Metamorphosis, a student art show

Lex Menz and Jamie North chat in front of the first piece, "Pixel" by Ian Ward. Photo by Jessica Kovacs.

The old wooden stairs of Terri Clark Photography lead up to the first piece in the art show, a painting called “Pixel” by Ian Ward, as the path of metamorphosis begins.

The student-run art show “Metamorphosis” opened Friday, Nov. 2 in Terri Clark Photography’s studio space on Main Street in downtown Sylva.

The exhibition featured 23 artists, the majority being Western Carolina University art students. It displayed many forms of artistic media including painting, manipulated photography, sculpture, motion graphics, and pottery.

The occupied studio was transformed into an open area for art lovers and the community at large.

The transformation from private to public space: Ian Ward lying where his bed used to be.
Photo by Marysa Burchett.

“The converted space was almost like serendipity. The idea of taking a private space and making it into a public space,” said Ian Ward, WCU art senior who co-organized the exhibition and currently lives in the studio space where the art was shown. Ward cleared out his entire living space to share his dream of promoting local artwork.

As you walk through the exhibit, “there is a dichotomy of how the classical mediums have evolved with the times and still have the same meaning,” said Ward.

“Doing a project of this magnitude apart from WCU is pretty challenging, but we have had a lot of help from other students and staff members,” said Joseph Moon, senior graphic design major who coordinated the exhibition with Ward.

“The majority of the artists have all developed friendship on- and off-campus, and the exhibition is just another way of getting together to show how we have changed with each other,” said Moon.

Locals, families, professors and students alike all came to witness the opening.

“I think it is some of the most interesting art I have seen in a while,” said Susan Martin, a WCU art professor.

Artists and their families at "Metamorphosis."
Photo by Jessica Kovacs.

When asked if this show allowed for more creativity and expression, Martin responded, “When you do something for yourself it ends up being a lot more genuine and honest so even when a particular piece was not successful I still found it compelling because of where it came from. I think honesty is important in art but it is also what makes it so hard.”

“I wanted to step back in time to the roots of what graphic design was: pencil and paper,” said Evan Voss, graphic design student, when describing his sculpture, “Dirtbook Pro.” His intention was to show that computer generated work is not as tangible as handmade work.

The final piece of the exhibition leaves exiting patrons with a quote. Photo by Jessica Kovacs.

Other students who helped curate, present and set up the show included Kevin Hipps, Jessica Kovacs and Shane Brooks. They are all dedicated to spreading and promoting art to the community.

As you leave the studio and exhibition there is one final piece above the stairway that sums up the purpose of the entire show. It is a collaborative screen-print with the quote, “Artists and art alike with starry stroke on a cosmic canvas transmute unknowing the luxury of few into the wealth of many.”

“Metamorphosis” will have another opening this Friday, Nov. 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. so supporters can view the exhibition one last time.