Mike A. Bryan, Staff Writer
Gallery 210 just brought in two new art exhibitions, one featuring students and faculty from UMSL, and another showcasing student works from Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis.
“Hung Together” features works by University of Missouri-St. Louis Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) students and UMSL fine arts faculty. The other exhibition, “The Beauty of Chaos,” features students of the National Society of Arts & Letters. There was an opening reception for the new exhibits on April 14, attended by artists, students, faculty, adjuncts, and guests from the community.
For those who have never visited Gallery 210, it is an intimate space located on the UMSL North Campus in the same building as the police station, across from the UMSL North MetroLink stop. The gallery spaces are small and only take a few minutes to wander through.
“The Beauty of Chaos” occupies the walls of the main hall that runs between the gallery rooms. Most pieces are pencil and colored pencil drawings, with a few watercolors. The majority of the pieces seem appropriately immature – these high school artists all have raw talent but have not fully realized their own unique styles. The subject matter of the pieces varies from grotesque creatures to fantastical characters, with some landscapes and abstract pieces. There are two standouts, “Ancient Africans” by Shillah Shah and “The Chicken” by Hevvon Edwards, both of which are watercolors. “Ancient Africans” truly captures the colorful essence and rich heritage of Africa, and the lines and style are unique to the artist. It is a piece that seems to be painted by an older, more mature artist. On the other hand, “The Chicken” is a hyper-realistic watercolor portrait of a chicken that is noticeable due to the artistic integrity visible in the portrayal of the chicken. There are a few gems in the other pieces, but those two make visiting the exhibit worthwhile on their own.
In the main gallery space, “Hung Together” showcases the works of UMSL students and faculty. The show was curated by Emily Geno, also an UMSL student. There are many types of art included in the exhibition: sculptures, paintings, prints, photographs, clothing, and shoes. Each artist has their own spot in the larger space, allowing the viewer to get a good idea of the scope of each artist’s work. There is a wide variety to the works; some are personal, some pop art, with landscapes, graphics, and portraits mixed in. There truly is something for everyone, no matter what type of art you might like. The creativity and uniqueness of these students and faculty are on display, and should appeal to many types of viewers.
There are a few pieces that stand out from the crowd, such as “Abandoned Interior – Riverfront Fire Damage” by John Collier. It is an archival print of a broken down piano in a partially fire-destroyed old room and evokes a sense of longing and history. A silkscreen print appropriately titled “Red Trees” by Linda Bangert is not to be missed, as are the silkscreen prints by Jennifer McKnight (“Strange and Wonderful”) and Salena Niemann (“Untitled”), both of which feature cool graphics. Perhaps the most interesting pieces are a series of 3D printed figures by Phillip Robinson, titled “Just Shoot I’m Black,” that utilize parts of various international flags to make figures posed in strange positions.
Both exhibits are on display now until May 12 and can be viewed Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The exhibits have been made possible through the support of the College of Arts and Sciences at UMSL. Show your support for your fellow Triton artists, and go check out these exhibits. They do not take very long to see and have enough variety that everyone will find something they like.