Art exhibition displayed work from 18 alumni

Georgia Blanchard

Chief Copy Editor

The Department of Art and Design recently hosted “Back to the Future,” an art exhibition that showcased the work of 18 alumni in the Huo Bao Zhu Gallery of the International Arts Center on campus.

The exhibition ran from Aug. 14 to Nov. 5, but an artists’ reception was held Nov. 1 to bring more attention to the exhibit before it was taken down.

Greg Skaggs, an associate professor of art and design and the curator of the Huo Bao Zhu Gallery, personally chose and worked with all 18 artists who participated in the exhibition. 

“At first I was only going to hand-select about four to five,” Skaggs said. “But as I was talking to these artists, I thought I might as well open it up to a larger group of artists.”

Many of the artists in the exhibition attended the reception, giving students a chance to meet them and discuss the art on display, seeing more of the meaning behind it and gaining insight into the artists’ processes.

Ciera Pressley, a sophomore anthropology major from Andalusia, attended the reception and said she found it interesting that the exhibition was composed entirely of art by alumni. 

“It was definitely inspiring,” Pressley said. “I usually do digital art, but seeing some of the traditional paintings and sculptures made me think more about the colors and techniques I use in my own art.”

Perry Brown, a 2009 alumnus of Troy and one of the artists featured in the exhibition, said his time at Troy taught him more about art and enabled him to use his creativity in new ways. 

“I’m a professional artist now, and (Troy) encouraged me to try to do the things I like,” Brown said. “Their encouragement — encouraging me to try new things — always helped me out.”

The exhibition featured various types of art, from oil paintings to videos to sculptures. Four prints of Brown’s various types of work were showcased, including event posters and album art for local bands.  

“Concert posters and album art is what I’ve always enjoyed — that’s what actually got me into doing graphic design,” Brown said. “Growing up, going to stores and buying records is what got me interested in art in general, and that’s what I’m still drawn to.”

The Huo Bao Zhu Gallery houses various exhibitions and rotates its contents regularly. 

Though the alumni exhibition ended a few days ago, a new exhibition will be coming in soon for students and anyone else who is interested to visit and explore the variety of artwork the gallery has to offer. 

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