The Annual Student Art Exposition ended on March 31, which gave students the opportunity to exhibit their creativity and development.
The paintings on the wall depict friendly faces, multicolored designs and the symbols of social movements from Kony 2012 to the DREAM Act. Tapestries and brightly colored sheets hang from the walls outside the glow of the furnaces in the glass room. Along the ceiling-high windows facing the courtyard, glass boxes encase pieces of jewelry made from glass, metal and ceramics.
In one brightly light alcove, stacked crates hold the contents of a student’s life: dozens of jeans, sweaters, books and shampoo bottles.
From abstract to realist, these pieces were all part of Tyler School of Art’s Annual Student Art Exposition, held from March 19 to 31, to showcase student creativity and development.
This year’s exposition featured dozens of pieces displayed throughout the north hall, as well as multiple site-specific installations.
The purpose of the exposition was to display samples from every area within Tyler, which includes glass, jewelry, fibers, painting, sculpture and art history.
Pieces included a glass head that spewed out a length of rope coiled around the floor, a pipe sculpture extending from the wall, paintings done on glass, abstract humanoid sculptures and paintings that reflect both Philadelphia and American culture.
“We tried to treat it like a snapshot of Tyler,” said Robert Blackson, director of Exhibitions and Public Programs for Tyler. “We looked at all the student numbers from each of the different areas, and made a proportional quota.”
In addition to the pieces displayed on the walls of Tyler, seven site-specific installations were designed and built by students to take advantage of space within Tyler for the purpose of housing larger creative pieces.
“This was an initiative of the faculty to try to consider all the various nooks and crannies of the building,” Blackson said. “We are still growing into this building.”
Of the site-specific installations, by far the most popular, has been the AKA, the self-proclaimed “Two-week open forum for an exchange of ideas an knowledge” housed in a plywood structure on Tyler’s front lawn.
Other site-specific installations take up space in the halls and back courtyard of Tyler.
One of these, titled “TerraForma,” is a large sculpture in the courtyard built out of layers of rebar, pottery, earth and grass.
Another is a small-scale sculpture of a mountain rising from the floor of Tyler’s main hallway.
The selection of pieces for the exhibition began last spring, when the office of exhibitions began contacting professors to look for pieces to be entered.
Blackson said Tyler faculty selected which pieces would go into the show. Professors placed emphasis on student work that had developed with time.
“We spoke with the faculty about selecting work coming from their years of students,” Blackson said.
For students in Tyler, the annual exposition offers the chance to get their work seen outside of the classroom. Blackson added that the exposition was meant to connect Tyler students with each other, and to the greater university and city community.
“The intention of the exposition is to give a public face to everything that is produced at Tyler,” Blackson said. “It’s about trying to open up the doors to Tyler as wide as possible so that all members of the public…[are] equally valuable to opening the doors and sending invitations to the people of Philadelphia, which we have as part of this exhibition.”
Tyler also holds yearlong exhibitions inside the main gallery, as well as in galleries on the lower floors.
John Moritz can be reached at email@example.com.