The digital art students ‘demand excellence and engagement’
“Choose Your Weapon,” the culminating exhibition of this year’s sixteen bachelor of fine arts students in the Digital Arts Program, celebrates with a First Thursday Opening from 6-9 p.m. June 7 at the White Box, 24 N.W. First Avenue in Portland. The exhibit runs through July 21.
As Associate Professor Colin Ives says of the artists – dubbed “The Rude Brood” – in his introduction to their show’s catalog, “They trouble the boundaries and expectations of art and design. They demand excellence and engagement from themselves and from their peers. They are unyielding in their pursuit of the skills necessary to realize and make tangible the ideas that drive their work.”
Above: Work by Olivia Storm.
The resulting terminal art projects by this year’s sixteen artists are wide-ranging. One work follows the suggested logic of a self-help book on how to get ahead in the world, in this case by selling door-to-door. Another creates a not-too-distant science fiction future in the form of an animated robot. One student’s photography centers on images taken while riding Portland’s MAX line, while another deploys the trope of a known cultural form, the horror film. Other work includes abstract vinyl maps, paintings that connect family and friends as like-appearing characters, and an EEG hookup that programs shape and movement based on real-time data of the artist’s thoughts.
The show’s tag line – Choose Your Weapon – “raises the question: What are the appropriate tools, skills, and knowledge that a young practitioner needs in the creative fields of our culture?,” Ives wonders. “The Rude Brood’s response speaks of necessary hybridity because there exists no fixed skill set, no definitive knowledge base, and no finished solutions. Instead, it is all about constant learning, smartly apprehending context, understanding the cultural play of ideas, and pushing visual culture.”
Ives says the students “are all talents so incredibly worth watching. The Rude Brood has taken every opportunity presented to them, created their own possibilities, and made quick use of every skill they have learned. This group knows it is a process of continual learning, of becoming artists – the artists they will always be becoming. The work in this show represents just a moment, a wonderful, transitional moment, in the
trajectory of their lives.”
Above: Work by Christine Thomas.
Above: Work by Keith Stedman.
Above: Work by Amanda Riebes.