Gathering a crazy quilt of styles, formats and mediums from 29 artists, “Out of Many, One” marks the University of New Mexico Art Museum’s first faculty show in 10 years.
The 48 works crossing a medley of mediums and boundaries featuring portraits, installations, abstraction, mapping, still lifes and ceramics in a creative kaleidoscope of artistic range.
Curators conducted extensive studio visits from the summer of 2015 through last spring to choose the objects. The exhibition will hang through Dec. 10.
Photography professor Jim Stone’s “Biker, Main Street ShowDown II, Española, New Mexico” (2013) reveals a motorcycle owner whose dress coordinates with his tricked-out green dragon of transportation.
“His clothing and his body language added up to a code,” said Stone, who also counts himself as a rider.
“It’s all whole-cloth,” he continued. “His expression, his position on the bike. I think he saves that shirt for special occasions. Or he has hundreds of them. The bike seems to be exploding out of him. There’s a certain phallic quality.”
Andrea Polli’s dangling glass spheres resemble a cross between global galaxy and a storm of bubbles. The professor of art and ecology incubated the installation at Vermont’s Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Park.
The work melds art and science; Polli based her fanciful sculptural “listening vessels” on 19th century acoustic devices.
Designed in the 1850s by the German engineer Hermann von Helmholtz, the gadgets were used to identify frequencies or pitches present in music or other complex sounds. Their shapes exploit the phenomenon of air resonance in a cavity. Polli designed hers to entice participants to playfully focus on the importance of soundscapes.
“They will resonate at different frequencies,” she said. “Of course, we didn’t make them precise, but we made them look cool.”
Visitors can move a sphere to an ear; it’s like listening to the swish of air inhabiting a seashell. Polli included about 15 of the glass balls and tubes in the show.
“A lot of my art has been dealing with sound and the soundscape, so it’s just another way to explore sound,” she said.
Assistant professor of drawing and painting Raychael Stine paints wildly abstracted imagery of “yows.”
“A yow is a kind of a term for a spirit dog or the ‘Hound of the Baskervilles,’ ” said Stine, the owner of three canines.
Visitors can rarely detect the slope of a snout or the curve of an ear within her ravenous splashes and strokes of paint.
“Sometimes it makes people mad,” she acknowledged.
Her college professors taught her never to insert imagery into abstraction, a lesson she rejects.
“I think that’s a bunch of crap,” she said. “It’s only human to make references. I was kind of brought up in a world where I was a taught I wouldn’t be taken seriously (as a woman) if I dealt with flowers or sentimental subject matter.
“I think it’s cheeky.”
Stine has been painting dogs since she was 3.