SDSU Downtown Gallery set to open energized exhibit

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SDSU Downtown Gallery set to open energized exhibit

by Lilly Glenister, Senior Staff Writer

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The SDSU Downtown Gallery will have a new exhibit from Feb. 4 to March 27 exploring the intersection between energy and art.

Students and faculty from the SDSU School of Art and Design along with four regional artists from Los Angeles and Phoenix make up the 22 different artists who will be featured in the gallery.

The exhibit, “Energy: Made in Form,” brings together a multitude of works exploring the SDSU Common Experience program’s theme of “Experience Energy.” From salvaged piano pieces to McDonald’s chicken nuggets, each featured work channels the impalpable concept of energy through a wide array of mediums.

SDSU Downtown Gallery’s program coordinator Chantel Paul handpicked the artists and their work with the goal of not only showing the varied ways that energy could be interpreted and inspiring to create artwork, but also creating a conversation between pieces in the gallery.

“What kind of happens with the group shows is that you start to see connections between artwork, and I started to see the conversations happen,” Paul said. “That will be something that when visitors are in the exhibition, the way the work is laid out, there will be those relationships that are drawn from piece-to-piece, even though the artists may not know each other.”

Paul, who also curated the exhibit, encourages guests to examine each artist’s portrayal of energy through art and the symbiotic relationship between the two.

One of the artists featured in the exhibit is Emily Hung, an applied mathematics and studio arts senior at SDSU. Hung’s artistic aesthetic is a middle ground between paint and sculpture, and she approached the theme of energy through her love of food.

“I was thinking about the idea of energy and thought ‘what powers us as people,’” Hung said. “Obviously, the answer was food, and that’s me. That’s what I do. I made that connection really quickly and easily.”

Hung’s piece in the exhibit consists of five small vignettes comprising a variety of food items such as McDonald’s menu items, Doritos, and Reese’s peanut-butter cups.

While choosing artists for the exhibit, Paul was intrigued by Hung’s inventive approach and her use of physical manipulation to make a social commentary on the relationship between food, people and energy.

During its time at the Downtown Gallery, “Energy: Made in Form” will have three main events.

The opening reception of “Energy: Made in Form” will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 4. It will feature music from DJ Professor Shadow, an SDSU math teacher who will be playing music inspired by the energy theme.

Downtown Gallery will also be partnering with the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego for two of its new Downtown at Sundown programs, where the museum offers free, after-hours looks into local art on the third Thursday of every month.

The first Downtown at Sundown event will take place on Feb. 18 and will feature “:AKA wear it,” an interactive exhibition by the SDSU Jewelry and Metalwork program. The Downtown Gallery will host “:AKA wear it” along with “Energy: Made in Form” where guests will have the chance to be photographed with one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces.

The other event will be held on March 17 and will have artist-led tours of the “Energy: Made in Form” exhibition.

Paul is excited to present the exhibit to the public and to partner with the MCASD to connect with the San Diego community.

“There’s definitely some challenging work (at the exhibit) and it really goes beyond what people will think they’ll see,” Paul said. “I’m interested to see what visitor response is and hopefully people are engaged.”

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