I comma Sincere Animal redefines print media

Exhibit is effectively jarring, but leaves audiences searching for a common thread throughout

Laura Scherb Oct 13, 2014

Art is an experience that should assault the eyes, the ears, and the mind with equal tenacity to make audiences feel and react. I Sincere Animal, which premiered on Friday night at The Frame Gallery, did just that, with visual, auditory, and kinesthetic elements, and more.

At the premiere, there were provocative photographs, glitter, jello shots, live performance, blacklight confessions, and pizza. What more could one want?

A collaborative work from a class on printmaking, I Sincere Animal combines works from sophomore art major Olivia Smith, senior art major Justin Old, and junior art majors, Lindsay Cavallo, Heather Cowie, and Paul Alexander Walker.

The artists all created different exhibits that were presented in different mediums. Yet all three pieces focused on the same theme: extending a written book and making it their own, according to the literature available at the gallery.

“It’s a print show where we explore what the definitions of what print is,” Walker said.

On the main floor, exhibits by Smith, Old, and Cavallo greeted visitors, who ranged from children to parents over the family weekend.

In a corner of the exhibit, a nest of children’s toys and random scraps of paper seemed wistful and abandoned, but shortly after, Cavallo settled into the center to perform her piece.

Crouching in the center of the bed of garbage and seemingly meaningless material, Cavallo made gagging noises, sticking her own hands into her mouth for several minutes until she seemed to be satisfied, then simply got up, wiped her hands on her jeans, and walked into the crowd of people watching her.

Downstairs, in an area that is typically not used by artists displaying their work at The Frame, Walker’s piece was striking and meaningful. Throughout the upper exhibit, Walker distributed pamphlets about different types of touch, featuring photographs of himself with glitter in the different places that would indicate different levels of intimacy. The last pamphlet, entitled ‘Intimate Touch’ was accompanied by Walker himself, caked in glitter and sitting on a red couch, smiling invitingly. Viewers were supposed to grab a wipe, wipe some of the glitter off of Walker’s body, and then stick the wipe to the wall.

“I’m working with the concept of leaving a mark on someone else’s body. I really don’t know anything about

printmaking, but I wanted to work with intimate touch from someone else. Having people remove the touch from me makes it extremely intimate,” Walker said.

In the upper room, an exhibit by Cowie featured a room lit only by black lights. The walls were painted with green, black light paint in order to convey a child-like voice describing their dreams. Cowie sat in the middle and read passages from a whimsical, yet dark child’s diary.

Overall, the exhibit was jarring. There were whimsical elements, but often, they were unclear and too ambiguous for people who didn’t know the artists to interpret.

The space, however, is used as effectively as possible, and the commotion outside was certainly indicative of the success of the exhibits inside.