Throughout the month of January, the Department of Art invites the Augusta University community to visit the Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art to see works by artist Amy Pleasant.
Known within the contemporary art world for her drawings, paintings and ceramic sculptures, Pleasant’s exhibition will feature a mural painted on a wall in the gallery.
Pleasant created her first mural, or wall drawing, in 2004, as a way to experiment with scale, installation, environment and creating art specific to building architecture or history.
“The wall drawings I create are generally ephemeral,” Pleasant said. “They are made and disappear and are part of an exhibition. Usually, I come in and create something on site that is specific to the exhibition, and then it disappears.”
Although the wall drawings are large and can take days to create, Pleasant doesn’t get upset when they disappear.
“For me, there’s something really nice about having work that only exists in your memory or by the experience of being in front of it,” she said. “Also, if I were to recreate this wall drawing somewhere else it would be different each time. I like that element of the work, too.”
In addition to the wall drawing, the exhibition will also include sculpture, paintings, drawings and an animation sketch.
“This exhibition is unique for me because it has a piece of everything I do in it,” Pleasant said. “I think that’s so good for students and for me to be able to talk to them about how you can follow your language into many different mediums and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s all part of the exploration of what you make.”
The animation sketch on display at the Byrd Gallery represents Pleasant’s first endeavor into the genre of video animation.
The animation explores the body, gesture and movement and is made up of approximately 100 different drawings of legs.
“Animation is something I’ve been thinking about for years, because I think my work suggests a sense of movement,” Pleasant said. “I wanted to experiment with what it would look like were I able to make the drawings move. Some of my earlier wall drawings were made up of little images. It is very intentional to suggest this moving in-and-out or a body moving across space. This was an experiment on how I could use animation to let the drawings move.”
Pleasant’s exhibition at the Byrd Gallery marks her first trip to Augusta and Augusta University.
“Student interactions are great,” Pleasant said. “They seem to be very engaged. It’s been so nice. Scott Thorp [chair of the Department of Art] is so enthusiastic and was really excited about the show and the wall drawing. You know a lot of people could be intimidated by that whole idea, and they’ve just been so open about it. Everybody’s been really welcoming, warm and excited.”
Pleasant’s exhibition will be on display from Jan. 12- Feb. 3 at the Mary S. Byrd Gallery in Washington Hall on the Summerville Campus. Pleasant will also serve as juror for the 2017 Student Juried Exhibition, which opens Feb. 16. For more information, visit augusta.edu/byrd.