Exhibit preview: Diversity in “Mirage & Rainbows” makes for compelling exhibition

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From the February 20, 2014 edition

OSU Urban Arts Space’s current exhibit of works from the graduating class of MFA candidates presents a variety of contemporary art mediums and practices. As an exhibit, “Mirage & Rainbows” is all over the place, and that’s one of the most exciting elements in walking through the space.

There are massive installation pieces, a collection of miniature ceramics by Jonathan Fitz, a color wheel made from toy-gun molds and a mutated Jesus bust.

Attendees will see unconventional sculptures by Gun Young Kim in recognizable, if distorted, forms adjacent to a Rube Goldberg-ian installation (“Echo of Motion” by Andrew Frueh) that the artist will be interacting with.

There is video and technology-focused work and an installation using an amalgamation of architecture, photography and distorted carbon-paper geometrics. One artist has even created a work that uses human breath to reach its full capability.

It’s nearly impossible to fully explain the diversity (and distinct creativity) from the 17 artists, many with multiple works.

One of the most intriguing works is the installation “Between Two” by David Knox, a printmaking major. It’s a large Plexiglas piece with stenciled words that are applied using the oils from human skin. To fully see the words, the viewer must exhale on them with a person on each side exposing related words like “here” and “there.”

“It’s really this moment of bringing people together or finding out what this space is right [between them],” Knox said. “It’s a small space that we’re never really interacting with people.”

“White Not, Wet Not” by Amy Ritter is another piece that blends elements of art history (repetitions of classic Roman sculpture) with unusual materials (cardboard, cement and prints from a Kinkos) to create dozens of nudes of Ritter. The sizes are as varied as the nudes themselves; some are androgenized, others are more traditional. All of them gaze directly at the viewer, pulling them in.

“There’s a whole bunch of classical and modern meets a little bit of [a subtle] feminist motif,” said Ritter. “[The] figures are looking back at you, looking for viewer connection, but there’s also a theme of self-love.”

“Mirage & Rainbows” fills the OSU Urban Arts Space with so much diversity it can actually be disorienting, yet the entire exhibition is compelling through this effect.

Photo credit Ada Matusiewicz