Arts

Faculty Members Showcase Artwork in “Off the Clock” Exhibit

G..WANG & A.CHENG/The Phillipian

Six Instructors in Art contributed to the exhibit with a variety of mediums. Pictured above is Instructor in Art Thayer Zaeder’s featured pottery.


Colorful ceramic vessels are clumped together in Gelb Gallery, mounted on the wall using bamboo sticks. Originally created for an outdoor exhibition, this part of the installation, titled “Migration,” is centered around the idea of movement and was created by Emily Trespas, Instructor in Art.

“The idea of ‘Migration’ is what we think about how things migrate, [like] people, animals, birds, or parts of nature. This one, in particular, I’m thinking about the vessels as symbols of creatures, people, or organisms that would migrate. Some of them may travel in clusters like birds, and others may wander like spiders,” said Trespas.

The installation by Trespas was one of many pieces exhibited in Gelb Gallery as part of an annual art faculty show. The exhibition, titled “Off the Clock,” opened this past Friday evening, and showcased the work of Therese Zemlin, Diamond Gray, Rafael Kelman, Trespas, Thayer Zaeder, and Hector Membreno-Canales, all Instructors in Art. The featured artworks included collages, ceramics, photographs, and drawings.

The title “Off the Clock” refers to the time in the summer during which art faculty used to pursue their artistic interests. Many of the pieces aim to re-evaluate common perceptions, according to Valerie Tang ’20. She explained her interpretation of how the use of perspective in “Migration” related to this theme.

“I think that [Trespas is] trying to look at things from a different perspective and make the viewer question [their surroundings]… that’s what I admire most about her, how she always brings something new to what is already there,” said Tang.

Similarly, Membreno-Canales used his photographs to question the origins of monuments. He first began the project in 2016, and his collection of five pieces focuses on the controversy of confederate monuments. His interest lies in public spaces, the art that lives in them, and how the art reflects the values of the people who live there.

“These [monuments] are basically physical manifestations of the way history is told. The winners frequently get to tell history, but it begs a really important question about the origin of the monument. When the monuments were erected, who paid for them,” said Membreno-Canales. “The era of the public monument is outdated now. This is the evidence of what’s leftover from that. We should think of new ways [to] contextualize who our leaders are.”

Zemlin’s artwork was composed of holepunched pages from the book “Possible Worlds” published in 1927 with lines and colors connecting dots to form various shapes. The book consists of essays that question the purpose of science. Zemlin questioned not only the topics presented in the book, but the subconscious rules she made for herself throughout the process.

“Some of the essays are questioning something, like the use of astronomy… It’s interesting to think about the use of science. The essays are a way for the general public to begin to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of science. In every piece that I do, I… figure out what subconscious rules I have made for myself. We all make these rules, and I don’t realize that I am assuming that I can’t do this or that with these works, so I keep breaking my own rules that I inadvertently make,” said Zemlin.