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Art Review: Fondle, Please

This Final Friday, the Wichita State University Sculpture Guild will be hosting their annual art exhibition at the Diver’s Studio on South Commerce. Playfully titled “Fondle, Please,” this show encourages visitors to not only touch the art, but it requires people to physically interact with the works in order to fully experience the show. While the show maintains a lighthearted air, the Sculpture Guild’s theme is determined to transform passive viewers into active participants.

Nam Le’s work MagWall(zen) is a perfect example. His kinetic piece consists of two black panels that hang parallel to one another on the wall. A long silver wire dangles to the left of this diptych. A curious controller is attached to one end that somewhat resembles a fishing reel. The other end is free. With the free end, visitors are invited to place the wire on to the magnetic surface of the panels in any form they choose. They then take the controller and can manipulate the line by rotating the reel forward and backward. The line responds by swelling and contracting, and morphs into lyrical shapes. MagWall(zen) is dependent on the participant’s engagement to create the form of the line, which would otherwise just hang lifelessly on the wall.

“Fondle, Please” will feature about 20 active guild members, and a BFA senior thesis show will be nestled within the exhibition. Membership to the guild is open to everyone, so look for work from local artists as well as WSU students. This exhibition is a great chance to break the cardinal rule of art viewing and interact with art that is begging to be touched.

Video of Le’s MagWall(zen)

WSU Sculpture Guild “Fondle, Please” will be on view April 27, 2012 from 5-10 p.m. at the Diver’s Studio, 424 S. Commerce. This show is appropriate for all ages. More information about the guild can be found on their Facebook page (WSU Sculpture Guild) or by contacting the guild’s sponsor, Barry Badgett.