Whether she’s creating a small-scale sculpture or a massive installation, multi-dimensional artist Andrea Myers always makes sure she leaves room for the viewer to make his or her own interpretation.
Myers is an adjunct faculty member at the Columbus College of Art and Design. She’s been with the college for three years, teaching mainly sculpture and design. A Westerville native, she currently lives in north Columbus.
She works primarily with sculpture herself, though the word doesn’t fully explain Myers’ artistic method. She uses flat and flexible materials such as fabric, paper and wood and layers them, using materials and lettering to emulate nature and make her work look organic.
“It’s an exploration of two- and three-dimensionality,” she says.
That 2D approach to a 3D art form is the culmination of Myers’ evolution as an artist. She didn’t start out in the visual arts at all; her first college major was English. After deciding visual art made more sense, she changed course and enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago.
“Through writing, I was still looking for that form of expression and outlet and trying to convey a feeling, and I think that’s a natural segue into visual arts,” Myers says.
In art school, Myers started out in printmaking, a decidedly 2D medium, so when she made the move to 3D, she did so by piling and layering flat materials.
“I was more drawn to the process than to the project,” she says.
While some 3D artists like to utilize found materials in their work, Myers prefers traditional materials – they have more uses, she says, and that means more opportunities for those viewing the work to develop their own meanings for it.
“Hopefully, it’s drawing the viewer to think more about the form,” she says.
She prefers abstraction for the same reason. It allows her to keep her work open-ended, offering further opportunity for interpretation, and that helps her better understand certain aspects of the work herself.
“Sometimes, people will tell me things – ‘Oh, this sculpture makes me think of this’ – and it can be kind of jarring to hear what they think,” Myers says.
An example: A viewer once spotted animal forms in a sculpture Myers built. That wasn’t what Myers had intended, but when she was told, she took another look at the piece and saw how some of the organic elements of the piece could resemble animals.
Though she left writing behind as her primary form of expression some time ago, her background in it helped refine her artistic style, and she tells her students that, for an artist, the ability to write is important as it is connected to the ability to explain.
Opportunities to see Myers’ work around central Ohio abound for the next few months.
She is one of a sizable group of CCAD faculty members whose work will be part of the large-scale Naked exhibition at Hammond Harkins Galleries in October and November, displaying small-scale sculptures made primarily of layered cotton fabric.
Myers also has work in two exhibitions that will be up until Sept. 14: Surface Tension at the Columbus Museum of Art and In League at The Ohio State University Urban Arts Space. The museum pieces are a medium-size sculpture and a large-scale wall piece; the Urban Arts Space piece is a 9-foot-by-9-foot installation on which she collaborated with OSU faculty member Jeff Haase.
Garth Bishop is editor of CityScene Magazine. Feedback welcome at email@example.com.
Exhibition strips down CCAD professors’ artistic styles
Andrea Myers is just one of 28 artists whose will be part of Naked when it opens at Hammond Harkins Galleries.
Naked runs Oct. 18-Nov. 17 at the Bexley gallery.
All the participating artists are faculty members at the Columbus College of Art and Design. Curator Char Norman is dean emeritus at CCAD and is former dean of faculty.
Naked is, by design, an open-ended theme, left entirely to the interpretations of the artists. That was part of the appeal, Norman says – seeing how each artist would choose to interpret the theme.
“It’s an attempt to spark some new ideas in the artists,” she says. “It really kicked some of them out of their comfort zone.”
Some interpreted the theme literally, such as with traditional nudes. Others worked with looser connections, such as raw emotions, issues of nature and the environment, and treatment of animals.
Artistic media represented in the show include oil, digital photos, watercolors, acrylics, plates, prints, even an iPhone app. Artists were also asked to put together 6-inch-by-6-inch miniature pieces for the show.
CCAD professors encourage their students to push boundaries in new art forms, and so, too, were faculty members encouraged to push boundaries with their contributions to Naked.
“It was really a challenge pushing them, and the ‘naked’ theme and the miniature theme were ways to really get people to think differently and examine their work,” says Norman. “I have seen some surprising things.”