Professors pick favorite art for ‘Crossing Boundaries: Episode One’ Exhibition

Caitlyn Berman

From Oct. 7 to Dec. 19, the University Art Museum at the UCA will host the Crossing Boundaries: Episode One exhibition, featuring hand-selected pieces from the University’s own collection.

Photo credit: Caitlyn Berman
Photo credit: Caitlyn Berman

For this series, about 24 faculty members from the College of Liberal Arts selected one or two art pieces that hold meaning in their fields of study.

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The purpose of this series is to confirm the importance of visual arts across varying disciplines, proving them “viable and potent resources for teaching,” according to the college’s website.

Among this exhibition’s selected photographs, paintings and sculptures are three of Andy Warhol’s original works, including “Tools,” “Joseph Beuys” and “Flowers.”

According to the University Art Museum’s assistant to the director, Stephanie Newton, the University’s total collection amounts to more than 3,000 pieces. Accumulated through donations over the years, this collection hosts a fair amount of Warhol originals. The artist himself came to CSU in 1981, personally signing the Campbell’s Soup can now located outside of the UCA building.

“It’s unique to have both exhibitions draw from our own collection,” Newton said. “My favorite piece from Crossing Boundaries has to be Vance Kirkland’s ‘Discovery of Space Mysteries No. 1,’ as it evokes the cosmos for me — it’s a really striking piece.”

This particular painting employs thousands of red and purple dots on a large canvas. Kirkland, according to Newton, was a shorter man who couldn’t quite reach the top of his large canvases while painting. As a response, he utilized a system of leather straps acting as a harness to suspend him above the canvas so he could reach all parts equally.

“It’s really amazing to see the different techniques and styles in this series,” said Lily Roe-Miller, CSU freshman and University Art Museum employee. “I’m a visual learner, so for me it helps to bring the visual to the classroom.”

English professor Matthew Cooperman selected four “natural watercolors” by Mario Reis. Submerged under the waters of various rivers, the canvases are “literally earth paintings, reminding us that art always bears the trace of its historical origin,” Cooperman said.

Photo credit: Caitlyn Berman
Photo credit: Caitlyn Berman

A photo in Crossing Boundaries with less concrete ties to its historical origin is Professor Gary Huibregtse’s “Stickman #3.” This photo captures the work of an unknown graffiti artist who leaves little painted robots on crosswalks, light posts and other daily items across the nation.

Professor Huibregtse is currently active in pinning down the traces of this ambiguous artist, tracking his footsteps in robot emblems all the way from Philadelphia to right here in Fort Collins.

At the intersection of Pitkin and Remington Streets lives a little robot painted on the pavement between the crosswalk lines. This intersection is the one featured in Huibregtse’sStickman #3.”

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Overall, the Crossing Boundaries: Episode One exhibit combines local ties to global discourse, proving the function of visual arts to be relevant across various fields of study.

Collegian A&E Writer Caitlyn Berman can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @CaitlynBerman.