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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggie artists host First Friday showcase

Photo by Photo by Edith Anthony

Texas A&M’s visualization laboratory focuses on computer graphics while offering drawing, painting and sculpting as alternative mediums. 

Texas A&M’s visualization laboratory opened the doors of their Downtown Bryan studio to present the diverse works of graduate students during Sept. 7’s First Friday.
The monthly event hosting artists, live music and evening dining allowed students a platform to share their creations and interact with the public. The viz lab showcased past works on the first floor of the Perry Place Loft Apartments and they plan to present more creations during future First Fridays.
While the viz lab focuses on using computers as a medium for creating art, the studio also showcases paintings, soft sculptures, tabletop miniatures and live music.
According to William Jenks, director of viz lab and assistant visualization department head, the studio facilitates work and exhibition space while its location allows for more contact with the public, especially during First Fridays and Third Thursday Art Step events. The lab presented physical pieces from assistant professor Jinsil Hwaryoung Seo’s Form, Installation, Environment class. Jenks said showing off these particular works helped demonstrate the diversity of viz lab creations.
“It’s not always on the computer,” Jenks said. “Folks think of us, they think animated movies, it’s certainly one of the major things, but that’s not all… things come out of the computer and have physical form.”
Meg Cook, third year master of fine arts (MFA) student, said she enjoys the studio because she’s able to watch her peers work or get instant critique on her own work. Cook also emphasized the importance of the workspace for long-term projects.
“You can leave your stuff,” Cook said. “[The A&M] campus doesn’t give you the environment to camp out and work on stuff, you have to move when another class comes in. This has been really nice because if you’re an MFA student, you get assigned a place where you can leave your stuff and you don’t have to move out constantly.”
Dean Zhu, second year MFA student, said the project he intends to develop for Seo’s class will be different from the tabletop miniatures he was presenting on Friday. Zhu said he will be working on a helmet inspired by German sculptor Julian Voss-Andreae’s quantum sculptures, which appear to vanish as viewers’ perspectives change. His concept is to have a helmet that vanishes but also reveals another shape within.
“[A quantum sculpture] is already perforated, this is already a lot of negative space,” Zhu said. “What if I put a secondary sculpture inside that negative space? What if I built it in the shape of a skull? Professor Seo has suggested that I actually scale that up to a wearable size.”
Jenks said this studio will continue to offer students a chance to develop new projects and showcase their work for the public.
“For [MFA] students, it gives them context that they can execute their work and have the opportunity to show it,” Jenks said. “It’s a stepping stone for them. Helps them get used to that idea, I can’t overstress being able to open the doors to the public and have the public see what’s going on.”

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