The Basch Gallery at Ringling College of Art and Design is typically known for its high-end contemporary art. Its most recent exhibition featured fine works of expensive, delicate glass.
This month's exhibit, "4 Artists / 4 Walls," is a bit different. Not only does it feature illustrations created with chalk, screen-printing and charcoal — the art is drawn directly onto the gallery walls.
Ringling College Galleries Curator of Exhibitions Mark Ormond says he developed the idea for the exhibition over the course of the last seven years as he noticed students' work continuing to shrink.
"One of the things that excites students is to see large-scale work," he says. "I wanted to challenge four faculty members to make large-scale drawings and actually use the wall as the ground of the drawing.”
Artists Dustin Juengel, Steven Strenk, Nathan Skiles and Patrick Lindhardt each selected a wall and created their mural using chalk, charcoal and other materials, often working outside their typical mediums.
Steven Strenk, a kinetic sculptor, chose to create a larger-than-life chalk blueprint for his piece, and he says he enjoyed the challenge to create clean, intricate illustration.
“I just wanted to see if I can do it," he says. "I’m really challenging myself.”
The exhibition runs for a month, after which the works will be painted over. But Ormond says the impermanence is part of what makes the exhibition so unique.
“The artists aren’t always going to be present when the visitor comes to the gallery," he says. "But because of the energy that they’ve invested in the wall, and because the wall is part of the building, there’s a kind of energy in the space that I don’t think you necessarily have when you’re hanging a framed painting on the wall.”