimentary drinks and snacks will be served.


    Follow Victoria Pereira on Twitter.

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