Most everyone in the Castleton State College community is familiar with the exhibits that are always on display in the Christine Price gallery in the Fine Arts Center. The artwork that you can see today however, is special because it features seven CSC alumni.
“The big thing that they do is that they make art. There’s only a small percentage of art majors who actually make art when they graduate, so that all by itself just makes this kind of special,” said Bill Ramage, who has been the director of the gallery for more than three decades.
The artwork that Ramage chooses to show in the gallery truly brings the space to life and it does not go unnoticed.
“This particular exhibit is entitled ‘Poetics of Space.’ Inspired by the book written by Gaston Bachelard, Poetics of Space is the subjective aspects of space, personal space,” said Ramage.
A fan favorite is Brian Derosia’s “Kitchen Floor Drawing” which is a huge piece of paper, very irregularly shaped because it is the outline of Brian’s kitchen floor in Brooklyn. The paper was covered with carbon paper and mapped the traffic in his kitchen for a period of one week.
“I think this one is my favorite because it’s absolutely fascinating that it’s all just pen. If you go up toward it, it’s just all little pen marks and it looks like an old scroll with lines…I expect that there should be cursive writing on it. It fascinates me that someone took all the time to make something that wonderful,” said CSC student Cassie Papandrea.
Other students are drawn to “The Configuration” by Jason Draine, which is the most colorful and eye-catching piece in the show. Ramage said himself that it was the prettiest piece in the exhibit, inspired by air and oceanic-currents, resembling a map of the all the continents.
“I’ve actually spent about an hour’s worth of time just staring at it because it’s fun, I like to try and get inside the artist’s head and figure out what they were thinking when they did it,” said Tiaunna Leddick, a CSC art student.
Although it is not so easy to decipher the meaning behind the map, students still love it.
“I’m in love with that one. I don’t know exactly what it means but I’m just in love with it,” said CSC student Rebecca Roe.
Surprisingly, Roe did not feel the same way about the most popular piece in the exhibit, which is a huge cardboard contraption.
“I absolutely hate it. I think boxes aren’t exactly art work. I think it’s cool that you can climb through it, but it’s a little dangerous in a way,” she said.
Three out of five people interviewed said the cardboard contraption was their favorite piece in the show. The artist, Jim Byrne, created it as a timeline of all the houses he has ever lived in. Byrne is a serious artist, as well as an avid skateboarder and snowboarder. The ramp within the piece was inspired by his favorite skating trick. Byrne also makes a lot of video art. He said he likes his work to be interactive, not just something to stand and look at.
“To see such a simplistic object like cardboard be turned into something so fascinating and artsy is pretty awesome to see,” said CSC student Jeff Bruce.
Ramage hates to see the gallery with no exhibit in it, and he thinks this one makes the space beautiful while giving passersby something to admire.
Visually I think the exhibit ads a lot to the FAC and also for the art program,” said Ramage. “It’s really useful for the students to see things that artists are making outside of the department…it’s inspiring.”