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The Blue & Gray Press | August 22, 2019

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New art exhibit comments on society using unlikely mediums

New art exhibit comments on society using unlikely mediums


Suspended in mid-air over hardwood floors and surrounded by the bare walls of the University of Mary Washington’s DuPont Gallery, a sizable new art installation is on display. This art exhibition, which helped kick off the fall semester, has been dubbed the “Rat’s Nest.”

On the UMW Galleries’ postcard, this work of art seems to be a floating cylinder of branches and twigs evoking the image of a real-life rat’s nest. Once you walk through the double doors into the exhibit, it is apparent that the picture on the postcard was created digitally, because it does not depict the detail and materials that make up this piece of art.

Intertwined and woven are wires and cables of all shapes, sizes and colors, making it possible to think that the artist is conjuring a reference to the “rat’s nest” that forms around our computers. A collection of sorts, the wires represent things that we think are important for our everyday lives, and so we keep them. Wires and cables that the average human collects and cannot seem to dispose even if they are completely useless and collecting dust in a drawer, but here in DuPont they are something more.

“I believe it is a culmination of everything we collect,” said Diana Inthavong, a senior studying historic preservation, who also is employed by the university at the UMW galleries.

This exhibit concept was brought to and created at the university by Jarod Charzewski who, according to the UMW Galleries website, holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of Manitoba in Canada, in addition to a Masters of Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of Minnesota. Charzewski is currently an assistant Professor of Sculpture at South Carolina’s College of Charleston.

In a statement found on UMW Galleries Website, Charzewski states that through his installation, he seeks to “evoke a viewer’s inherent connection to preservation by exploring objects and their ability to be tethered to attachments and the resulting compulsions.”  Charzewski further states that these collections of wires “mirror the installations created in our everyday lives” like the wires that we collect around our computers and phones, all jumbled together in one giant knot.

“It took a week to make,” said Regine Eleazer, a junior studying art. “All of the wires and cables were donated from community surrounding the school.” Eleazer added that the artist was fun and encouraged community involvement, letting students and residents help create it with their donations. “Just as long as they do not climb through it” Eleazer said.

The “Rat’s Nest” can make one think of all of the objects that we collect through life, as well as the amount of objects that we discard.

The art exhibit will be open through October 11, 2015. It can be viewed in the Gallery in DuPont Hall from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.