“Edifice Artifice,” an exhibit created by Cole M. James, is currently on display in the Tall Wall Space in the Arts and Communications Building.
This installation uses several different materials including glitter, velvet, lace, concrete, acrylic and even paintings that are stretched out to stress different ideas about race, culture and gender, James said.
Dion Johnson, director of galleries and ULV distinguished artist, curated the exhibit.
“Some of the responsibilities that come with that is selecting artists with different visions, different backgrounds, different ideas and trying to change from project to project, year to year what our campus community experience’s when they see the wall,” Johnson said.
This piece took much time and reflection, but truly found its meaning during the process of being created, said James.
“When I thought about making this piece, I thought I have to give it multiple points of intrigue and I have to make it interesting from many different perspectives,” James said.
This installation was made specifically for the Tall Wall Space. It was her first piece of this size and it was an exciting challenge, she said.
“It was a matter of her really sort of undertaking the project and coming up something new, which was very exciting,” Johnson said.
No two thoughts on the exhibit are the same.
“I knew it had something to do with progressiveness and a variety of open mindedness,” said Israel Valdez, junior studio art major. “I have a feeling that it has something to do with culture and tradition.”
Others found more substance behind the fabric and different materials used than at first glance.
“The fabric expresses her family’s background and the way the piece is set up shows the evolution of culture,” Kendall Simons, senior speech communications major, said.
The process of making this piece was challenging in the beginning, James said, but her vision of what this piece would become and the actuality of the piece remained the same.
At first, she tried creating something different, but it all failed until she returned to creating what the exhibit now is. The process became seamless, James said.
“I’ve come to terms that my work, if I try to dictate the medium it’s going to fight me, but sometimes I just have to let the work dictate me and be what it wants to be,” James said.
“Edifice Artifice” shows the vulnerability of the country because it looks framed, but the concrete trapezoid is not connected to the fabric, allowing for the fabric to be manipulated.
“It is not protected, much like this country,” James said.
“A lot of the times with my practice I am searching for something,” she said. “I am searching and sometimes it happens before I make the piece and it leads to something or sometimes I do things and I sit back and I analyze it and I am like, that’s what it means.”
She spent a lot of time working on the piece, finding inspiration through her life experiences and shaping her art as the world changed around her, she said.
“I really thought she would be a good person for this and I am really happy with what she came up with,” Johnson said.
Erica Sanchez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.