Art of the times

For budding art students, getting the chance to show work to the public is one of the greatest opportunities to have.

Students at Sam Houston State have a brand-new chance to show off their talents during an annual exhibit entitled “Zeitgeist,” which is currently on display at the university’s Satellite Gallery in downtown Huntsville.

Now in its fourth iteration, “Zeitgeist” is curated by the Museum and Gallery Practices class at SHSU, which teaches aspiring artists the finer points of how galleries and museums operate, while showing them how to plan, curate and present exhibitions that highlight the dynamic work of their peers.

“Throughout the semester, students in the class visit galleries and museums in Houston and assist with the installations and exhibitions in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery, SOFA gallery and the LSC gallery (on campus),” said professor Michael Henderson, chair of SHSU’s Art Department and Museum and Gallery Practices. “They study exhibition design and learn about lighting and how to hang and handle works of art. The ‘Zeitgeist’ ​exhibit provides them with the opportunity to put what they have learned into practice.”

With the term Zeitgeist meaning “spirit of the time” in German, the exhibition’s premise is to reflect the current cultural trends in art and society as a whole. Students from Henderson’s class curated the entire exhibition based on the works of their fellow students that stood out from the crowd and spoke to the current trends at the university.

“This idea of the exhibit is based on surveys of art like the Whitney Biennial or the Texas Biennial, both of which are organized by multiple curators who work as a team to put together exhibitions that survey what is going in contemporary art,” Henderson added. “My students spend the semester looking at art by other students in their classes and they take note of what is being shown in the halls of the art building. They look for things that stand out, and then each one of them makes nominations of art and artists that they think reflects what is happening in the department.

This year’s show features the work of 13 art students and includes painting, drawing, ceramic sculpture, photography and digital prints and mixed media. The artists include Paul Ajibolade, Kirby Clarke, Elizabeth Cloud, Autumn Dowdy, Mallorie Giasson, Frank Graham, Katherine Kaiser, Lille Muyskens, Daniel Porter, Ben Prochazka, Michael Ray, Jessica Sanchez Rossi, and Mitchell Young.

“I think it’s awesome that this class allowed us to choose the art we see on campus to represent our classmates and the campus as an art program,” SHSU student artist Ben Prochazka said. “It was a good experience for us because we did the whole process of curating a show, which comes in handy when you would want to put your own work and shows together.​”

The “Zeitgeist” exhibition will be up through Saturday and the artists will be hosting a reception tonight from 6 to 7 p.m. at the SHSU Satellite Gallery which is located at 1216 University Ave. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

Author: Joshua Yates

Interdisciplinary artist Joshua Yates was born in Clearwater, Florida and moved to Houston, Texas at the age of two. He has received Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with Highest Honors in Photography and Studio Art from Sam Houston State University while completing his Undergraduate Honors Dissertation in Performance Art Studies. With more than 10 years of experience behind the lens and a proven track record for enhancing digital and social media outlets, Yates has a passion for multi-platform journalism and visual communication in the digital space. He currently works as a Linux administrator for HostGator in downtown Houston.

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