The Shippensburg Arts Programming and Education gallery (SHAPE) reopened Friday, Sept. 25. A large front room filled with art and refreshments awaited those who came to view the first reveal of the 15th Annual Membership Exhibit.
Roughly 80 pieces from 16 different artists made their way into display rooms of the SHAPE halls over the past two weeks. The creativity, originality and uniqueness of the artists upon their mediums was nearly tangible.
The theme of the current exhibit is “Perception” and is meant to play toward the senses of an individual. Rather than just the expected five human senses, the art on display played toward the senses and so much more. Examples include: The sense of dimension, beauty, sentiment and injustice were all portrayed throughout the different pieces. The only way to truly grasp the meanings behind the intent of each artist would be to go to the show for yourself.
SHAPE members, who are artists from the community, created the artwork. The skillful pieces were overflowing with time, effort and raw emotion. From emotional displays painted on two-dimensional canvases and three-dimensional pieces that span the length of a wall, to the photographs, which seemed to have caught the world when everything is frozen perfectly in place, there is a vast variety of works that can be perused.
Beyond the more traditional art, there are also several pieces of controversial, chaotic and thought-provoking works from various artists such as Glenn Quader Sr. who has been working with oil paints for more than 45 years.
“I worked on this piece five weeks, sometimes four hours a day. Every day.” Quader said.
Quader’s brutal honesty as well as his dedication truly left an impression on how devoted to their craft those who make this art really are.
While some of the pieces in the gallery only take inspiration and skill, others take senseless amounts of time and more thought into the deep real meanings of the art in relation to the world than they are given credit for. One of Quader’s pieces that stood out the most was titled “Crooked New York,” which displayed the Statue of Liberty with flames dripping onto her heart as a tsunami ripped through the buildings and city of a grey cityscape with a sunset in the background.
Originally, officials scheduled the display in May, as one of the 10 annual exhibits by the SHAPE gallery. Curated by Suann Lehman, the “Perception” show should have gone off without a hitch.
However, due to health risks stemming from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the population of visitors as well as a large number of volunteers of susceptible age were decreased to ensure safety. The gallery collectively determined that shutting down in March was for the best. After a few setbacks such as a water leak from the second floor, which forced them to make repairs to the drywall, flooring and tiles, the gallery has opened with hopes to remain so through their diligent precautions and insurance of the safety of their visitors and staff.
Diana Nazari, one of the coordinators of the gallery, requested that university students, faculty and people in the community to come out to the gallery and invest time by volunteering. Due to the coronavirus, many of the previous volunteers who were more at risk of contracting the virus have not returned to help.
“Perception: The Journey of our Senses” is on display from Sept. 25 to Oct. 16.