Diverse art made by 3-D printers featured in University Art Gallery

The University Art Gallery is featuring three-dimensional art in the “Materialized” exhibition to broaden horizons about the different forms art can take, featuring artists from across the country.

Three national artists won a Juror’s award at the art show reception, from 4 to 6 p.m. on Jan. 12. Pieces entered in the competition will be showcased in the gallery until Feb. 11, and open to the public.

The exhibit intends to promote and celebrate the Makerbot Innovation Center in Wightman Hall, Central Michigan University’s 3-D printer lab, said Gallery Director Anne Gochenour.

“The show is called Materialized, so the idea is that (when) you have an idea now you can make in to an actual substance,” she said.

Joshua Harker, who is calls himself a pioneer and visionary in 3-D printing and sculpting, juried the competition.

“People are being more experimental with it (3D printing) and doing more creative things rather than the very straight forward kind of industrial design engineering kind of stuff,” said Harker.

When picking art show winners, Harker explained his process was to first pick pieces to be contestants in the show, and then to assess whether or not 3D printing was necessary and how strong the pieces were overall.

After the reception, he spoke at the Charles V. Park Library auditorium.

Many students and faculty members said they were impressed by how artistic 3-D printing can be. “I feel like I’m walking into the future,” said Watervliet junior and gallery employee, Joshua Coffin.

Jonathon Russell, the Art and Design chairperson, said the different approaches and methods to 3-D printing are fascinating.

Sam Blanchard, from Athens, Ohio, won a Juror’s Award with the piece “Crowd Sourced Sculpture Series.” A video was displayed at the reception, showing how he used different photos of “David” by Michelangelo to create a layout for a 3-D printer. The piece was printed with nylon and marble materials.

Taekyeom Lee from Boone, North Caroline, was also a Juror’s Award winner. In his series called “ME IN FULL PRODUCTION,” Lee built his own tools, including a desktop 3-D printer and paste extruders. The piece description states, “The most exciting feature of these Do-It-Yourself 3D printers is that you can build your own machine and customize it for your creative practice.”

Andrew Noble, from Phoenix, Arizona, was the final award winner. He had three pieces showcased, called “Wait a moment”, “Can I wear my Canadian Tuxedo?” and “I hate Jalapeno chips…” All were sent through a powder based 3D printer after going through several post-processing steps.

None of winners were present at the event.

Ann Arbor native Nick Clark has art in the “Materialized” exhibition. He said his piece was self-inspired and is part of a study he’s involved with at Eastern Michigan University, where he sat in a room repetitively scanning himself, creating a catalog with about 500 scans.

Graphic Design Professor, Larry Burditt, made a chess board in the Makerbot Innovation Center, which is also displayed in the gallery.

“I’m interested in how design can affect the setting of diversity,” Burditt said. “The chess set can be played two different ways. You can play it like a normal chess set, (or) you can play it where if you land on one of the gender squares (white spaces), the next move is like checkers.”

He said the intention of his piece is show the limitations of gender roles. 

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