Tuesday February 19, 2008

Exchanging Art

A joint art and design exhibit between the University of Dayton and the Nanjing Arts Institute will open at UD and then travel to China.

"The Natural and the Artificial," a new exhibit at the University of Dayton, combines the work of students from UD's Department of Visual Arts and China's Nanjing Arts Institute.

Four professors and more than 30 students from the Chinese school sent their creations to Dayton to join the works of 14 UD visual arts students in the University's first art and design exchange program with China.

Titled "The Natural and the Artificial,” the exhibit displays the Chinese students’ work in one gallery and the UD students’ work in another now through March 6.

When the show closes here, both sets of works will be shipped to Nanjing to be displayed in a similar exhibit, according to John Clarke, professor of visual communication design at the University of Dayton.

"In addition to the art and design work, both the Nanjing and the UD students have written some wonderful reflections on their works," Clarke said. "These statements are included in the exhibits, making the show educational and well worth taking the time to read and view."

The diverse collection includes drawing, painting, sculpture, graphic design and illustration, and examines themes such as the relationship between nature and man, nature and the city and urban sprawl, according to Clarke, who coordinated the joint exhibit with Erin Holscher Almazan, assistant professor of fine art at UD. The two professors collaborated on a course at UD that centered on this art exchange.

"In some cases, the students have considered a global view but in other instances, their views are quite personal and explore such themes as family, spirituality, detachment and change,” Clarke said. "I was first struck by the intensity of the Nanjing students' handcraft. Studying their work further, it became obvious to me how much the rapidly changing environment of their world and culture is impacting their natural resources."

An opening reception for the exhibit is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at ArtStreet Studio D, and a closing reception with guests from the Nanjing Arts Institute is planned for 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, at the Rike Center Gallery.

Art and design works by the students of the UD department of visual arts are on display at ArtStreet Studio D from 8 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday and noon to midnight Saturday and Sunday.

Works by the Nanjing Arts Institute students are on display at the Rike Center Gallery 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday; closed Saturday and Sunday.

For more information, please contact the UD department of visual arts at 937-229-3237.

University of Dayton Department of Visual Arts 937-229-3237.