Final Friday: Identity

By Alexa Hirt, Education Intern

I often find myself behind the lens of a camera. It’s safe, it’s comfortable, it’s a barrier between me and the rest of the world. When I zoom in with that lens, I can see things in people and expose them in their most intimate moments without them even realizing it.

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Last week’s Final Friday: Identity PechaKucha presentations sparked an interesting thought: is my identity found behind this camera lens and am I able to capture aspects of other’s identities that they may not even know exist? I like to think that I specialize in the “candid” shot. That meaning, I capture images of people in their most natural state; when they are laughing, contemplating, observing, eating, sneezing, etc. Some may find this intrusive, but I find it fascinating and thrilling. If I can capture the exact moment someone’s emotion changes from a frown to a smile without their knowledge, I believe I have captured the purest form of their identity and who they are.

While one of the PechaKucha presenters suggested that identity is only something that you choose for yourself and others can only base their perception of you based on your chosen identity, I’d like to suggest something slightly different.

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My personal definition of identity comes down to the idea that your identity is what you portray yourself to be even when no one is looking.

I think that who you are as a person is best seen when you don’t think you are being seen. The moments when joy overtakes you, or sadness overcomes your entire being, or confusion overrides all things that make sense; your reaction to those moments reveals your identity. Your identity is the purest form of yourself, just like a candid photograph. So, to answer my original question, I ask myself again… Is my identity found behind the lens of my camera? Well, yes, I think it is.

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In the moments that I forget about the rest of the world, and zoom in on what I find to be intriguing, beautiful and pure, I am revealing my reaction to those moments, thus putting on display, my identity, maybe, without even knowing it.

The next Final Friday will be April 28, 2017. Check out the Facebook event for more details.

Observation: Corban Walker

By Breyanne Urbin

Art lovers joined us at the David Owsley Museum of Art on Thursday, February 23 to welcome Corban Walker and Lisa Banner. Walker is one of three featured artists in SHIFT, a contemporary sculpture exhibition at the David Owsley Museum of Art, curated by Dr. Lisa Banner. The two of them presented and talked about the masterful artwork of Walker to David Owsley Museum of Art’s visitors in Recital Hall.

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Pictured: Corban Walker and Lisa Banner on stage at First Person: Corban Walker (Photo by Emma Rogers)

Born and raised in Dublin, Corban Walker stays busy all around the world working on his art. Linearity dominates his art style; sometimes, Walker likes to make chaos with linearity but a majority of his work tends to be very orderly and simple. To explain why his art is usually so simplistic, Walker quoted Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957, Romanian Sculptor) in his presentation saying, ‘Simplicity is complexity resolved.’ Walker will also involve his viewers into his art whether it is by making his art an obstacle for the viewer to overcome or by using translucent material to catch the viewer’s eye. The art becomes interactive.

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Pictured: Observation, 2012, Corban Walker (Photo from corbanwalker.com)

Standing at four feet tall, Walker uses his art to challenge his viewers’ mindset on what “normal” really means which he mentioned this idea during his speech. Since I have been involved with SHIFT, this semester, I personally found it interesting to learn more about Walker’s art outside of SHIFT. I loved hearing about his art process and how he makes the viewers such an important element in his work.

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Pictured: The second gallery in SHIFT. (Photo by Steven Talley)

Lisa Banner, who joined Walker on stage for his presentation, is a professor at the well-known Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Director Dr. Robert La France describes her as, “A scholar and curator of old masters.” Near the end of the event, I was able to interview her about her decision to curate SHIFT. Banner explained to me that she saw a relation between Christopher Smith and Jongil Ma’s work as the work of both speak the same artistic language and share visual similarities. She added Walker into the mix as the three artists focused on architectural structure and linearity.When Banner talks about SHIFT, it’s obvious to me she has great passion and dedication to art.

The work of Ma and Walker both share the interesting element of tension as no adhesive is used in some of their artwork, which Banner said, “Attracts me, so delicate and vulnerable but so convincing all at the same time.”

Pictured left to right: MINUS WITH CLAMPS, 2014, Jongil Ma (Photo by Steven Talley);  Untitled (Stack K), 2010, Corban Walker (Photo by Steven Talley)

Once the presentation concluded, visitors were able to mingle in the Sculpture Court and visit the SHIFT exhibition. Before leaving, Walker voiced his appreciation for all the student helpers that made the exhibition possible. Everyone was also given an opportunity to individually speak with Walker or Banner at this time. People seemed to have a pleasant time during the event. Jongil Ma and Christopher Smith will be here at the David Owsley Museum of Art for their First Person presentation on April 20 and SHIFT will be open through May 7.

Follow the David Owsley Museum of Art on Twitter and Instagram @domaatbsu and like us on Facebook.

Museum packed for exhibition-inspired performance

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As guests filed into the Sculpture Court at the Music in the Museum event, it quickly became apparent that a much larger crowd than expected wanted a chance to see Jim Rhinehart’s improvisational performance. In addition to packing every seat, students and community members filled the stairs and balcony to hear the music inspired by the museum’s current special exhibition SHIFT: Jongil Ma, Christopher Smith, Corban Walker.

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Guests closed their eyes while listening to the nearly hour-long performance, eliminating any distractions from around the room in order to simply take in the music. After the performance, guests were invited to view the exhibition for themselves, forming their own opinions about the work and what it means to them personally. It isn’t often that the visual art and music worlds combine in a live performance, but this event successfully combined the two for an inspiring night at the museum.

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After the event, Jim said, “Thank you to everybody who attended the concert last night! It was great to see so many people taking in the art that Muncie has to offer! And a big thank you to the staff and interns of the David Owsley Museum of Art – you guys ROCK!”

Check out Jim’s blog here: http://www.jimrhinehart.com/shift-blog/archives/01-2017

Follow the David Owsley Museum of Art on Twitter and Instagram @domaatbsu and like us on Facebook.

Blog by Emma Rogers

An Intern’s Perspective on Final Friday

Alexis Kiesel
Community Outreach Intern

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Feel-good music fills the hall as people of all ages socialize and admire the artists that surround them. Food and drink line the tables of the Sculpture Court as local art enthusiasts discuss what they anticipate from the presenters that will follow the opening reception. Local poets write poetry-on-demand for an event attendee. The room is filled with anticipation. Final Friday is here!

At the David Owsley Museum of Art, an event called Final Friday is held a twice a 2016-10-29_final_friday_19semester. This event includes artist demonstrations, short presentations on projects, ideas or research by creative locals, food, drink, music, and art in a museum environment. Attendees range in age, background, and art knowledge, and any and all are welcome to attend a Final Friday event.

As the Community Outreach Intern at the museum, I have been actively involved in the planning and preparation of these Final Friday events. I work weeks in advance on preparing contracts for presenters and artists involved in the event, creating process guides, outlines, and rundowns for DOMA staff, and gathering needed equipment and supplies for the event. My position allows me to help with the coordination of the event from beginning to end, including the follow-up feedback form I devise and send to staff members to constructively critique the event after everyone has gone home.

Being a part of the museum staff means ensuring the proper set-up hours prior to the event beginning. Tables and chairs are set and microphones are checked at this time. Caterers come in early and begin to prepare for the museum to be filled with hungry visitors. Artists arrive to set up their presentations or creative spaces as the DJ brings in sound equipment to set the tone for the event. Emcees arrive and direct the presenters for their PechaKucha talks.

2016-10-29_final_friday_25 The event begins, and guests appear to take in the atmosphere of the evening in the Sculpture Court where they may laugh, talk, eat, drink, and even have a portrait drawn or a poem written just for them depending on the artist involved in the event that month. Following this time filled with networking and fun, guests become engaged and entertained by impassioned presenters who share their work. Visitors leave enthused and impressed by what they witnessed.

After the event concludes, guards at the museum help the caterers and DJ clean up and shut down the museum one gallery at a time. The building is closed for the night, and the staff goes home around 9:30 p.m. When I return on Monday, I create a survey to those internally involved in the event for feedback. The results are gathered and compiled into a document for future use. A survey is also offered to guests during the event. I also sort through these and record the responses in order to improve our Final Friday events.

Not only is Final Friday an enjoyable event for attendees and presenters; it is perhaps more admirable after finding out how much work is put in to the planning and execution of it. Seeing the staff work on various pieces of the puzzle needed to make the event a success in the weeks leading up to it has given me an appreciation for the work done to execute one night of cool and creative conversation with community members.

Final Friday will continue next semester in March and April, so be on the lookout for upcoming event announcements on social media. Subscribe to our events on Facebook to receive notices of upcoming events at the David Owsley Museum of Art!

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Photos by Emma Rogers of the October 28th Final Friday

Peace of Mind

Alexis Kiesel
Community Outreach Intern

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As I entered the David Owsley Gallery of Asian Art in the museum, I saw students sitting up against the wall and chairs set up facing toward George Wolfe, the meditation instructor. I had never experienced a meditation session in my life, but I felt enthralled for the new experience. The students around me shared that they had attended a session before, and although I had never done so, I felt at ease with my surroundings.

The Meditation in the Museum is held every Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m., and I meditiatiojcould not imagine a better way to end a week. As a busy student with a constant stream of thoughts running through my head, the opportunity to slow down and let the stresses of the week slip away was ideal. Wolfe provided all the participants with a handout that included the script he used during the session for future use. This session focused on the mantra “ong” and the idea of light within one’s self. As Wolfe referenced, meditation is considered by some to be the fourth state of consciousness in addition to the waking, dreaming and sleep states. This meditation state includes a physical relaxation and heightened sense of awareness.

Even though this was my first experience with meditation, I would encourage screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-2-42-21-pmanyone to attend a Meditation in the Museum session. Being in the museum itself provides a peaceful, calming and relatively quiet environment, and being led through a series of instructions in order to reach a calming and relaxed state of mind is an activity beneficial to most anyone. Students can attend a Meditation in the Museum session most Friday afternoons starting at 3:30 p.m. in the David Owsley Gallery of Asian Art of the David Owsley Museum of Art. See the following link for the complete schedule for the Fall 2016 semester: http://cms.bsu.edu/web/museumofart/museumevents/meditation-in-the-museum

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photos by: Emma Rogers