University Museums to host students in drop in creative craft event

Julie Chang’s “Vibrant Matter” is on exhibit at Christian Petersen Art Musuem, all works on loan from Julie Chang and Hosfelt Gallery.

Jack Mcclellan

The Christian Petersen Art Museum will be hosting a creative letterpress session and tour of Julie Chang’s exhibit, “Vibrant Matter,” on Thursday, offering students a chance to participate in the creation of abstracted patterns.

The event will take place between noon-1 p.m. Thursday.

Students can also enjoy pizza at the event, with multiple varieties of Little Ceasar’s pizza served on a first come, first serve basis.

The Workspace at the Memorial Union will also be hosting an event inspired by Chang’s exhibit.

University Museums Curator Sydney Marshall will be leading the tour of the exhibit at 12:30 p.m. The casual tour will cover some of the artist’s background, as well as the thought behind some of the works.

“I’m going to do a walkthrough of the exhibition and give just background of the artist, background on some of the concepts and themes that she explores through her works of art,” Marshall said. “And it’ll be you know, pretty informal, just kind of depend on how many people are there to be probably a 15-minute walk through.”

Chang’s exhibit consists of a variety of different works, from small layered acrylic panels to tall hanging scrolls. Chang’s works feature different patterns and symbols layered on top of each other forming new abstract designs.

“I think it’s a nice example of many different series of Julie Chang’s work and I think it is a fun exhibition to come, especially on a rainy day,” Marshall said. “There’s lots of colorful works of art with lots of detail that you can spend time really looking at closely. And kind of getting more familiar with an artist’s work who we do have in our permanent collection.”

Students who attend the event will also have the opportunity to participate in a creative craft inspired by Chang’s exhibit.

The craft will be led by Assistant Professor of Art and Visual Culture, Raluca Iancu. Using letterpress blocks designed by Iancu and inspired by Chang, Iancu will walk participants through the process of using letterpress blocks to create their own designs and patterns.

“Students and visitors will be able to select which of these designs they want to ink up and then ink them and use the press to put them on paper,” Iancu said. “They’ll be able to use a couple of these different designs, overlap them. Kind of similar to what Julie is doing in her work, where she’s playing with all these different symbols and overlapping them and creating this complex pictorial language.”

Using a showcard press, students will be able to select from multiple designs, ink them up and run the press over their design. After running the paper through, students will see a mirror image of the design and can feel free to take their design home with them.

The process participants will be using will mimic the layering techniques Chang used when creating many of the works on exhibit.

“It gives the students the ability to kind of think through that layering that’s happening in her work,” Iancu said

Getting into the museum can be a good break for students spending the day on campus. Iowa State has a large collection of public arts available to all students, and museums offer a relaxing change of pace from the daily academic activities.

“I think some people think you either have to go for your class or you have to go and kind of you know, spend like serious time in the museum,” Marshall said, “But it’s also fine just to stop by, you know, during the semester when you have a little break or whatever, just to kind of look at some nice art and relax a little bit between classes.”