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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Campus Cinema hosts Barbenheimer double feature
Campus Cinema hosts 'Barbenheimer' double feature
Abigail FaixDecember 3, 2023

Professor artwork displayed at Devos Museum of Art

Animal meat, flesh, women’s rights and the inauguration of President Donald Trump were all part of the conversation last week during NMU’s School of Art & Design Faculty Biennial Art Exhibition reception on Friday, Jan. 20.

re-FacultyArtShow.OnlineStudents and community members came together Friday night to view artwork made by professors in the NMU College of Art and Design. Work showcased included photography, drawing, painting, furniture design, graphic communications, illustration, computer art, digital video and sculpture.

The reception, held from 6 to 8 p.m., opened the exhibit that is running from Jan. 16 through Feb. 19.


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Approximately 75 people mingled around the lobby of the art building and the Devos Museum of Art sipping wine and beer. A full display of hor d’oeuvres was also made available to the attendees.

One art piece on display was photographs of uncooked meat multiplied and arranged to create patterns similar to quilts. The photographs, done by  assistant professor Tracy Wascom, used zero-color manipulation. The meat was all sourced from beef, pork, lamb and duck—all meats she consumes, she said.

“I’m working with meat—that’s shocking,” Wascom said.

When people view the work from afar, they can only see a brightly-colored pattern of shape, but with closer investigation, they see the textures of tissue, bone cartilage and animal flesh arranged together to create a completely different image. From the point people realize what they are looking at, most people can’t move past the idea of meat equaling gross, Wascom said.

“Their reaction goes from elation to repulsion,” she said. “They can’t see it any other way. I’m challenging them to look differently.”

Another piece at the exhibit was the computer art by professor Stephan Larson. His piece was an animated video of a machine stretching differently textured materials resembling body parts such as skin, muscle, bone and tissue. Some museum-goers watched the video with a look of discomfort.

“There is something grotesque to it, but there’s also beautiful stuff inside grotesque things,” Larson said.

His work discusses the existence of machines in society and the inevitable downsides that come with the invention of technology, including the lack of morals or care, Larson said.

“In the broadest way, it’s having some accountability for the stuff that we make.”

Furniture was also featured in the show. Human-centered design associate professor Peter Pless created a series of shelves he described as minimal.

“I work from a different style of reducing things down to their basic elements that need to be there in order for it to be aesthetically nice and to have things that are functional as well,” he said.

The ideas behind the furniture began last semester, but real progress on computer models and prototypes started over the winter break. For one student, this faculty show was his first time attending an art exhibit.

“I came to enjoy the art by the faculty, to see where they came from and what their artistic style is about,” said Matthew Key, junior digital cinema major.

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