Professional artists’ take on experiences and poverty

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Artist Dylan Gebbia-Richards shows off his original piece "Echo" in Guggenhiem Hall's Mariani Gallery. (The Mirror/Andrew Stiegler)

Sadly summer is coming to an end.

But while students are slowly transitioning into a long work week filled with syllabus-ridden lectures and waking up to that unsettling feeling of knowing school is back in session, University of Northern Colorado students had something to look forward to last Thursday. UNC’s Fall Art Gallery Kick-off Party was nothing short of exceptional. Held in Guggenheim Hall, the party showcased some of Colorado’s most influential and cultural artists.

Dylan Gebbia-Richards, an artist based out of Boulder, exhibited an incredible textural work of art. The piece, titled “Echo” consists of built-up wax and pigment, a process Gebbia-Richards himself invented; it features 4,128 pounds of organically rendered wax that works between his impressive craftsmanship and changeable artistic tones.

“Echo” incorporates a 28-feet by 18-feet oval room with slanted, wave-like walls, resembling a crashing movement. It’s larger than life attitude completely surrounds the viewer, initiating the overall goal of his work. Gebbia-Richards had a specific vision for his piece. According to Gebbia-Richards, in order to truly understand and take in a piece of art, one must cut out the background sounds to allow an experience that is visually more intense. “Echo” captures a sheer feeling of isolation in its purest form, which is justified by the perfectly placed vibrant colors layering the piece.

Gebbia-Richards attended his showing and was bombarded by questions and compliments pertaining to his work. He is one of Colorado’s most illustrious artists whose influential process swept UNC by surprise.

Robyn Goodman presents her piece “the 7 icons of poverty,” consisting of several different painted portraits. Photo by Andrew Stiegler/The Mirror
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On a different note, Robyn Goodman’s piece titled “the 7 icons of poverty” captures a unique take on destitution and how it affects our culture in America. Goodman’s organically established work features seven uniquely painted portraits pertaining to the basic properties of poverty.

Goodman’s idea is that in order to completely understand poverty in its most basic form, one must understand what is worshiped by those who are directly affected. The iconic symbols Goodman includes in her work consist of safety, family, shelter, school, food, clothing and transportation, things people often take for granted at one point or another. Her work has an immediate connection to not only Americans who suffer from poverty but to her personal life as an artist and teacher. Goodman’s work also portrays expressive theory that helps the viewer to understand how art can relate to humanity.

With an immense collection of art, UNC’s gallery kick-off was a complete success. It took only a short moment for professors and students to appreciate the time and effort the artists put into their work. Each of them captures the textural development and a certain kind of boldness that is only possible through the expression of art. The works shown investigated the position of limitations and creativeness in art-making. The iconic nature of all the pieces create symbolized elements to illustrate poverty, humanity, and inhumanity.

Gebbia-Richards’ work will be on view from Aug. 21 to Dec. 11 in the Mariani Gallery in Guggenheim Hall, Room 001. His Artist Talk reflection of the work will be at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12 in Guggenheim Hall.

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