Emerging Artists: OSU senior projects at Urban Arts Space

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly
Ceramics major Liz Martin

A new exhibition at the Urban Arts Space shows off the budding talents of graduating OSU students.The show runs through December 19.

If the term "student artist"makes you cringe, then a new exhibition at the Urban Arts Space may surprise you. This month, 11 graduating art majors from Ohio State University will showcase senior projects in a vast array of media at the Downtown Columbus gallery in the historic Lazarus Building. Their works challenge traditional notions and definitions of art. We spoke to three students about their projects, and the inspirations behind

Artist: Samuel Kennard, 23

Major: Art & Technology

Project: Surrogate

Gallery visitors can insert their hands into an opening in the center of this spherical sculpture made from latex with a chrome base. Inside they'll find a liquid that mimics amniotic fluid, giving people the impression they're feeling inside a womb. "The piece is an inquiry into the artificial wombs of the future, devices that facilitate human birth without the need of a maternal body," Kennard says. "It's been predicted that by 2075,70 percent of human births will be motherless . . . My workexplores what such a device might look and feel like, and raises questions about the moral and ethical implications of such a practice."

Artist: Liz Martin, 21

Major: Ceramics

Project: two works, titles TBA

Martin will present two large installations: 20 ceramic primate heads and 20 papier mâché casts of her own head suspended in loomed nets and a series of hung prints on fabric showing an image of her distorted face. "Personal narratives serve as theconceptual background,relating specificallyto my anxieties and other aspects of my individual identity," Martin says. "I've been working on a creativeresearch thesis funded in part by the university's Arts Research Scholarship. These pieces are products of that research, which focuses on the portrayal of human identitythrough abstraction and surrogacy."

Artist: Ki Rodriguez, 25

Major: Art & Technology (with a focus in new media interaction)

Project: 81/46

Rodriguez's "kinetic sonic sculpture" is designed to create an open dialogue between the piece and those experiencing it. "I have always been interested in sound," Rodriguez says. "Growing up in Lorain, Ohio-not too far from our noisy steel mill-I would lie awake at night and listen to the discordant landscape, trying to parse what could be making these massive sounds. Sometimes they would come together to create a harmony. In these moments, I found myself engaged with unconventional sonic landscapes."