By Jessica McGregor
Entirely East Lansing staff writer
EAST LANSING — On the Surface, (SCENE) Metrospace’s newest exhibition, is featuring artists Robert Park, Steven Stradley and Deborah Alma Wheeler. This exhibition opened Friday March 16th cautioning that some of the artwork is intended for mature audiences only.
(SCENE) Metrospace’s curator Tim Lane came up with the theme On the Surface only after picking the artists and finding it encompassed them all.
“I am always looking for strong artwork, that is the most important thing for me. Is it strong artwork, is it interesting, is it confronting contemporary issues; things people are interested in currently? Those are the things I am always looking for,” said Lane.
The theme of this exhibition was also based heavily on the way artist Steven Stradley works, which Lane described as “in the moment.”
Stradley said, “For me, the art process is about that process. I am interested in the journey of the artwork, where it takes me, and the exploration of the materials in the studio.”
Lane said they came up with the idea of calling the show On the Surface because in one way or another it relates to either the work or methods of each artist.
Robert Park takes a different approach to his artwork and has been included because his intention is for the audience to stop and think, paying attention to the surface of his artwork.
“One of the things Robert is trying to do in this day and age when everything is so instantaneous and digital, is to create artwork that you have to slow down and spend a lot of time looking over and reading the text on his work. So the surface is really important to him and he uses it in a really intentional way,” said Lane
Park’s artist statement is true to why Lane believes he is the right fit for this particular exhibition.
According to the program provided my (SCENE) Metrospace, Park said, “I believe an artist must be both a psychoanalyst of the depth of things hidden below the surface; and a theoretical physicist revealing the quantum zoo of particles and anti-particles, as well as their patterns of organic energy that our eyes can’t see on the surface.”
Deborah Alma Wheeler focused her art around “Queer Theory,” with one of her art pieces being a drinking fountain and a “Homosexuals Only” sign above.
Lane said, “When you spend time with Deborah’s work, she wants you to take in the initial idea. The way the piece looks, how it speaks to you. But she wants you to get beyond that surface and think about the large implications that the work speaks to.”
Wheeler also displayed a sculpture of a woman plastered with commercial logos in an effort to draw on women’s rights issues and marketing tactics.
“I imagine that upon first appearance they seem pretty simple and of simple materials or of common objects but they read completely different beyond the surface and more in-depth read to different civil rights issues or social political issues,” said Wheeler.
Although (SCENE) Metrospace may go unnoticed by some, Wheeler thinks the gallery is another way to connect the community to Michigan State.
Wheeler said, “For the community I think it gives an insight into what’s happening at Michigan State’s art and art history department and the themes that different art students are working with.”
The Gallery will be open Thursday from 2-5 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 2-6 p.m. and Sunday 12-4 p.m.until April 15, 2012.
(SCENE) Metrospace is located at 110 Charles Street, next door to Georgio’s Pizza.