Quiet elegance


POSTED: Sunday, September 13, 2009

The University of Hawaii-Manoa Faculty Exhibition this year displays what you'd hope art professors would create: works of sophistication that reflect mature artistic sensibilities.

Some 30 faculty from both last spring and this fall's teaching lineup are included in the show. The works run the gamut, from paintings and sculpture to mixed media and video.

“;People tended to work on a nice scale,”; says UH Art Gallery director Lisa Yoshihara. “;It gives the gallery a lot of breathing space, the feel of a nice, open space.”;





        On exhibit: Through Oct. 2

Where: University of Hawaii Art Gallery, UH-Manoa campus


Gallery hours: 10:30 to 5 p.m. Mondays to Fridays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays


Call: 956-6888




But before one even enters the gallery, Mary Babcock's shopping cart sits right outside the door in greeting. Made from a large woven “;basket”; sitting on the frame of a real shopping cart, the piece is filled with soil, from which real vegetables grow. The concept of the work is that anyone can adopt the cart to help nurture the plants or partake of its bounty, via tiny pots of baby plants housed on the cart's lower rack.

“;It's a prototype for the food cart, and there's the homeless theme, too, because it's a shopping cart,”; Yoshihara explains.

Fred Roster's sculptures here display his usual fine work, and they're fun, to boot. A pair of hand-sculpted dogs on skateboards are interactive. Modeled after Roster's own dog, Bella, the pieces are meant to be “;walked”; in the gallery; when they are, the tails wag. “;Fred told me the tails are critiquing the artwork,”; says Yoshihara with a laugh.

Yida Wang utilizes traditional Chinese paper for 15 canvases of scenery paintings. She adds interest with layers of glue, some of which have dried translucent and some opaque. Parts of her images show through the glue, while opaque spots are painted over. The interaction between the glue and images, and the textures created, hold the viewer transfixed.

Linda Kane's charcoal drawing depicts two kinds of shells found on Kahoolawe, while Rick Mills is in usual fine form with a stunning optical glass piece that was kiln cast.

Yoshihara says the show holds together well because as a whole entity, it's mostly a black-and-white exhibit.

“;There are colorful pieces, but overall there are just splotches of color, which gives the exhibit a quietness, an elegance,”; she says.