“Positive and Negative” art opening

Colby Stevens’ new exhibition “Positive and Negative” is now on display at Retzlaff Gallery in the Art Building, along with a number of other exhibitions by Southern Oregon University art students. The opening on Thursday night was attended by art goers from both the university and the community, and Stevens’ exhibition attracted a considerable amount of attention.

“What’s the ice supposed to represent?” asked a curious onlooker, pointing to the five cylindrical blocks of ice hanging from the ceiling. “And why is there a light bulb in each of them?”

“The ice is like the positive space in art,” explained Stevens. “The electrons travel from the negative terminal through a resistor into a positive terminal, creating heat. The ice melts, and dissolves into the negative.” He points towards the black buckets set into the base beneath each ice block. “Slowly, the negative fills up, becoming positive.”

“I’m interested in the transition,” Stevens explained. “I tried to illustrate the transfer between positive and negative.”

Stevens has been making ice since September. With three molds and a lot of trial and error, he has managed to make 40 ice blocks. “It usually takes about two days to make a block.” Stevens said. “I actually made 65, but only 40 of them survived. I hope to keep adding to the show, I might be able to get up to 25 out here.”

While Stevens was the headline of the show, numerous other artists had their works on display as well.

Ryan McInnis’ exhibition “100 Faces” features, you guessed it, one hundred faces. “It’s supposed to show development,” McInnis said. “I did 36 of them last April just for practice and then when it came time for my senior project I figured I might as well do 100.” The portraits progress down the wall, varying greatly in color, tone, and style.

McInnis’ exhibition is housed in the Meyer Memorial Gallery in the Marion Ady Art Building.

Kelle MacFarland’s exhibition “Exploring Being” is also in the Marion Ady, and offers a window into the artist’s soul.

“It’s about exploring who I am, and being comfortable with the answer,” MacFarland explained. “It’s an artist’s inner struggle.”

The exhibition also displays MacFarland’s progression as an artist. “That one was from last spring,” MacFarland said pointing towards a large canvas with gentle, sweeping brushstrokes. She then points at another canvas, this one displaying a markedly different style. “Last term I experimented with dropping paint on the canvas,” she explaine. “For me it’s more about the process than the end result.”

Daniel Kasser’s exhibit, “Artifacts of Technology,” is on display in the Thorndike Gallery at the Art Building. Kasser is an art professor at the University of the Pacific and his exhibit reflects the spirit and history of the old west and Manifest Destiny. A powerful and evocative display, his “Artifacts of Technology” is organized into themes of farming, mining, transportation, and energy.

“Positive and Negative,” as well as all other exhibitions mentioned here, will be on display until Jan. 28th.


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