The master’s students works of art presented at the Surplus Gallery – The Daily Egyptian


After a year and a half of planning and creation, master’s fine arts students Jam Lovell and Daniel Rohr will present their Masters theses in Art Sculpture at the Surplus Gallery.

The reception begins at 5 p.m. on April 27.

The couple met at Eastern Illinois University where they then headed up Critical Forum, an organization that planned their showcases.

Rohr said that by working with each other on their artwork, they were supporting rocks for each other when self-doubt arose.

“One thing I’ve realized in making art over the years is that there is quite often a lot of self-doubt,” Rohr said. “But Jam and I have to step back and say no, what you’re doing is awesome, it’s awesome, I’m proud of you, keep doing it, keep moving forward and don’t be lazy.”

In one of Lovell’s sculptures, she took a rubber mold of her and Rohr’s hands together and then cast it in bronze to show the strength of their relationship.

“We pushed each other and challenged each other,” Lovell said. “So I think we both excel because we’re together, so I made this part where it’s rubber molded. “

From 2011 to 2014, Lovell studied latex painting, then began her career as a painting craftswoman as an art therapist. In 2014, she completed a one-year master’s program in Charleston where she learned steel carving.

Rohr graduated in 2013 from SEMO and EIU in 2015, then moved on to become a sculptor, mainly focusing on wood and metalworking.

From a young age, Rohr always built things with his family. Before entering university, he had a solid knowledge of woodworking and metalworking.

“Once I realized that I could use my skills that I already had in an artistic way, especially in a sculptural way, it was kind of a perfect storm to take the knowledge and skills that I had developed. growing up and applying them, ”he said. .

Rohr’s research and sculptures involve ancient execution or torture devices.

“I look at who made them and why they are made, and then I recreate these objects, but I put a modern twist on them to comment on the things I deal with or see around us,” Rohr said.

A recurring trend he has seen in society is the amount of time people spend looking at their cellphones and how that takes away from everyday life, Rohr said.

He said that to show this idea of ​​people locked in their cell phones, he built stocks, a restraint device used as a form of corporal punishment and public humiliation.

“I mounted the selfie-stick in front of him to show that it’s something we’re very much locked into and that he also had that technological element to put it in a modern context,” Rohr said.

Although his sculpture is an experience of society, it does not necessarily relate to society as a whole, he said.

“I can only speak to myself and my experiences,” Rohr said.

Rohr said he puts forward societal experiences that he deals with because these are things he assumes other people are dealing with as well and can relate to them.

Over the past three years, Lovell has been working on her graduation thesis project, said Professor Angela Reinoehl. Reinoehl sits on Lovell’s thesis committee.

When students study for their Masters of Fine Arts, they have technical skills, Reinoehl said. She said that during the master’s program, students learn to express their idea through artistic concepts.

“During their masters, they usually develop what they actually want to say with their work,” Reinoehl said.

Lovell said his art work spans his poetry.

She writes every day. If she sees a recurring theme, she will make a sculpture on the poem.

Lovell explained that the interpretation of materials she uses in her art can affect viewers’ perception of her work.

In one of her sculptures, she uses knitting, where a wooden table has two panels. One panel has human hair and the other has thread.

“It was supposed to be one panel being what it is and the other panel trying to be what it isn’t,” she said. “Knitting is meant to represent comfort, security and familiarity and a person I know and love.”

Making sculptures by molding, where a liquid material is poured into a mold, also helps Lovell interpret and represent relationships with others and people’s ideas.

Lovell said an example of a cast on her show showed a square of pumpkins she had poured a bunch of iron pumpkins into.

“Castings usually represent resilience or permanence or strength in a relationship, so I typically use cast iron and bronze for that,” she said. “Iron is really strong, it can crack, but when it is strong it will never break down and cannot really be damaged or handled – that’s how I describe my family.”

Lovell said she believes art has an impact on campus because it shows that art doesn’t have to belong to the reputation of a starving artist.

People can do something and go somewhere with the art, Lovell said.

“Art can be a great career path, so I think showing on campus opens up that opportunity to everyone,” Lovell said.

Rohr said his experience studying at university allows him to come away more confident in his artistic abilities thanks to the students and peers he surrounds himself with.

He said students can learn that there will always be criticism from all directions throughout our artistic careers.

“Artists will have a lot more fun if they do the job they want to do, not the job they’re told to do,” Rohr said.

Editor-in-Chief Clair Cowley can be contacted at [email protected]

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