An international art collaboration reached fruition last Wednesday with the launch of a new exhibition in the Kiehle Gallery. Students and faculty gathered to witness the unveiling of an exhibit showcasing the work of art students and faculty from the University of Concepción in Concepción, Chile, as well as a second mobile exhibit created by SCSU students in conjunction with Chilean artists.
The exhibits explore the concept of art as being mobile and accessible to a diverse, public audience. The first of the exhibits is called Local vs. Foraneo, or Local vs. Foreign. The pieces in this collection were produced by students and professors from the University of Concepcion and curated by Chilean artist team Leslie Fernandez and Oscar Concha. In keeping with the theme of transportable art, all of the pieces in the Local vs. Foraneo collection can fold up and fit inside on carry-on suitcase.
SCSU and the University of Concepción have had a strong relationship for many years. It’s a relationship that has supported study abroad programs and other international exchanges. Kiehle Gallery director and art department faculty member Alexa Horochowski who taught art classes at the University of Concepción in 2005, said that hosting art made in Concepción is a way to “expand those connections” that already exist between the universities. The project was funded by SCSU and the University of Concepción Binnational Committee and the School of the Arts.
Móvil is another aspect of the exhibition that was originally an independent project started by artists in Concepción called Móvil Collective, a project not strictly related to the University of Concepción. While visiting Chile in 2012, Horochowski met the creators of Móvil Collective and was inspired to experiment with the concept back at SCSU.
Móvil is a mobile art gallery that is meant to “infiltrate public spaces and exhibit artists,” said Horochowski. It is about the same size and dimension as a vending machine and is meant to blend easily with commercial products in idustrial spaces. One of the creators of Móvil, Keslie Fernandez, said at the opening, “We want to start a connection between artists and the general public and it plays with the questions, ‘What is public space and what private space space is?”‘.
Fernandez and Oscar Concha helped eight SCSU students build the portable gallery. Anna Ferguson, a senior art student at SCSU, said, “I’d been interested in building a portable gallery before, so this was a great opportunity to learn how.” SCSU students have decided to name their particular mobile gallery “Móvil: AT” to represent its mobility and presence in any given space.
For now, Móvil will be displayed in Kiehle until Oct. 15., future locations of Móvil will be determined by the board of Gallery Vault, a student-run art gallery in downtown St. Cloud. “Right away it will probably stay around campus just to get people familiar with it,” said Tom Wixo, board member of Gallery Vault. “Next year we are thinking of moving it to the Twin Cities or Duluth.” Current work being displayed in Móvil is that of Jesse Peterson, an alumni art student of SCSU. Wixo also discussed the possibility of having an annual call for artist’s to submit their work to be selected for display in the Móvil gallery.