Students explore life journey through Artstreet exhibit

By: Caitlin Schneider – Staff Writer

On April 15, ArtStreet’s White Box Gallery will open the exhibit, “WISDOM: Who Are You?” The exhibit was designed and created by the University of Dayton’s ArtStreet student residents and at-risk youth from Clark County Detention Center.

“WISDOM: Who Are You?” explores the journey from prebirth to death and the different directions individuals take in their own journeys.

Students were assigned a stage of life and focus questions that they used to develop their own concepts and create a visual representation of what they learned throughout the semester. Each stage of life was associated with a virtue, with wisdom being the virtue at death.

“WISDOM will provide that deep look into one’s life, remembering what it was to be two to five years old, to be 20-something currently, and even a look to the potential future of our choices,” Brian LaDuca, director of ArtStreet, said.

According to LaDuca, the students were not asked to make any specific art form. The pieces in the exhibit showcase a wide range of mediums. Some students used found pieces, wire sculpture and reappropriated common items, to name a few.

“The students were tasked to simply create, knowing that there will be strong audience immersion within the installation as a whole,” LaDuca said.

The residents on ArtStreet are required to take an Institute for Art Nexus (IAN) II course. IAN empowers students to develop imaginative and creative skills that will help them in the workforce.

LaDuca and graduate assistant Karlos Marshall taught the course this spring semester. The course is broken down into 11 sessions taught by each house on the ArtStreet complex.

Through this course, students were challenged to apply creativity to a new learning space based off of their experiences living together and collaborating with their peers and mentors. ‘WISDOM: Who Are You?’ will showcase their original, imaginative and creative work.

“I know the 11 designs I have seen within the separate sessions have been stunning and will make you think about your place and time in your life as you have and continue to grow,” LaDuca said. “It’s a deep dive into the history of life which is something that does not occur very often within a design of higher education learning.”

The exhibit is presented in partnership with Project Jericho, which is a nonprofit organization supported by a collaborative relationship between Clark State Community College and Clark County Department of Job and Family Services. Project Jericho provides at-risk youth with art programs and experiences in order to bring positivity into their lives.

According to Adrienne Ausdenmoore, the associate director of ArtStreet, this is the second year the ArtStreet residents have developed a project for the White Box Gallery. After the success of last year’s exhibition, it was decided that this would be an annual project. The final exhibition is a culminating project of the ArtStreet residents’ experience.

“[WISDOM] is enjoyable, fun and even a little precious … but it’s also very real,” LaDuca said.

Ben Riddlebarger, an artist currently living in Dayton, was brought in by ArtStreet to be the artistic curator for the exhibit.

The exhibition is in conjunction with the Stander Symposium.  An opening ceremony will be held from 3-4 p.m. on Wednesday. ‘WISDOM: Who Are You?’ will be on display in the White Box Gallery beginning Wednesday until April 30.

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