ArtStreet Concludes Exhibition Season with 'WISDOM: Who Are You?'

ArtStreet will conclude their 2014-15 exhibition season with “WISDOM: Who Are You?,” running in the ArtStreet White Box Gallery from April 15 – 30.

WISDOM is a collaborative exhibition with ArtStreet and Springfield’s Project Jericho.  Project Jericho is a collaboration between Clark State Community College and Clark County Job and Family Services as they engage at-risk youth and families from diverse backgrounds.

The exhibition is the culmination of the IAN (Institute for Arts Nexus) II course, which is required for all students living at ArtStreet. The goal of the course is that “[s]tudents will develop and demonstrate an understanding of communal living, experiential learning and collaboration between peers and mentors while executing original, radically creative works of art for the culminating White Box Gallery exhibition.”

ArtStreet students were assigned a stage of life and focus questions in order to create a curricular model and a visual representation of knowledge gained throughout the course of the semester. The class met for 1 hour per week, with each week’s session taught by a different house, focusing on their specific stage of life and questions, such as “Is it okay to be me?” or “What is my legacy?”

The visual representations from each house, which follow the stages of life from pre-birth to death, will be displayed in the White Box Gallery at ArtStreet as the culminating exhibition.

Each stage of life was associated with a virtue, with wisdom being the crowning virtue at death, from which the exhibition title was born.

“Wisdom is the result of ongoing learning. Wisdom is what one seeks to attain as living and learning continues. It starts the moment we leave the womb and ends with our soul's exit of our bodies. When one does not continue to learn and reflect on their life, I truly believe they cannot attain any higher level of wisdom,” said ArtStreet director Brian LaDuca.

ArtStreet brought in local Dayton artist Ben Riddlebarger as Artistic Curator for the exhibition. Riddlebarger currently lives and works in Dayton as an artist. His unique approach to making art is what initially appealed to exhibition producers.

When asked what he wanted the students to learn from this experience, Karlos Marshall, ArtStreet Graduate Assistant and Project Jericho staff member, said, “I hope that the ArtStreet residents realize that it is often times only opportunity that lies between success and failure. For the Project Jericho students, I want them to realize that their capacity to impact and influence others is well beyond the realms of what they perceive to be possible at their youthful age. 

ArtStreet director Brian LaDuca said, “I hope all students involved use this opportunity to reflect on their own life journey, both where they come from and where they’re going. The creative catalyst behind the narrative of the installation provides such a great visual opportunity for students both from UD and Project Jericho to really see where life takes you; it’s really making the invisible, visible at a very meta-level.”

Throughout the experience, students not only learned from their faculty/staff mentors and the students at Project Jericho, but they also learned about their own roommates.

Senior student Alex Gaskins, resident of 308 Kiefaber St. had this to say, “[e]ach member of the house has a strength, skill, or perspective that the others do not. Preparing for the WISDOM install helped reveal these unique gifts that each member carries.”

While students learned from themselves and others, there were also challenges throughout the process.

“The virtues and questions that compose WISDOM are laced with complexity. Consequently, our biggest challenge was grappling with the broad, vast, and sometimes weighty topics,” Gaskins said.

Marshall wants visitors to the exhibition to “understand that at a fundamental level, WISDOM is simply an exploration of perceptions, realities, lived experiences and walks of life from a diverse assembly of learners.”

“I am most excited to watch people as they go through the gallery and experience the many aspects of wisdom that happens throughout one's entire lifetime--from before birth to death. There are a lot of well-thought interactive pieces that both groups made that force the viewer to be an active participant. I hope to see people walk away learning something more about themselves and thinking about who they want to become,” Riddlebarger said.

ArtStreet is located at the intersection of Lawnview Avenue and Kiefaber Street on the University of Dayton campus. ArtStreet is open 8 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday and noon to midnight Saturday and Sunday. For more information about ArtStreet events, call 937-229-5101 or visit udayton.edu/artstreet.

Detailed Schedule/Public Events: 

WISDOM: Who are you?

April 15 through April 30, 2015

ArtStreet White Box Gallery

Opening Reception: 3:00-4:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 15 (Presented in conjunction with Stander Symposium)

A premiere installation designed and created in collaboration with the University of Dayton's ArtStreet student residents and detained youth from the Clark County Detention Center that explores the human journey from birth to death through an imaginative and curious questioning of the infinite roads we may take, the virtues we do embrace and the choices we may make in our 21st century world. Presented in partnership with Project Jericho, Clark State Community College and Clark County Department of Job and Family Services.

Press release written by Maggie Fiegl '15. 

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