By Julia Konow
Art has long been known to evoke thoughts and emotions in audiences, but with the new exhibit Time Machines: Looking Forward, Looking Back at the art gallery in Worcester State University, it has gained the ability to transport them through time.
Dr. Catherine Wilcox-Titus, an art history professor at Worcester State University, chose the theme of “time” for this year’s art exhibit within the Mary Cosgrove Dolphin Gallery in part as a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the gallery.
“Visual objects are all time machines that provoke memory, daydream, and personal history,” Wilcox-Titus said as she tinkered with the lighting for a section of the exhibit. “Objects are a catalyst for meditations and time.”
Artwork on display includes illustrations of dinosaurs in the prehistoric era, metaphorical interpretations of time that encapsulate movement, a sunset at an exact moment in time, Dutch 17th century still life, depictions of political rallies, and more. While previous years included themes of In Between, Art of Science, and Global Perspective, this year’s exhibit is a unique combination of interpretations of what time truly means.
The planning for this art exhibit has spanned about a year and a half, with regional artists submitting over 200 works from an open call that was promoted through print and electronic media. The artists produced a broad range of responses to the theme, including geological, cosmetological, as well as dozen other interpretations. 46 pieces by 36 artists were chosen for the show.
“Artists can sum up a lot of ideas, feelings, and desires with a visual object. We get the artists on canvas,” Wilcox-Titus said.
At the opening reception on Feb. 8, students and faculty alike were able to meet the artists, discuss the work on display, and to ask for advice about their own artistic careers.
The art gallery at Worcester State University alternates between student shows and faculty shows in the fall and hosts a thesis show every spring. Even with severe constraints on assistant schedules and hours of bookkeeping to manage the artists involved, those who contributed to the colorful and unique exhibit find the work extremely rewarding.
“Art can save the world,” said Bailey Boutiette, an intern with a double major in business and art. “Art breaks down barriers and celebrates cultures. Art has the ability to unify cultures, and allow students to find something that they are passionate about while simultaneously earning a degree to prepare them for their future. Like at museums, this exhibit can promote unity and cultural appreciation through art.”
Wilcox-Titus had similar thoughts on the impact of the show.
“Looking at or making art is a wonderful alternative to the high pressure, career-oriented things we do,” she said. “The time machine theme doesn’t mean that this is science fiction; it is imagination.”
She added that this exhibit is more than just a wide range of artistic interpretations of a captivating theme, but also a chance for students to have first-hand contact with professional artists from the area.
“We hope that a number of disciplines use it as a teaching resource,” Wilcox-Titus noted. “I hope that Worcester State students and staff come to see the exhibit for classroom assignments. It is wonderful for students to see art on campus from professional artists in the area.”
This gallery exhibit will remain open with free admission until March 8. The exhibit is open from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from Tuesday through Friday and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays in room 113 in the Ghosh Science and Technology building at Worcester State University.