Exhibit will expose students to outside art

Jocelyn Robinson

As part of its goal to expose students to outside artists, Western’s art department is presenting paintings by Amy Bouse in the fine arts center art gallery.

“We see it as a chance for students to see work from all over the country,” said Yvonne Petkus, head of the exhibitions committee. “In arts education, exposure of what’s possible can shift students’ work and have them ask more of themselves.”

The committee did a nationwide search for artists to exhibit in the gallery by placing an ad in “Art Calendar,” a national art publication that lists a variety of exhibition opportunities for artists. Over 60 artists responded, and Bouse was one of the artists selected to showcase a display.

“Her work definitely stood out from the rest,” Petkus said.

The committee usually brings in two outside artists a semester to show students what’s going on in the country.

They generally try to attract different artistic styles, said Matthew Tullis, a member of the exhibitions committee.

“(Bouse’s) work is slightly more abstract than we’ve had in the gallery before,” he said. “Of all the artists we looked at, her work stood out as being colorful and engaging.”

In her artist’s statement, Bouse wrote that the paintings “draw inspiration from studies of botany, human anatomy and quilt patterns.”

Bouse said the inspiration started with an anatomy coloring book that looked at how the body accommodates itself for different experiences.

More inspiration came from her experiences with watching things grow from seed to plant in her own garden.

At a quilting show a few years ago, Bouse said she saw examples of African-American improvisational quilting, which gave her further inspiration.

“I was fascinated by how they put together shapes and forms in a way that was spontaneous, yet organized,” she said.

Bouse, who lives in Los Angeles, has had her work displayed in galleries across the country.

“I like showing my work in universities and colleges because there’s an educated audience to see the work and appreciate it,” she said.

Tullis said he has heard mostly positive response from students.

“I’ve heard lots of students commenting on really enjoying the show,” he said.

Bouse’s exhibit will run through Friday.

Reach Jocelyn Robinson at [email protected]