UIS Visual Arts Gallery presents ‘I’m Jealous of your Failure’

Over the past month, the Visual Arts Gallery has hosted an exhibition titled “I’m Jealous of Your Failure.” The exhibition is not the last, as the Gallery has two more planned for this year as well as several for the spring semester.

The aptly titled “I’m Jealous of Your Failure” exhibition was a collection of works that revolved around failure. The curator of the display, Trew Schriefer, said, “In the beginning, I asked the participating artists to submit a work that they felt was a failure in their own studio practice.”

Since then, the idea has evolved into the final concept that manifested itself in Gallery. Allison Lacher, the Visual Arts Gallery Manager, stated, “I really enjoy the variety of works, and the dominant presence of successful works. Don’t expect to come into the gallery to encounter a sea of failure. That may be the foundation of the show to an extent, but it’s not the true result.” This, according to Lacher, is because of a difference in opinion between the artists themselves and the audience.

Having a Visual Arts Gallery on campus is important to Lacher, especially given UIS’s commitment to interdisciplinary academics. “Some exhibitions begin to engage themes related to other disciplines. There is the potential that some exhibits will speak to, and be of particular relevance to majors outside of visual arts. The gallery offers a lot to the campus community, and can enrich perspective and lend new interpretations in unexpected ways,” she explained.

While the exhibition on failure ended Oct. 23, there is not much time until the next large event in the Visual Arts Gallery. “Copy Shop” will feature Chicago-based artists Tom Burtonwood and Holly Holmes’s artwork, which is largely dominated by the use of 3-D printing.

According to Lacher, “A component of the exhibit will speak directly to the Springfield community by referencing Springfield’s Dana Thomas House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and a showcase of his Prairie Style.” The artists have used a portion of the house to create a 3-D print that will be displayed at the exhibition. The audience will also be able to use a machine at the gallery to produce their own small-scale copy.

Alongside the exhibit will be an ECCE Speakers Series presentation by Burtonwood and Holmes on Nov. 6 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The discussion will cover the importance of 3-D printing to sculpture. Burtonwood explained, “As the sample was to hip-hop so 3-D printing is to sculpture and designed objects. Open source 3-D printing has paved the way for a revolution in making things.” Following the Speakers Series event, there will be a reception for the gallery. The exhibition will run from Nov. 3 to Nov. 27.

In addition to this semester’s offerings, the Visual Arts Gallery will be offering a number of displays next semester. “Our feature exhibition for the spring semester is from accomplished Chicago artist Kelly Kaczynski. Her show is called Awkward and Urgent Objects: New Work,” Lacher said. This exhibit will run from Jan. 20 to Feb. 19, which will give interested students a reason not to completely dread the end of their winter break.

The Gallery is not just hosting these events for interested students, however. According to Lacher, the whole campus should get involved. Lacher stated, “I encourage the campus community to visit the gallery because it’s work you likely won’t really see anywhere else in the community. We are a leading venue for contemporary art in Central Illinois.”