Curating Performance is a collection of artifacts from works of performance art. Artifacts can describe physical objects used in past performances, such as props, costumes, or other materials like scripts. These objects, which were once part of a dynamic performance, now serve as physical mementos of the performance experience.
All of the art and artifacts in this exhibit were once part of a live performance, and were made and used by students and faculty from the Texas A&M Department of Performance Studies. The ephemeral aspect of performance art creates a unique challenge to a gallery display such as this, as each piece is only a glimpse of the moment in time when the performance occurred. These objects were intended to be used in a dynamic, interactive, performance in front of an audience of theatre goers.
Now, you and other visitors act as a secondary audience, one who is able to witness the unique presence and artistic expression of these pieces in a new way. A special thank you to the Department of Performance Studies for lending these artifacts. If you would like to learn more about courses and offerings in the Department of Performance Studies at Texas A&M, visit the College of Liberal Arts website or follow the Department of Performance Studies at:
Watch the virtual reception and artist Q&A with Performance Studies artists and faculty: On February 25, we sat down with several artist from the Curating Performance exhibit to talk to them about their projects and artistic process.
ArtFest is the Memorial Student Center Visual Arts Committee’s annual art competition and exhibition. All Texas A&M students, regardless of major, are invited to submit their artwork. The students who submit artwork to ArtFest come from any major, any experience level, and any age. The top three pieces receive a cash prize: first place $100, second place $75, third place $50, and film overall $100. ArtFest 2021 Winners are:
First Place Overall: Crystal Scott, Freshman Mechanical Engineering Major from Spring, TX
First Place Film: Victoria Abbruzzese, Senior Visualization Major from Leander, TX
Second Place (tie): Bernardo Meza, Sophomore Engineering Major from Del Rio, TX
Second Place (tie): and Zachary Martinez, Junior Environmental Design Major from Wylie, TX
Third Place: Ben Baaske, PhD Student in Architecture from Upper Sandusky, Ohio
Watch the virtual reception and artist Q&A artists held on April 9, 2021
Since March 2020, the MSC Visual Arts Committee has felt strongly about using the Reynolds Gallery as a space to reflect on how Texas A&M students experienced the COVID-19 pandemic. There were times when it seemed impossible to put their collective feelings and anxieties into words.
Across the university, students experienced a myriad of emotions, not limited to: sadness, grief, isolation, depression and anxiety. We watched friends and loved ones struggle from afar. Graduating seniors missed out on the pomp and celebration of their final semester. New students were only able to meet their classmates through a screen. There were moments when we felt adrift, uncertain and alone.
However, mixed with those feelings were small moments of hope. There were days when the only thing to do was take a walk outside in the fresh air. There were moments when, seeking comfort, we picked up the phone to talk to an old friend or loved one who we are normally too busy to talk to. In a difficult time, we discovered a deeper sense of concern and compassion for others. We saw the raw devastation on the faces of front line workers, but we also saw joyous images of people singing from their balconies in solidarity.
How do you summarize such a complex and delicate experience?
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows defines sonder (noun) as: “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own”. The widely accepted definition of solace (noun) is: comfort or consolation in a time of distress or sadness. In this exhibit, you will find personal stories and artworks from Texas A&M students that are singular and complex, but intrinsically linked by a shared moment in time. Some of the artists express a longing for relief through nostalgia or distraction. Others poignantly depict their feelings of emotional and mental strain. All of them are authentic and true responses to a massive upheaval experienced around the world.
The MSC Visual Arts Committee is proud to present Sonder and Solace, a collective representation of our shared COVID-19 grief, sadness, comfort, and ultimately reconnection. Please know that some of the personal stories and artworks on display contain descriptions of domestic abuse and mental health struggles, which could be sensitive for some visitors. Sonder and Solace will be on display May 5 – June 11, 2021.
Visualizing Natural History Specimens in Art and Science
On display June 16 through September 25th, 2021
The MSC Visual Arts Committee in partnership with the Texas A&M Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections and the Texas A&M School of Innovation[X] is proud to present Revival: Visualizing Natural History Specimens in Art and Science. The exhibition aims to demonstrate the importance of CT scanning technology in preserving, understanding, and increasing access to biological specimens. On display are visualizations generated by researchers and undergraduate students, artworks utilizing the scans, as well as the original preserved specimens.
Physical specimens include a preserved Elf Owl, a 3D printed Chinese Alligator Skull, an Ocelot Skeleton, and other related natural history specimens. The exhibit also displays visuals created with CT scanning technology that wonderfully illustrates the complexity and variety of forms present in these organisms. Additionally, artwork depicting the preserved specimens shows how increased access to visual information can allow for new interpretations and applications across fields. By displaying the artworks, scans, and original specimens together, the MSC Visual Arts Committee aims to explore natural beauty as it relates to technology and applications across a variety of fields.
Revival will be on display June 16 – September 25, 2021.
The Memorial Student Center Visual Arts Committee is proud to present A Photographer’s Journey: The Personal Vision of James Harvey Johnson. Based in Bryan Texas, James Harvey Johnson is a Texas native who has developed a keen eye for the environments and landscapes of the American South West. His work highlights the variety and beauty of the American South West with inspirations from Texas to California. Each carefully processed photo integrates a variety of techniques and technologies that expertly showcase different aspects of each environment.
From Johnson’s portfolio, a series of black and white photos have been selected for their ability to display the intricate detail and dramatic shadows that cover the South West. Brilliantly colored photographs have also been selected for their ability to showcase the dramatic hues and shades of seasonality across a variety of landscapes. On opening day a reception with John Harvey Johnson will be held in the Reynolds Gallery starting at 7pm.
A Photographer’s Journey will be on display October 7th to December 17th, 2021.