by Brittany Tepper, Daily Vidette Staff Writer
On June 20, Eaton Studio and Gallery hosted two guest artists as a part of their Gather at the Gallery series. Ian Crawley and Jonah Oritz displayed their sculpture work and discussed their process and vision. Every third Wednesday of the month Eaton Gallery invites community members to view and discuss artwork on a variety of different mediums in a salon format. Sculpture was the theme of last Wednesday’s free discussion.
“A salon is a theme that generates dialogue from participants and the audience,” said Crawley.
Crawley, originally from London, showcased a variety of sculptures made out of natural objects such as sticks, stones, dirt, and grass. The foundation for his sculptures comes from his drawings and are based around different classic journeys, such as the Odyssey and the Garden of Eden.
Two of the sculptures displayed were from a series called God’s Prototype. One of the sculptures, entirely made out of twigs, portrays the first outline of man that God made in the Garden of Eden.
Other sculptures in the series include different body parts such as a brain made from peach and plum pits, and lungs made out of stones and branches.
“I want people to look at things differently and not take for granted the materials around you,” Crawley said.
Crawley showed audience members several other sculptures through a powerpoint presentation including a sculpture on the seven deadly sins, and several self-portraits made from nails. He claims that he isn’t sure where the work will take him.
“The best work tells me where to go,” Crawley said.
Jonah Oritz, a 2008 ISU alumni, also displayed several of his sculptures. Oritz uses toys in most of his artwork.
“I like toys. I like games … I consider myself a blue-collar artist. I try to create art that everyone can enjoy on some level,” Oritz said.
Oritz has several bins of toys that inspire his sculpture, as well as a sketchbook that contains hundreds of drawings. He is always looking for interesting and slightly absurd puns, tv shows, and toys to inspire his work.
“I am a packrat, I inherit it from my mother,” Oritz said.
Oritz told audience members about asking his mother if she had a rubber chicken for a sculpture, and received not only one rubber chicken but another years later when he went to improve the sculpture.
Another one of Oritz sculptures was a piece on homelessness. The piece is a vacant wheel chair with a coin jar that moved up and down to a constant three beats. Attached to the wheel chair is a flashing thank you sign.
“My first trip to the city I got off of the Metra, and the first thing I noticed was this homeless man in a wheelchair asking for change. I am from Boulder, Colorado, there’s not a huge homeless problem. It’s there, but its not like Chicago.
As I was watching this old man I was noticing that all the people walking by were ignoring him, however, they were subconsciously paying attention to the cup, and the three-stroke motion. They were walking in unison to the beat of the cup. I decided to do an experiment to see if people would pay attention to it ,” Oritz said.
Oritz displayed the vacant wheelchair in two locations, one at a gallery and another on a street close to where he originally saw the homeless man. When displayed at the gallery people would stare at the sculpture for long periods of time. However, when displayed on the streets few people noticed the vacant wheelchair, not making eye contact with the sculpture.
Eaton Gallery is owned by Barb and Herb Eaton, and located in Downtown Bloomington. For more information visit www.eatonstudiogallery.com.