Mixed media art exhibition to feature work of Marshall students


photo courtesy of Hanna Kozlowski

The art exhibition “Mixed Up” will feature work by students in Art 360, a mixed media course at Marshall University.

“Mixed Up,” an art exhibition featuring mixed media works by Marshall University art students, will open Friday, with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. at Alias14W, an experimental community art space in Huntington.

The reception will be free and open to the public and will include food, drinks and the opportunity to speak with the artists, all of whom are students in ART 360, a mixed media course.

All of the pieces featured in the exhibition were created as projects for the mixed media course, said Hanna Kozlowski, coordinator of Foundations at Marshall and instructor of the course. Each student has at least two pieces they created for the course included in the exhibition, she said.

Mixed media is a course where students explore using multiple and various materials, in addition to painting and drawing techniques, Kozlowski said.

Some materials students used to create the work that will be seen in the exhibition include spray paint, stencils, found imagery and found objects, specifically paintings and prints students were assigned to find at thrift stores and rework to create something new, Kozlowski said.

It terms of how the pieces that will be featured in the exhibition look, Kozlowski said a term she would use to describe them is “appropriation,” which in the art world is used to describe when an artist borrows imagery that is already existing and changes or subverts it to create an new work of art.

For example, students in the mixed media course have drawn from popular culture, whether they are using collage of existing imagery or using logos or motifs from pop culture, Kozlowski said. Students are not starting from scratch, but they’re taking what’s already there and then making it into their own artwork that communicates a specific and unique message, she said.

“I think that the work will engage the viewer on various levels,” Kozlowski said. “Some pieces will just be very visually pleasing and like gratifying on a purely visual level, and then other works might be sort of surprising and challenging. They might provide commentary that is trying to say challenge the status quo, that might make the viewer rethink certain ideas related to our society, but I think that there’s something for everyone within the show, whether they’re approaching it from a visual perspective or more of a conceptual approach, it’s a wide range of works. It’s a mashup.”

Kozlowski is facilitating the exhibition and said putting it together has been a collective effort and has helped students in the mixed media course to learn how to work collaboratively. Together, students decided on the title “Mixed Up” for the exhibition, decided on which works to include in the exhibition and also decided the exhibition’s layout in the art studio.

Sophia Celdran, a sophomore visual art major who will have work featured in the exhibition, said this exhibition experience has been different from those she has had previously, because in the past, she has had to just drop her work off at the venue that will be displaying and let others decide the layout; with this exhibition she got to work with her classmates to decide the best organization of the works. She said she really likes being involved, and with this experience she was able to do a little bit of everything.

“I’m really excited to see what the community engagement is like,” Celdran said. “In previous years, it hasn’t been high for art events like this, but recently, people have really been turning out for things, like exhibitions. And I’m excited to see how many people come and how many people get like really into it, because our art community around here is growing more rapidly than people expected.”

Individuals will be able to view the exhibition March 15 through April 2 at Alias14W. The exhibition will be open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 3 to 7 p.m. Sundays, according to a post on the art space’s Facebook page.

Alias14W is located at 720 14th Street West in Huntington.

Jesten Richardson can be contacted at [email protected].