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October 17, 2007
A new art exhibit "Whole Fragment", a series of works from different artists and writers is now open in the Sheppard Art Gallery. The opening panel and reception of the exhibit, inspired by the writings of McArthur Genius Ann Lauterbach, is on Thursday, October 18 in the Sheppard Art Gallery.
The concept of "Whole Fragment" originated with Sheppard Art Gallery curator Marjorie Vecchio, whose first concepts for the exhibit began in fragments.
"A couple of artists just kept popping into my head when I still didn't have a theme," Vecchio said. "Then I read Ann Lauterbach's essay and the theme I found helped me choose more artists."
Ann Lauterbach's original essay, which was written in 1999, has been rewritten and revised for the exhibit's catalog. It touches on the relationships of disparate pieces coming together to form a whole, a concept Vecchio believes is applicable to art, writing and even life.
"The idea of fragments allows imbalance," Vecchio said. "Wholeness doesn't really work for people, we live our lives in fragments. It's much more beautiful."
In addition to composing a new essay for the catalog, Lauterbach conducted a poetry reading on Tuesday, October 16.
From there, Vecchio invited artists, poets and writers who develop art and pieces of writing that manifested this idea. The broad concept of "Whole Fragment" itself allows for a varied group of artists whose artwork and medium are dissimilar, yet evoke the same idea of wholeness through fragments.
Artist Jennilie Brewster's installation in the Sheppard Art Gallery takes up an entire wall but is made of pieces of garbage, newspaper and other small items like shoeboxes and paintings. Her artwork offers a new perspective on the concept that another man's trash is Brewster's treasure.
Brewster received her master's degree in fine arts from Bard College and has exhibits in Brooklyn, New York and Portland, Oregon.
In comparison to Brewster's contemporary artwork, Losang Samten, a Tibetan scholar and former Buddhist monk, produces the age-old form of Tibetan art called sand mandalas. Each sand mandala design signifies separate representations, including healing or peace.
Samten, who has practiced this ancient art for 20 years and has memorized all of the mandala designs, is working on the "Wheel of Life" in the Ansari Business building from Monday, October 15 until Thursday, October 25, when a formal dismantling ceremony will take place at noon.
"It is important because it sends a message of peace on earth and within the environment," Samten said.
Not only does the mandala signify peace on earth, the very act of producing the mandala gives the artist a sense of harmony.
"Generally, making the mandala helps me be more meditative," Samten said.
Pieces of artwork like Samten's and Brewster's, which are open to the public, allow community members, students and faculty to observe artists at work, which is another important component of "Whole Fragment."
"It's a nice privilege for students and the local community to be able to come and be a part of the process," Vecchio said. "It's a great experience for anyone who makes an effort to get involved."
The "Whole Fragment" exhibit, which also includes a catalog of the artists' and writers' work, will last until Friday, November 9.