Julie W. Chang sparks cultural conversation with Vibrant Matter exhibit

Julie Changs exhibit Vibrant Matter is on display at the Christian Petersen Art Museum in Morrill Hall.

Ella Hawkins/Iowa State Daily

Julie Chang’s exhibit “Vibrant Matter” is on display at the Christian Petersen Art Museum in Morrill Hall.

Ella Hawkins

Iowa State’s Art on Campus Collection features a wide variety of artists that aim to represent our school’s legacy, research and visual identity through their pieces. Julie W. Chang first contributed to this public art collection in 2012. Chang’s exhibit, “Vibrant Matter,” is currently being featured at the Christian Petersen Art Museum in Morrill Hall.

“You can expect to see a gallery that shows her progression of work through the years,” said museum curator Sydney Marshall. “You’ll really be able to see lots of different colorful works of art that have many different layered symbols that speak to the artist’s own personal identity and experience, but that will definitely resonate with all people.”

“Vibrant Matter” consists of four series of works created in the last decade. Chang uses acrylic, inkjet, silkscreen and acrylic chandelier forms to encourage conversation about cultural identity and the systems that shape us. A variety of symbols are combined and layered to create new meanings and patterns in these bold pieces. 

Chang is also the artist of the terrazzo floor installation, “All the Way Home,” featured on the first floor of Curtiss Hall. 

“By layering commonly understood symbols for agriculture plant and animal life with more abstracted symbols for renewable energy and the work of the agriculture college, the installation invites visitors for a closer examination,” Marshall wrote.

Chang grew up in Orange County, California as the daughter of two immigrants. She attended Stanford University, Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Chang is now based out of San Francisco and has artwork featured around the world. 

Chang will be hosting an opening lecture in the Morrill Hall Auditorium from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 9 to discuss her work as a public and studio artist. 

“Vibrant Matter” will be on display through July. The Christian Petersen Art Museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is free.