Photo: MVC student D.J. Dewey chats with artist Valerie Wedel at her art show.
Story by Ashley Llorens
The “Swathe“ art exhibit reception was held October 8 in the Tech Center at the Morris Gallery of Contemporary Art at 4:30 p.m with the artist Valerie Wedel, who also instructs MVC art courses, present to answer questions and discuss her art piece.
“Swathe” is an installation piece which means it takes into consideration the space and works around it. The piece is also an interactive piece which means viewers can actually feel and touch the white curtains as the words fall from them and the sound plays in the background.
“I attempt to make connections with people I may never meet,” said Valerie Wedel about why she chose to make this an interactive piece. “Whatever you are feeling in the piece is the piece,” she added.
The piece is not intended to have a particular meaning, but the meaning you feel while looking at it and interacting with it. “You get it at this moment or not at all,” Wedel says about how it is to interact with her “Swathe” piece.
“The exhibit was very calming. I found it about being content with your place in the world,” said Bailey Gambrell, a student at Missouri Valley College.
“If the viewer sees meaning for them, then it works even if I didn’t intend it,” Wedel said. Wedel has noticed that people can feel different emotions while looking and experiencing her piece. She said people can feel calm or overwhelmed and sometimes dizzy from the words coming in all directions.
The “Swathe” piece has words coming down the white sheets that the artist said is a way to ground people in word, not just in the piece and is intended to make you think about where you are now. “I mean for the text to be the texture of the piece,” added Wedel.
The exhibit also has sound which seems like drops of water. According to Wedel, there is no intended meaning for the sound, it is simply another way for people to interact with the piece. “The quote about being between heaven and earth. It just gave an emotion of content and calmness,” said Gambrell.
The “Swathe” exhibit is something you can see, touch, and hear and many people feel differently from it. Wedel said she feels it’s her subconscious and whenever she is working on different art pieces she notices her pieces often end up dealing with what her subconscious must feel rather than what she had in mind.
The Swathe exhibit will be up until Sunday, October 20, and the Gallery hours are as follows: Sunday: 6 p.m.- 9 p.m.; Monday: Closed; Tuesday: 12:30 – 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday: 12:30 – 4:30 p.m.; Thursday: 12:30 – 8 p.m.; Friday: 12:30 – 4 p.m.; and Saturday: Closed.
The next exhibit will be “Tales and Trials” from October 29 until December 8. For a complete schedule visit moval.edu/Morris_Gallery
Below: Inside the art piece, MVC Mass Communication student Janelle Garcia is surrounded by falling script on the outside of the canvas sheet.
Photo below: Sharon Weiser, vice president of Academic Affairs, is one of the many visitors at the reception for Valerie Wedel, artist and MVC faculty member.