Student sculpture exhibit opens in union building

“Things That Continue to Happen” is a group show featuring Weber State University students from intermediate and advanced sculpture classes in the WSU Department of Visual Arts. Jason Manley, a new addition to the sculpture/3-D faculty of the department of visual arts, will head this student exhibition, part of the WSU Material Culture series.

“The work includes traditional and nontraditional sculpture methods, ranging from casting to installation art, and grapples with ideas about time, natural processes, ruins and the human condition, to name a few,” Manley said.

Participating students include Tyson Pendleton, Andy Perkins, Alexandra Reintjes Furlong, Blake Niflis, Adam Smith, Fred Hunger and Trevor Panzano. One piece within the exhibit, by Perkins, titled “To Conceive of You (Proper),” explores the concept of space and the residual effects of process and time.

Manley Perkins’ piece “is a life-size representation of his father’s head cast in layers of wax, pigment and paint, and crafted to reference the polished surface of a geode. The artist utilized traditional portraiture methods in sculpture and experimented with casting wax in multiple layers that results in a paradoxical interpretation of time by integrating elements of the body with geological strata.”
While there has not been a regular history of sculpture showings in the past, Manley said he and many other visual arts professors would like to highlight these students’ work more. He said the Shepherd Union Gallery has not been a common venue for the department’s exhibitions, but that might change.
“It is my understanding that, in general, professors in the art department would like to utilize the Shepard Union Gallery more often in the future to highlight student artwork,” he said.
This gallery exhibit serves in part to fulfill the Shepherd Union Building’s mission statement, which says, “The Shepherd Union Building is staffed with a team of professionals whose primary mission is to facilitate the learning process by helping students with their intellectual, interpersonal, and leadership development. In addition, the staff works to maintain an environment which fulfills many of the campus and community needs.”
Junior Lucas Robinson said he agrees with this part of the mission statement.
“We have a very cultural university that needs to be represented,” he said. “If it happens through art, that’s great. I always enjoy walking through and looking at the presentations. They are very interesting.”
Manley said he is a faculty advocate of WSU’s cultural and artistic role in student life.
“Student art is important to me because it is why I am here — to teach and help students evolve as artists,” he said. “Art is a form of communication. It is created to be shared and experienced by others. The ultimate reward that comes from hours of slaving away in the studio is exhibiting and having a public reception for the work. We are very fortunate to have the use of the Shepherd Union Gallery to share student art with the college and local community.”
The “Things Continue to Happen” exhibition will remain open the rest of the month. The gallery is open to the public 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and is located in the Shepherd Union Building by the bridge to the Student Services Building.