Second segment of art faculty exhibit to be staged at GCCC




The Mercer Gallery at Garden City Community College is staging the second segment of the 2012-13 Art Faculty Exhibition, which will be on display through Jan. 26.

The exhibition includes charcoal and chalk images by Kyle Chaput, two-dimensional art instructor, and ceramics and sculpture by Brian McCallum, three-dimensional art instructor. In addition to the January segment, the collection was displayed Dec. 8 through 20, including a public reception Dec. 16.

Chaput, who often works in printmaking, has charcoal and chalk drawings on display.

"It's more of a direct material than I've traditionally been doing. I just feel like printmaking is process-oriented. This is more direct. It has an immediate response to the material, rather than waiting on the process. It's been great working with that," he said.

Chaput is using images from family photos he has gathered.

"The situations at hand in my recent body of works are intended to evoke the earliest memories of the viewers," Chaput said.

"My imagery stems from a large body of family photos I've gathered, both recent and throughout the years. When sifting through these pictorial studies, I find myself more drawn to spontaneous happenings and less so to the staged. I am not concerned with the intentions of the original photographers, but rather their subjects," he said.

Chaput joined the GCCC faculty in August 2011, after serving in 2009-10 as art instructor of record at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi; and as a teaching assistant in art from 2005 to 2007 at Fort Hays State University. Skilled in techniques and media ranging from drawing to printmaking, he earned a masters in fine arts at Texas A&M, Corpus Christi, in 2010 and a bachelor of fine arts at FHSU in 2007.

"Though I may end up splicing or cropping the figures," he said. "I ultimately try to remain faithful to the poses and, more importantly, emotions developed in each photograph. I hope that by reducing the surroundings to a bleak, minimal atmosphere, it will intensify the figure's sensibility."

McCallum's work is composed of three parts.

"First, from the potter's perspective, I consider how the simple vessel form has developed an aesthetic along with being utilitarian in function."

"The second phase of my current body of work continues my figurative series, but is a departure because the figures are abstracted, perhaps so much that the viewer may not see humans at all. To me, these forms are simple enough to read as distinctly masculine and feminine and also complex enough to leave the door open to whatever interpretation the viewer finds important."

"The final phase of this exhibit is an evolving installation work that involves group participation. It is about meeting goals before the ends of our lives," he said.

McCallum said motivation for that component stems from a recent experience when he and his family witnessed a fatal car accident on Interstate 70.

"Seeing a man of my age and similar station in life — a working father — take his last breath in front of me shook my attention into heightened focus of how sacred, precious and all too temporary is our existence," he said.

"If we are to survive the next few decades and prosper, humans need to begin thinking about interacting with one another in microeconomic situations that involve less trampling through the world with huge carbon footprints," McCallum said,

He invites viewers during the first week of the exhibition to share hopes for their own future lives. He is asking those who visit the gallery to complete the sentence "Before I die..." so he can incorporate their aspirations into a piece of art for display.

"My hope is that as we gather to view the exhibit, we will laugh, cry perhaps, and think about what is really important to us," he said.

Mercer Gallery, located in the west wing of GCCC's Pauline Joyce Fine Arts Building, hosts eight to nine public art exhibitions each academic year. Admission is free, and viewing hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

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