The “Altars of Transition” exhibition by Bryan Alexis is a modern reminder of the importance of growing up.
“Altars of Transition” — now underway in Malone Gallery — features six different sculptures showing the different stages that lead an individual to adulthood.
“I like how it’s something so complex put on top of something so simple,” said Robby Elmore, a sophomore anthropology major from Troy, when referring to Alexis’ “Altars of Education” stage. “The symbols make you think, and I believe that’s what art is supposed to do; it makes you invest thought into it and what it means.”
Alexis used steel, glass, wood and even toys to represent different themes in his pieces.
He combines glass and steel to create both depth and forced perspective in his pieces — overlaying the glass to create a scene, or fashioning the steel in the form of a cage.
“It was an accurate representation of what we can go through in life,” said Jonathan Carswell, a sophomore biomedical sciences and Spanish major from Troy. “It shows a high skill level in his craft, and it easily exceeded my expectations.”
Both Carswell and Elmore said that they had some reservations about modern art, but were pleased to be proven wrong.
Alexis received his Master of Arts degree for graphic design at Northwestern State University of Louisiana and then he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Arkansas.
When he was 26, he began teaching at the college level in Arkansas. He is currently in Fort Smith, with his wife, Amy, and three children: Jonah, Jude and Trinity.
“Altars of Transition” also holds the unique quality of being participatory. Students are encouraged to bring a toy and place it on one of the alters within the exhibit.
At the end of the exhibit, the donated toys will be given to charity. Donating a toy is an alternative for students to give to a charity without needing the courage to take on a bucket of ice water.
There will be a reception and lecture with Alexis on Oct. 2, at 4:30 p.m., with the exhibit ending thereafter. For other information, please contact the Department of Art and Design at 334-670-3391 or email Jerry Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.