Saturday, January 20, 2018

Camosun Visual Arts faculty show students how it’s done with new exhibit

October 4, 2017 by Adam Marsh, student editor 

Next time you think your teachers are robots who don’t exist outside of class, head to the mezzanine in the Lansdowne library or the space between Young 111 and 117, also at Lansdowne. Both of these spots will be filled with the work of Visual Arts faculty in the R + D exhibit.

Camosun Visual Arts instructor John Boehme says the sculptural medium of ceramic objects is particularly interesting to work with because it’s always changing.

“One of the things that draws me to the medium, which is so fascinating, is the various iterations they go through,” he says. “It’s hard, it’s soft. It’s also the oldest medium that humans have been working with in terms of sculpture and functionality.”

Boehme’s chosen medium for this project could hold your morning coffee or make you delve into a whole different area of obscure artistic pleasures.

Camosun’s Joseph Hoh’s Untitled will be on display at R +D this year (photo provided).

“It skirts those lines between functionality—meaning the toilet, and the sink, and the mug, and the bowl—and then it can be a sculptural form, which really can echo every gesture the human body can make,” he says. “It goes through different stages, which is so fascinating.”

Boehme says things can go belly-up at any point in the artistic process—especially when he is working with a medium that is so changeable and breakable—but he doesn’t shy away from those realities.

“I like those reconfigurations that can happen with a work. The one that’s up in the library was a new exploration of how to display and install ceramic work in particular; in the middle of the class, I was showing students what I had created, and then I flipped it upside down and the whole thing fell,” he says with a laugh. “And then I said, ‘Well, this is a great opportunity: you could look at it as being broken, or you could look at it as a great opportunity for you to reconfigure and rethink the work and use different materials.’”

Boehme says it’s important for students to see their instructor’s work, to recognize that they still produce as well as teach, and to embrace the effect that can have on their own creative processes while always making sure that their work is original.

“It’s great to have the instructional technologists and the faculty also working hand-in-hand together, which we have been for the last 43 years,” says Boehme. “It’s great for the students to see that we do what we say we do, by exhibiting and making work, taking risks, putting it out there.”

R + D
Until Monday, October 16
Library mezzanine and between Young 111 and 117, Lansdowne campus

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