Story and photo by
Darrell James/Photo and image editor/@darrelljames_
The LAC Art Gallery welcomed students, employees and visitors to the closing reception for artists Cheri Gaulke and Michael Arata on Thursday, April 28.
The featured exhibitions introduced viewers to different perspectives relating to feminism and human rights. Both galleries allowed anyone present to participate in the artist’s presentation, which moved visitors to become more involved with the work displayed.
Gaulke took visitors on a walk in high heels in her exhibition titled “Peep Totter Fly.” In her gallery, visitors were allowed to try on a pair of red high heel pumps, which represented the cultural blind spot the shoes have carried through times. Either male or female could try on the vivid red shoes, but males were encouraged more while making the popular phrase “walk a mile in my shoes” more a reality than words said.
Gaulke said, “I’m always interested in art that raises awareness about issues. In this piece, I wanted to give people, in particular men, who have never had the experience of wearing high heels that experience and hopefully my work makes people think and make better choices in the future.”
An undecided major, Jody Sushi, 19, said, “It’s really interesting to have artists come in and explain their process. I also liked how the artist challenged visitors to break the gender barrier.”
Arata presented viewers with another interactive gallery that creates discussion of the topic of how content relating to people’s privacy can be presented on the Internet and how it’s sometimes inappropriate to do so.
Titled “Texas Style Beauty Contest-Miss M,” the display was inspired by an Internet story read by Arata about 10 female sex offenders who were tried in Texas and photos were put on display. Arata said people who are on trial shouldn’t be seen as public figures for entertainment. Mugshots of the women were displayed, but the faces were blurred to keep their identities private, though below the photo was an abstract painting depicting the person.
An additional presentation where visitors were asked to throw foam blocks at the artist to represent how society can put such people on display, just to stone them figuratively.
Arata said, “I feel it’s really crazy to take people who are incarcerated and turn them into a show. It just shows how stupid the Internet can be.”
Fine arts major, Michele Learner, 59 said, “Both exhibits challenged serious ideas, they were really conceptual and interactive. There was a lot to get from them but you had to put something in.”
The LAC gallery will be opened for the Student Art Exhibition of 2016 from Wednesday, May 11, Thursday, May 26.
Gallery hours are Monday and Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday noon to 8 p.m. and Saturday, May 21, from noon to 4 p.m.