Tarble opens student art exhibits Friday

Adam Tumino, Sports Editor

Friday marked the openings of the 2022 EIU Masters of Art in Studio Art Exhibition and the 2022 Undergraduate Art Exhibition at the Tarble Arts Center, featuring a combined 125 pieces of art all made by Eastern students.

The event opened with awards being presented to several of the undergraduate and graduate artists, and then attendees were free to browse the gallery. Tarble Director Jennifer Seas said that the student exhibitions are the most difficult, but also the most gratifying, exhibitions to host.

“It can be a little bit chaotic, it’s really a lot of hard work and long hours, but it’s also the most rewarding show that I work on because I’m working with so many artists,” Seas said. “All of the are students, and young and really hungry to learn what it means to be an exhibition artist. It’s just really rewarding to help them move from thinking about things the way a student artist does to starting to imagine the way a professional artist works in the world.”

Among the undergraduate artists with work on display was Samuel Wilson, a senior studio art major focusing on 3-D studio ceramics. Wilson said that having his art displayed in the exhibition was an amazing experience.

“It’s kind of awe-inspiring in all honesty,” he said. “The fact that the Tarble was able to go out on such a limb, provide so much for so many of these students and give them a place to get their first taste in this kind of professional setting is a really nice opportunity that a lot of students don’t get to see.”

Wilson has three pieces on display, including one called “Testament,” which is made using a chainmail shirt consisting of over 20,000 metal rings that Wilson constructed from scratch over a period of two years. He cut copper wire to construct each individual ring in the shirt.

“It would come in 200-ish foot rolls, and I’d wrap that around a dowel rod and then cut it lengthwise along with a jeweler’s saw, getting each single ring, and after you have enough rings you can start weaving,” Wilson said. “The process for that chain shirt specifically is called European four-to-one, which just means that for every ring in there, it is touching four other rings.”

Kadey Ambrose was one of the 13 graduate students to have work on display. Her work included a series of 17 woven baskets, each one representing a person in Ambrose’s life.

“Each one takes between three and six days, full eight-hour days, to make,” Ambrose said.

She also said she appreciated seeing everyone else’s art on display, especially having seen many of the works grow over time.

“I’m so proud of everyone, it all looks so good,” she said. “It’s been really enjoyable to watch the progression throughout the year, so to see the ideas they had in the very beginning become fully mature and realized at this point, I’m very proud of everyone.”

There was a large crowd on hand Friday to witness the opening of the exhibitions, and Seas said that she thinks the student exhibitions can be a big draw for people in the Eastern and Charleston communities.

“I think that this is probably the most exciting show for the community because it really shows the vibrancy of the campus community, and new ideas and new ways of expressing ideas and feelings,” she said. “I think it’s really exciting for the community to see young people that are making work that’s this vibrant.”

Both exhibitions will remain on display through May 7 with a closing reception taking place May 6 from 5 to 8 p.m.


Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]