Studio Arts Gears Up for OVF

With May 2 drawing ever closer, Outdoor Vision Fest is right around the corner. Evidence: the Art Center’s transformation. This is primarily due to Tom Miller’s Object and Video class branching out, with projects activating spaces in new ways.

“Our main venue has been the interior courtyard of Thaw Art Building and Tishman, partly for the shelter from the sound and the kind of contemplative nature of some of the videos people have tended to do in my class,” said Miller, a faculty member of SFUAD’s Studio Arts department. This year, however, “There are more people making bigger things outside of my typical courtyard domain,” he adds.

Studio art major Phat le Trong’s pieces starting to appear more around the arts buildings and other installations popping up every day.

The inspiration for Trong’s piece comes from childhood memories of his mother. When he was young, his mom would make clothes for him and his sister and she would pull fabric from a big bag of fabric. When his mom would get that bag of fabric out, he would jump inside and wrap himself up in it.

“It gave me a warm and safe feeling whenever I would wrap myself up. This semester has been rough so far since I have to face more with myself and search deeper about who I am,” says Trong, “So those two pieces are a reaction to what’s happened to me. It reminds me about who I am and also takes me back to my own memories.”

Trong’s pieces will be displayed in the courtyard between Thaw Art building and Tishman and are going to be a mixture of video and sculpture. For Miller, this mix of old and new medium adds to the excitement of the pieces.

“These are new mediums, it’s only gotten into our hand and onto our desktops and into our pockets over the past 10 to 20 years,” Miller says.”In that way I feel like things are able to be developed and it allows people to make work that they feel is fresh.”

Numerous examples abound. Betsy Leonard is constructing a well out in front of the arts building. Her piece is going to be a fully built well with projections onto the well. Brandon Burkey is building a piece behind Thaw, in the yellow atrium. He’s doing a performance piece about his experiences as an Iraq war veteran. Daniel Alonso has an installation with a monster in a cave that he’s building this in the slot tower. The piece is titled “Colossus” and it’s going be projected from the back of the cave. His inspirations came from his desire to create fantasy monsters and the PlayStation 2 game “Shadow of Colossus.” In the piece the giant creature will be walking towards the audience with curiosity while the audience stands in the cave that Alonso is building.

“I love to create creatures you can’t find in nature and bring them to life through paintings and I found OVF to be the perfect opportunity to do this,” Alonso says. “I wanted to bring a massive creature that felt and looked alive to the audience.”

For Miller, OVF continues to evolve and he’s “super excited” for the upcoming event. “I think that every year people have seen the evidence or they saw what people have done before. In that way, people come in prepared to do something big, and they want to make something that they didn’t know they had the recourses or skills to do.”