Collage paintings in rich, jewel toned shades of purple, blue, red, and dandelion yellow slowly begin to find a place on the VU Gallery’s wall. It’s 11:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning and artist Angela Rockett is getting ready to set up for her show, “Inner Landscapes” being shown until November 22.
Facing the gallery walls she proclaims “wow what a great space” and the Rubik cube shuffle art dance commences.
Rockett’s paintings are abstract pieces of angular meeting spherical geometric shapes with certain shapes juxtaposing against each other. At first glance, the entire collection of paintings appears to hop off the walls and grasp the viewer.
“I thought it was really beautiful and stood out when I first saw her work,” says Heidi Norgaard, ASP VU Gallery coordinator. “I really enjoy the textures on her work; it makes you want to touch it. The colors are vibrant and bold. It’s almost as if the colors jump right inside of you.”
Upon closer inspection of the artwork, it becomes a multi-layered viewing experience. Layers upon layers are revealed with Japanese papers spaced sparingly around the canvas. Broken cd’s, feathers, washers and old textbook passages amongst other various found objects also slowly materialize with deeper inspection.
“That’s one of my sole intentions with my art. I believe that a multi-layered piece really brings in the viewer,” says Rockett. “ I’ve always had a visual interest for texture; more layers takes them deeper into the piece.”
Angela Rockett received her B.A. in Art History, and then after taking a three-year break from school, an M.A. in Illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design. After this time, Angela found herself being drawn to what can be classified as collage painting with mixed media elements.
Her usage of mainly spherical, orb like shapes can be explained simply as “being drawn to these shapes forever and there being a wholeness to them.” They are also some of the strongest shapes, as explained by Rockett.
Her work will be shown in the VU Gallery until November 22, but getting the work on the walls and into the gallery is another process entirely separate of experiencing Rockett’s eye-catching color usage.
Heidi Norgaard, with the assistance of Hana Kato, coordinates the VU Gallery bringing artists in like Angela Rockett and other solo artists or group themed shows. The process all begins with trying to fit shows into this year’s goal of educating and inspiring people.
“It’s good for students to see a variety of visual communication,” says Norgaard. “It’s another form of communication. It’s what I believe art is; art can speak in another way than spoken languages can’t.”
For a solo artist like Angela Rockett to have a show in the VU Gallery causes Norgaard and Kato less stress compared to group shows, but just as much work. Although a relatively informal process, the artist first has to be contacted, dates have to be arranged and planned out months in advance, contracts have to be signed, and then the exhibit gets constructed. Most often exhibits are planned simultaneously. As soon as one exhibit is on the ground running, work continues on the next show.
Group exhibits, said Norgaard, often take a little more planning and are often more stressful than solo shows. Sending out a call to artists for submissions is the first step followed by choosing the work, getting contracts signed, receiving the artwork at odd hours of the day, and displaying the work when it comes time.
Promotion, catering, arranging for articles of exhibits are also part of the exhibit package, Norgaard literally has a checklist of everything that needs to be done for the execution of a flawless art exhibition. Surprisingly, the entire year’s VU Gallery exhibitions are already planned out with deadline lists continually being made.
“Prison Nation”, the next art show featuring activist posters about the flaws and injustices of the prison system, starts right after Angela Rockett’s “Inner landscapes” on November 27 and is presented until the end of the quarter.
Winter quarter brings exhibits on sustainability and design, gender identity, and two more that are yet to be identified. Spring quarter art showcases remain concealed for surprise at a future date, but there are at least five scheduled so far.
In the meantime, Angela Rockett has work with the spotlights on and is ready to be discovered for the multitude of wonders within the pieces. Thanks to the presence of having a non-profit gallery on campus like the VU Gallery, work that inspires and educates students will continue to be shown throughout the year. The VU Gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday thru Friday.
“The VU Gallery exists for members of the community and students to hear about the creative process, why the artists do this, the artists’ process and intent,” says Norgaard. “It’s important to hear the artist’s statement, and what the artist was trying to accomplish.”