Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
This old phrase has always defended the fact that beauty is subjective, but then how does one determine what is truly beautiful? A new exhibit in Metcalf Gallery explores that idea.
“The Beautiful” opens Oct. 18 with a panel discussion at 6 p.m. On the panel is Jeremie Riggleman, assistant professor of art and gallery curator; Rachel Smith, professor of art; Jim Spiegel, professor of philosophy and religion; Laura Stevenson, assistant professor of art; and Cherith Lundin, the associate professor of art at Wheaton College.
"I'm hopeful for some nice conversation with the panel and hopefully with the students as well as a learning opportunity,” Riggleman said.
While the topic of the exhibit is beauty, Riggleman warned this did not mean all pieces would be pretty. Several are designed to push back against conventional thoughts on what is beautiful. He hopes that such pieces lead to greater conversation and thought about what makes something aesthetically pleasing.
“The Beautiful” is a travelling exhibit from Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA), a national group dedicated to helping people explore the relationship between art and faith.
“This exhibit gathers more than 35 contemporary works of art executed in a variety of media and genres that bear witness to beauty as it appears to us in the complex landscape of contemporary culture,” said the official exhibit statement on the CIVA website.
Riggleman has been a part of this group since he was in college. He sees this exhibit not only as a way to share art with Taylor students, but as a chance to raise awareness for a group they can engage with and even join.
It is also significant that all of the artists created their work as an outpouring of their faith. Senior Kate Stall, who works as a gallery assistant, said she appreciates an exhibit that will nourish the soul.
“Life can be ugly and hard, so why not make redemptive art that helps us cope with the darkness of this world?” Stall asked.
The gallery will be open from Oct. 18 to Dec. 6. All are invited to explore these interpretations of beauty and join the discussion with the panel at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18.