GV Visual Media Arts Department opens interactive exhibit


Courtesy / GVSU Department of Visual and Media Arts

Omari Seaberry, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University’s Visual and Media Arts Department debuted a new gallery entitled “Image Studio Interactive.” This exhibit works to showcase how art can be created and viewed in a unique way. 

The exhibit introduced the use of several projection devices to create large images, patterns and colors on the walls of the gallery. This form of art explores the creation, use and presentation of images through the use of current image creation and presentation technologies.

The creation of this project was led by art students Blake Mathews and Dustin Galarneau. They worked with several other students from ART Image Studio along with Department Chair Paul Wittenbraker in creating an interactive experience for all students, faculty and visiting art educators. 

Wittenbraker said he’s excitement to show the GVSU community how images in art can be portrayed in many different ways. 

“It looks quite dramatic, like some of those Van Gogh deep experience projects, but we do it using old overhead projectors and simple materials that teachers have access to in their schools,” Wittenbraker said.“These are great and fun to photograph, so we hope people get involved in making images with their mobile devices.”

Setting up for the exhibit was a cooperative effort from the VMA department and the students leading the exhibit.  

Mathews said they were delighted to lend her experiences to the project. As a studio art major with an emphasis in visual studies, Mathews felt that this project would allow them to delve into their prior knowledge. Through this digital art project, they wanted to encourage audiences to think more broadly as they engage with their work. 

“In my education career, I am creating my own path to merge graphic design and fine arts practices into one,” Matthews said. “I love creating images for people to decipher while also providing a sense of involvement for them.”

Galarneau said they kept the audience’s experience in mind when creating a figurative road map for what to convey. He said this project also helped to keep an end goal in mind throughout the process. 

“I feel that this is a good learning experience for everyone involved,” Galarneau said.  “It also helps us with our goals of being more resourceful with our work.”

This exhibit was also an important part of preparing for the welcoming event for the Michigan Art Education Association (MAEA) on Nov. 3. This event brought in art students and educators to tour the VMA department’s facilities, display student works and present product demonstrations.  

The gallery is still on display in the Padnos Student Gallery in the gallery at Calder Art Center. There are also virtual tour options through the VMA department’s website.