New exhibition,“Aesthetic Eclectic,”evokes emotion and thought
By KATE DOCTOR
Aesthetics seem to be a big theme in my life recently, especially in the book I am reading for one of my classes. So, imagine my excitement when I saw “The Aesthetic Eclectics” gallery,
reecting exactly what has been talked about in my class, relevant to the question I have been mulling over recently: What exactly is beauty? The artist, alumna Trista Coy (‘09), talks in her artist statement about how “Ornamentation exists for pleasure” and how decoration is important to stimulating a person’s emotional response, but how today, only design ornamentation “exists simply for aesthetic pleasure.” The contradictory situation introduced in all of this is that an aesthetic judgment is a personal preference, but in order to belong to a society,“groups of people have conformed to style and adopted taste.” The artwork presented is a way of calling designers to create ornamentation, specically for invoking an emotional response rather than simply for aesthetic pleasure. Upon rst seeing the exhibit, I was perplexed by this idea. However, as I moved down the wall, looking at each banner, I
experienced a sort of chilling realization that the decorative words and designs stirred thoughts within me of design and decoration perceived today as opposed to 10, even 20 years ago.
The messages printed on the banners told me what they were about, gave me context and added beauty to the art not just visually, but emotionally as well. And although the next people who come along and see the piece might not necessarily feel the same way and might feel that the pieces are less than beautiful, the whole idea is subjective. Everyone is going to perceive the banners in a different way, which, in my opinion, is what makes the gallery so beautiful. In the end, really, this gallery still confounds me, as I’m still grasping all the
concepts presented and what my personal views and feelings are about the artwork. This is something I would like to explore more and would love to learn more about. Overall, if you are looking for artwork that will make you think deeply about society and the world around you, then I would highly recommend “The Aesthetic Eclectic.” It’s not just visually provoking, but emotionally and mentally provoking as well.