Motor skills

Have You Tried Walking

A Stillwater-based sculptor will detail the ever-changing relationship among humans, industry and environment through 10 pieces in an exhibition opening Friday at Mainsite Contemporary Art in downtown Norman.

Matthew Boonstra, an artist and visiting sculpture professor at Oklahoma State University, put together Interruptions by selecting sculpture, installation and projection pieces that he began creating in the wake of Detroit’s 2009 economic crisis.

He hopes the national turmoil that has inspired his work for the past four years will offer gallery visitors a moment to reflect on past, present and future socioeconomic circumstances.

Boonstra began his research into the Motor City’s economic struggles after being fueled by his family’s historical and financial ties to the city. His investigative approach — conducting interviews at automotive factories and unemployment banks — is something he encourages in his sculpture students in addition to honing technique.

“I think what makes a good sculpture is a certain amount of conceptual depth,” Boonstra said.

His creative explorations led him to create a variety of pieces that includes a sculpture of a tire tread. It’s a recurring object in his work, interrupting a continuous projection of a forest landscape.

“I really enjoy Oklahoma for its rural landscape,” Boonstra said, “but I think more and more of our landscape is being interrupted.”

Marriage

Most
recently, he abstracted the graph of the Dow Jones Industrial Average
into three-dimensional form to fit within the Mainsite gallery space
using string, he said.

“At
the center of the gallery the string comes to a focal point with a
grouping of cast concrete houses to represent the current housing
crisis,” Boonstra said.

He said he hopes his artwork continues to change with new technologies and conceptual investigations.

Boonstra
approached Mainsite with the idea for his exhibition after winning an
Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition fellowship in 2012.

Wait, there’s more!
Interruptions will
open during Norman Arts Council’s 2nd Friday Circuit of Art, a monthly
citywide celebration of local artists, arts organizations and other
businesses.

Running to Conclusions

Two other exhibitions also will be featured at Mainsite during Interruptions’ run through July 13; the gallery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Work
by Michael Joy Wilson, recipient of the Norman Arts Council’s
Individual Artist Award, will be on display in the Library Gallery
toward the back of the gallery.

Wilson
was chosen as one of six Norman Featured artists this year by curator
Amber Sharples, according to Erinn Gavaghan, Norman Arts Council
executive director.

Wilson’s
initial proposal for her exhibition married the idea of palindromes and
how they relate to her working style, as she is an artist with
dyslexia, said Gavaghan.

Finally, in Mainsite’s Water Closet Gallery is Discernible Discourse, a
“microexhibit” of five artists’ work curated by Krystle Brewer, an OSU
graduate student. The artists all incorporate language in their pieces
using advertising copy, poetry, song lyrics, sheet music, old books,
academic papers and biblical passages, Gavaghan said.

As with all openings at the gallery, she said, Friday’s event includes free wine and cheese.

Molly Evans

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