Blurring The Line at the Arvada Center
By Amberle N.
The Arvada Center opened its doors this past Thursday for its latest art exhibition, Blurring the Line: Form, Function, Design, featuring the work of thirty-four artists whose artwork plays on the intersections of form, function, and design. Around two-hundred guests and artists were in attendance, enjoying the galleries as they browsed between the upper and lower sections of the Center.
Ceramics, furniture, and interior lighting were the main features in the Lower Gallery exhibition. Upon entering, one’s eyes are immediately drawn towards the vibrant colors of Knomad Colab’s Harlequin Night, which features an array of lamps decorating the wall with geometric patterns of many colors. Left of the entrance, the displays feature a plethora of works from elaborate cups to exaggerations and combinations of commonplace furniture.
Everyday home items were created with transformative qualities that evoke questions of their form and function. Many works combine aspects of different furnishings into new forms. In the Lower Gallery, Michael Beitz’s Lies Bench invites guests to rest on the intricate and functional design, shaped in a cursive writing of the word “Lies.”
Some artists were featured for their very first time. Emily Stevens spoke about her first Arvada Center gallery exhibit, 67, expressing her love of geometry and wanting to build a confluence of the geometric and organic. Comprised of 67 octahedrons, some of which are vases, the piece is a dynamic set intended to be rearranged according to the tastes of its owner.
The Upper and Theatre Galleries feature wearable art. Some pieces, such as Kristin Stransky’s notion motion, were created to be interactive with guests, featuring lighting and symbols that respond to motion or touch.
Speaking to her work, Sarah Havens, a costume creator with the Arvada Center, commented on her six-piece set of hats. “Each piece was an opportunity for me to tell my story through costuming, [reversing] the normal use of theatre costuming which doesn’t often tell stories.” Each hat features a human body in some way, from the figureheads on her ship-like creations to tiny figures that express the action of the story, which details her life and travels by boat along the east coast of the United States.
Other artists spoke to what inspires them. Jesse Mathes’ distinctive neck-pieces are inspired by paintings of Queen Elizabeth I of England, using many techniques such as Japanese basket weaving to create her unique radial designs. Mathes is an Arvada local, and this summer she will be teaching her techniques to the Colorado Metalsmithing Association.
Wearable art presents its own unique challenges. Ryan Gardner provided many insights on his work. “When creating wearable art, there’s [a lot of thought] that goes into making it practical as well. Some artists create elaborate pieces that aren’t really designed to be worn, but when you’re also making pieces for sale you’ve got to keep comfort and wearability in mind.” Ryan cited many architects as the source of his explorations into the limits of materials in his art. One of his fellow artists, Josiah Trujillo, provided an interesting contrast with jewelry inspired by organic shapes.
These are just a few of the artists and displays at the Arvada Center. Blurring the Line will be featured on display until August 25, 2019.