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IWU Galleries Hosts “VENEER” by Bruce Campbell

The 1920 Gallery in the Barnes Student Center hosted the “VENEER” exhibition by artist Bruce Campbell. The gallery hosted countless plates, cups and bowls arranged in different ways to convey a deeper message.

Artist Bruce Campbell said that this work was inspired by both its accessibility and its effect on the environment.

“We live in a society that probably couldn’t function without plastic, consequently disposal in a responsible way is an issue,” Campbell said. “Our landfills contain a staggering amount of plastic waste yet we continue with the addiction; what better way to dispose of plastic than to make sculpture with it?”

Campbell explains that there is also a biblical reference to the tower sculptures that make up the exhibit. Just as the towers in the exhibition are unique, so are we as humans in God’s eyes.

“I think of each individual life as a tower, created to be unique in every way; each individual is a tower in different stages of growth,” Campbell says. “What tower in this exhibition do you identify with the most?”

Daniel Tomas Hall, the IWU Galleries curator, explains that there is a process to the selection and integration of art into the 1920 Gallery.

“This process involves using a combination of different professional and student work,” Hall said. “I try to balance the number of professional artists with those that do not necessarily practice art on a regular basis, or those who are students.”

Hall said that along with the different kinds of artists, there are different kinds of art in the gallery.

“There are photographers, sculptors, painters, printmakers and a variety of different disciplines,” Hall said. “We try to create a calendar a year in advance with different artists and exhibits that stay for about three to four weeks at a time.”

VENEER, along with its bright colors and intriguing characteristics drew students into the 1920 Gallery to admire the pieces.

Sophomore Grace Blickley is one of the many students who entered the gallery to see Campbell’s work.

“I was impressed by his resourcefulness,” Blickley said. “When you walk inside you realize how much time and effort went into it.”

Blickley also said that the deeper meaning behind the art was clearly expressed through the work.

“Creating the towers and individual towns is symbolic towards just how much plastic waste goes into the environment,” Blickley said.

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