The Black Box Student Gallery currently features interactive artworks by five UCA art students.
Each of the students constructed the pieces in Assistant Art Professor Sandra Luckett’s summer installation class and have set up their work in Schichtl Hall 1A.
“We were very lucky to have a space to put this art installation in for several weeks,” senior Addie Rule said. “Many colleges don’t have access to an open space for students to do installation art because of the time and amount of space they take.”
Walking into the Black Box is much like stepping into a book containing many stories. Each area of the room contains a different piece of art that gives its viewers an altered moment of reality.
Senior Joshua Hall assembled his installation titled “Enter at Your Own Risk.” His piece is a maze of textured objects designed in a completely blacked-out room. While one may feel claustrophobic and nervous, the trick is to feel around to the other side.
“Josh’s piece is kind of creepy and chaotic, but it is exciting and different,” senior Leah Roddey said.
In contrast, Rule designed an art piece titled “Cumulonimbus.” On the outside, it looks like a giant, soft cloud, but from the floor, one can see all the different shapes the sculpture makes.
“I’ve always really connected with rain and clouds and the peacefulness that comes from listening to the rain,” Rule said. “I want people to have that overall sense of serenity and peace, the sense of childhood and being carefree. I want my audience to be able to experience that and let everything else fade away.”
Senior Holly Dickson said her untitled piece gave an insight to an art student’s scattered brain, but that it is relatable to almost any college student during finals. Food, trash, papers, clothes and the contents of an entire room are dumped onto the floor with students falling asleep right in the middle of it.
Senior Allison Swanson’s “Galactic Melt Statement” makes the brain swirl while looking at sound waves that “merge together to form an incomparable rhythm.”
“It made me feel like my world was melting, but I was OK with it, and it was beautiful,” Roddey said.
Sandra’s “Attack and Destroy” features many intricate pieces and colors that draw the viewer in.
Her work describes weather changes and weather’s power to destroy. She created something that brings people anxiety and fear, but made it look beautiful.
“Sandra’s [piece]was like the calm before the storm; it’s a gorgeous piece that has an explosion of color,” Rule said.
Senior Shelby Horner’s “Foreign/Familiar” depicts a topographic slime spill zone. She made her own green slime and spread it among jars and moss.
“Shelby’s is playful and whimsical, yet fantastic and thoughtful,” Rule said.
Overall, the gallery directors were pleased.
“I think it’s a full spectrum,” Rule said. “Everyone has completely different aesthetics and completely different content, which is really exciting. Also, we all formed like a little family during the class and installing our work, which was great.”
Although the pieces impressed many, it also inspired some.
“Going into the gallery made me wish I could take that class because of all the brainstorming,” Roddey said. “Seeing what the other artists could do…made me want to do something like that.”
The Black Box Installation will be open through the end of next weekend, all day every day in Schichtl Hall 1A.
This article originally appeared in the Sept. 9, 2015 print edition of The Echo.