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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Monday, May 20, 2024
The Echo
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Taylor’s new art exhibit unites artists together

Art and design show connects community

Taylor University has long held shows and galleries to display the work of students, featured artists and community members. The most recent show, still open for viewing until its closing reception on Oct. 9, is the 2021 Alumni Art & Design Exhibition.

The alumni show is being held in the Metcalf Gallery, directed by Jeremie Riggleman, an assistant professor of art. Riggleman, as gallery director, was responsible for composing the gallery layout. He reviewed all of the pieces submitted and determined how they could fit.

“I was pretty involved with this exhibition,” Riggleman said. “The artists sent their work to me here at the gallery. Then I unpacked it and decided where things would be installed.”

While Riggleman worked behind the scenes to bring the show together, Ryan James, assistant professor of graphic design, and John Reishus, art adjunct faculty member, contributed several pieces to the display. Lara Stevenson, an art department co-chair and an assistant professor of art at Taylor, created the two interactive pieces toward the outer door of the gallery.

Students who learned ceramics in classes with Reishus would want to see his stoneware jars just beyond the gallery’s door. James’ work is to the left of the entrance, featured on a monitor and the wall behind it. 

James’ pieces are in both woodworking and animation, as explained by the display on the monitor. The repetitive patterns and resulting movement are eye-catching results of hard work.

“As a graphic designer who focuses mostly on print design, I love finding new ways to bring my work to life, most recently through the process of animation,” James said. “Each frame of each animation is an individually laser-engraved piece of wood.”

The alumni show is usually introduced to the public at it’s opening, but this year a closing reception was chosen so more could see the event. The reception is open to the public, meaning all community members are allowed to attend. 

“Because it’s homecoming weekend, it’s a good excuse for alumni to come and see their work and see other artist’s work,” Riggleman said. “In fact, some of the artists are coming to homecoming this year because their work is being shown.”

This is also the year of Taylor’s 175th anniversary, which means there will likely be many community members dropping by. With a much larger audience than usual, this show is expected to serve as a reunion and an introduction to the galleries.

“I’d love for current students to come see what work our alumni have been making, hopefully to serve as inspiration to produce work themselves,” James said. “There is so much artistic talent on display from a wide variety of backgrounds!” 

There may be refreshments served, but the collection itself will be worth the visit. The work on display had to have been made in the past five years, and never been in show at Taylor prior.

It was submitted by approximately 30 artists from all over the country, of a range of majors.

Anne Greeley, associate professor of art history and chair of the division of art and design at Indiana Wesleyan University, will be serving as juror over art on display, and attendees will be able to see the competing pieces themselves before awards such as “Best of Show” are announced.