Topic: College of Fine Arts

September 16, 2014

Neon art focus of new exhibition at Ball State
Works like Hiromi Takizawa's "Ultraviolet" (top) and Alicia Eggert's "Everything You Are Looking For" will be among the installations featured in the exhibition.

Using everything from live plants to ceramics and stone, neon in contemporary art will be explored in a new exhibition, Negotiating Distance: A Neon Invitational, at Ball State University's Atrium Gallery Sept. 23 through Oct. 18.

Works in the collection will include large-scale neon sculptures and installations created by four internationally known artists: Hiromi Takizawa, Alicia Eggert, Sarah Blood and Fred Tschida. The artists will be special guests at a Sept. 23 reception from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the gallery. The event is free and open to the public.

"When people think of neon, their first thought is usually kitschy signs hanging in storefronts, but these artists are using it in fresh ways that will inspire our own glass students," said Aric Snee, curator of the show and manager of the university's Marilyn K. Glick Center for Glass.

For a work like "Ultraviolet," an installation of neon tubes hanging inside a terrarium-like box with live plants, Takizawa addresses a sense of place and her childhood spent in the natural world of Japan. Eggert's electronic sculptures, such as "Everything You Are Looking For," focus on the relationship between language, image and time. Blood combines neon with objects such as ceramics and stone to create surprising juxtapositions of textures and aesthetics, whereas Tschida, a recently retired glass art professor at New York's Alfred University, explores his fascination with science, light and gas through his neon creations.

"All four artists deal with the idea of distance in their work in diverse and meaningful ways," Snee said. "The show seeks to inform viewers of the variety of ways neon can be used as text, medium and subject."

School of Art Director Thomas Riesing said Ball State is fortunate to collaborate on the exhibition with four leading artists in contemporary glass today. The university's glass art program, which offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, recently introduced neon to its curriculum; it is the only collegiate glass program offered in Indiana.

Atrium Gallery is open Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays 1 to 4 p.m.