The Science Of Art: Exploring Project Space 2012

Toledo Local Features  |  01/06/2012 8:00 am

University of Toledo students and faculty members in the Department of Art have an incredible resource at their disposal. I'm talking about the Center for the Visual Arts, which lays adjacent to the Toledo Museum of Art, and houses the CVA Galleries, hosting numerous exhibits and events intended for the Department of Art, the University public, and the surrounding community. The space at TMA is the art department's long-time home, and offers a unique venue for students and staff to show off their talents.


"The mission of the art gallery program at the University of Toledo is to present innovative exhibitions that compliment the Department of Art's academic offerings; provide a viable resource for gallery practices training; engage the surrounding community; and fill a unique niche in the Greater Toledo area as a venue for exhibitions that enhance the reputation of the University of Toledo Department of Art and the College of Visual and Performing Arts," said CVA Gallery Director Ben Pond.


CVA welcomes in a new year with a three-part event titled "Project Space 2012," running January 9-February 12. As the name suggests, "Project Space" isn't the typical gallery show, and gives viewers the sense of looking in upon the artists' studio, offering a sneak peek at works in progress. The event features two exhibits and a play.


"The idea behind 'Project Space' was to open the gallery to experimental, in-progress or unique projects, to use the gallery in an untraditional way, less formal, more as a laboratory to try things out," Pond said.


"Project Space" kicks off with a photography exhibit from the class of Sedar Burns. Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next (Jan.9-Feb. 5) seeks to identify and explore the characteristics of Generation Y: people ranging from ages 18 to 29. Student photographers practiced their craft to explore facets of personal and generation identity, including sexuality, technology, and the morality and mentality of the Millennial Generation. An Artists’ Reception will be held on Friday, January 13 from 6-8 p.m.


To complement the exhibit, a play written by UT Provost William McMillen and directed by college theatre professor Cornel Gabara will be performed during two weekends in the gallery--mark your calendars for January 27-29 and February 3-5. "Exhibition" is presented by the Glacity Theatre Collective, and follows a couple that visits the painting where he proposed each year on their anniversary.


"It seemed a fitting project for the space since part of Provost McMillen's inspiration for the play is that it is performed in front of a work of art, creating a strong connection between narrative, performers, and visual art," Pond said. "In addition, the University reorganized one year ago and created a few new colleges, one of which is the College of Visual and Performing Arts. In a way, 'Exhibition' serves as a small collaboration within our new college to mark our one year anniversary."


During the final week of "Project Space," guests can find out what the students in Pond's Explorations In Drawing course have been creating. The Measure Project (Feb. 6-12) is inspired by minimalism and artwork such as Sol Lewitt's large wall drawing lining the TMA Peristyle Theatre hall, which sits just on the other side of the CVA Gallery walls.


While there are no distinct themes intertwining the two exhibits and play together in "Project Space," CVA staff and artists certainly hope that connections and dialog will arise once the community has viewed the work. If all goes according to plan, this experiment will prove a resounding success.


Admission to "Project Space" is free, and tickets to "Exhibition" are $20 a piece. Seating is limited, and tickets are available online at, or by calling the UT Center for Performing Arts at 419-530-2375. Show times are Friday & Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.