Story by Nate Hemmert
The Center for Visual Art was alive and full of vibrancy Aug. 24 for the opening of Metrosphere, the artists of CVA and Impressions.
The CVA, MSU Denver’s off-campus gallery, kicked off its two-week exhibition featuring the works of the school’s art students and alumni. The show, running from Aug. 24 to Sept. 8, features works from Metrosphere, the campus literary arts magazine; Impressions — a painting workshop held in northern New Mexico — and artists of the CVA.
Many of the artists were at the opening to display their pieces. Some were running around putting on the final touches and making sure their works were hung correctly as the doors opened and people started to trickle in.
Almost immediately, the gallery was full of patrons — relatives of artists, fellow MSU Denver students and art junkies were all milling around to take a look at what the artists had to offer.
“The really exciting thing about this exhibition is that it’s a way to bring students from Metro in and make them realize that this space is for them,” Cecily Cullen, assistant director and curator of CVA said. “We have never done a student show outside of the bachelor of fine arts thesis exhibitions.”
The show wasn’t limited to wall paintings, either. There were three-dimensional pieces, rooms dedicated to video and even a piece spanning the floor by the entrance.
One exhibit that was getting quite a bit of attention was a collection of failed free-energy gadgets from one of CVA’s artists, Scott Holland.
Free-energy contraptions are little machines theorized to be able to produce an endless source of energy via magnetism or perpetual motion. Apparently, even electrical engineering can be artistic.
Holland’s interest in free-energy engineering began on the internet, where plans and testimonials for this faux-science run rampant, he said.
“Of course this all violates the second law of thermodynamics, so it’s absolutely impossible, which is what’s fun. It’s unachievable,” Holland said.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects of Holland’s art is the fact that all of his pieces come from salvaged and scrapped electronics. They are created from pieces of old VCRs, front porch motion detectors, old DVD players and other recycled materials.
While some of the creations came from items kept out of the trash, there was one piece that was ultimately destined for the dump.
Michael Frazier’s intricate and detailed floor covering, which was created with paper, saw quite a bit of foot-traffic — literally. It had been walked upon and trampled, and was torn apart by the end of the show.
“If you’re going to cut some paper and throw it around on the floor of a gallery, I don’t know that you should expect people to walk around it,” Frazier said.
It took Frazier more than 8 months to create the piece.
“It’s like offering yourself to the audience, your time and your creative energy as a consumable,” he said.
For Frazier, art is about the people. He realizes that his piece isn’t something that will necessarily sell.
“Art is most powerful when it becomes a talking point, a point of community,” Frazier said.