Re: “Too much eye candy spoils the appetite”, September 12, 2007.
Your writer doesn’t seem to understand that there are numerous strategies and tactics at work in different artworks and art exhibitions. She suggests that all that is on view in the current exhibition by student Heather Linton at the Oliver Gallery is “eye candy,” going on to write that “the visual significance of the exhibit cannot disguise the overall lack of content within the work itself.”
Indeed, artwork addressing the visual has a long tradition. The “visual” is the “content.” And Linton has received two USF Undergraduate Research Grants; one of which assisted in
supporting this exhibition.
But I am actually more concerned when DeVito writes:
“it is disquieting that a show with as little substance as Observations in Photometry was approved by the Oliver Gallery. That approval advocates it as a testimonial to the quality of work produced by the student body within the College of Visual and Performing Arts. It is work like this that segregates those involved in the arts from the rest of the student body.”
First, the (largely) student artists who submit proposals for exhibitions in the Oliver Gallery are selected by a Faculty Review Panel. More proposals are usually submitted than there are slots on the calendar. The Oliver features about one exhibition per week, or about 30 in the regular academic year.
The Oliver Gallery should be considered as a “laboratory” – a projects space for trying out new ideas, a space for experimentation and research. There is an enormous variety of artworks and art exhibitions each year at the Oliver Gallery. Not all will appeal to every student. It is not the intention to make every exhibition a popular destination. Some exhibits may engage Ms. DeVito more than others, but I hope all will provoke a response more thoughtful than this one.
Director and Professor
USF School of Art and Art