If you’ve ever been to the Fine Arts building, you’ve probably walked past or peeked inside the art gallery. Our gallery has been home to some beautiful art exhibits over the years. In Color, Voice and the Jean Parish Scholarship are just a few examples of some of our past displays. My personal favorite is Catching Light which went up in 2020. That one specifically was put on by the Martin-Mullen Art Gallery, but in 2022 they’re back with something new and just as gorgeous.
The Martin-Mullen Gallery put up a new exhibit called Sea Psyche. It was created by Amy Cannon utilizing surrealist art methods like clay and paper collage painting. The art in the collection is supposed to reflect Cannon’s relationship with water. She has several pieces in this exhibit that reflect her love and the peace she finds in swimming, as well as more political pieces that reflect the effects of global warming on aquatic environments. Amy Cannon, the Art Gallery Director, says, “Sea Psyche: Real and Imagined” is an exhibition of recent work by Amy Cannon exploring the ‘watery’ world she lives in. Beneath the surface, a whole world is alive. There lays unexamined thoughts and feelings, abstract shapes, and colors alluding to things and places both real and imagined.”
Cannon used a series of different artistic techniques to create the pieces in this exhibit. She frequently uses a technique called intaglio, or engraving, and uses many stoneware sculptures. You can see her stonework in her “Sea Floor” sculptures. She also uses collage painting and graphite drawing to express and combine the complexities of the ocean and her imagination. Cannon explains: “It is through these processes that the sea theme emerged, symbolizing the little-known depths of the psyche.”
Another fan favorite includes Reef 13. It’s a yellow collage-style piece from Cannon’s Knysna Series. She achieved the effect by using printed polymer paper on wood. She used this same technique on another piece called Benthic Debris, which uses a lot of red, black, and grey. There are walls full of her intaglio work, one of which the art depicts sea creatures like jellyfish. Another standout piece is one of a few pieces by Cannon titled Nocturne. It’s another collage-style piece that uses white, grey, and different shades of blue. Britt Smith, a graduate student from the museum studies program, says her favorite was the black and white Nocturne.
“They look like fossils, and they’re so intricate. A lot of these pieces are really colorful, so it’s interesting that the artist is able to make it look just as detailed without color.” As opposed to the blue and white one, the black and white one is supposed to represent the depths of the sea.
The exhibit is up right now in Fine Arts. Simpson notes that “Beyond the art majors, the show touches upon themes of climate change, psychology, philosophy, and marine biology that can be an interesting point of view for students focusing on those disciplines. It can be a creative outlet for discussion as well as a restful space to decompress.” The gallery is open for viewing every day except Wednesday from 11a.m. to 4p.m.