Each day countless doors are opened and closed, whether it be to go to class, to make it to an appointment or to retire at home after a long day. Aside from being opened and closed, at the “Opening Doors” exhibit at the UA Museum of Art, doors are being used as a medium for ecological art.
The “Opening Doors” exhibit was the main feature of the art museum’s Earth Day event, which was sponsored by Students for Sustainability and MUSE—the art museum’s student affinity group. It will be displayed outside the entrance to the museum until the end of the school year.
“It’s called ‘Opening Doors’ and I hope that people will see it as an open door to the museum and come and see more,” said Gina Compitello-Moore, the marketing manager at the art museum.
“Opening Doors” features art created on recycled doors, which were donated to the project by Habitat for Humanity.
Stephanie Choi, the committee chair of the Students for Sustainability Arts Committee, first conceived the idea after visiting Northwestern University for a student summit.
“I was walking around their library and there were these doors up, and during this time I was thinking of forming the Environmental Arts Committee too, and all the doors were on different topics of sustainability,” Choi said.
There are four doors on display: three created by students artists and one door created by Students for Sustainability. Each door features a unique ecological theme.
UA alumnus Nathanael Myers’ door focuses on makes up the door.
“Utilizing the door as a piece of material in itself, I was able to articulate the composite materials that construct a door of current day, and understand the creation of an object,” Myers said. “Through the lens of sustainability, I sought to bring the inside out, exposing the elements of production and the reality of the architecturally common.”
Student Shelly Weasel’s door features her depiction of Demeter, the Greek goddess of harvest and fertility. It shows Demeter in a ruined landscape, incorporating ideas about deforestation.
“I chose this as the subject for my door because I want people to feel as deeply as I do that the way we humans are treating the natural world will soon result in a dead and dying planet Earth,” Weasel said. “I hope to make people share that same anguish and hope to make them to think about the future of the planet.”
The final student artist door was created by Megan McKay. It depicts an endangered elephant with a smoke stack coming out of its trunk as a critique toward industrial emissions and their effect on the environment.
The Students for Sustainability’s Art Committee’s door emerged from a partnership with the organization’s Greening the Game Committee. They used water bottles collected from one of the basketball games to create a door that depicts how plastic is made. The door has plastic bottles splattered with black paint to represent the large amount of oil required for plastic production.
“The idea is to think about where plastic comes from,” Choi said. “So plastic and oil together and on the other side its kind of a blue color slashed on against a black color so that it contrasts.”
With the “Opening Doors” exhibit, Students for Sustainability and MUSE have created a space for ecology within the artistic community.
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