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Visual art alumnus creates art from Kansans' unwanted clutter

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Eli Gold, MFA 2014, smiles in the sunshine outside of the Art & Design Building on the KU campus

LAWRENCE — Lawrence-based artist and 2014 University of Kansas Visual Art MFA graduate Eli Gold has been selected as the artist-in-residence at the nationally recognized Salina Art Center. While in residence, Gold will work with local volunteers to create "Surrounded," a site-specific, progressive installation in the art center's Main Gallery, which will be on view starting Wednesday, Aug. 27, through Oct. 19. 

"Surrounded" will juxtapose a finely handcrafted chair and a massive curved wall composed of wood, stone, salvaged construction material and the detritus of everyday life. Under Gold's direction, a team of volunteers will help Salinans clear their garages, sheds and barns of accumulated, unwanted material, such as old furniture, household items, appliances and electronics. Those items will be gathered and sorted in the Warehouse, the art center's living and working space for artists-in-residence. The wall will be constructed from this material.

As the wall's elements are completed, they will be transported from the Warehouse to the gallery, where they will be assembled progressively over the course of the exhibition. Concurrent with this process, Gold will fabricate the chair, which will be placed in front of the completed wall.

Born and raised in Ithaca, New York, Gold moved to Lawrence in 2011 to attend KU as a graduate student with an emphasis in metalsmithing and jewelry.

"For a long time craft was at the center of my work, and elements of that love for material and process are still important to me, but the object is no longer central," he said. "I work within the realms of community, performance and installation to ask a variety of questions about the human relationship to time, work, objects and raw material."

Gold will give a gallery talk about the project from 7:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Sept. 4 in the Art Center's galleries. The event is free and open to the public.

Gold's residency runs from through Nov. 1. For more information, visit the Salina Art Center.

Salina residents interested in donating material for "Surrounded" can contact the artist at eli.gold@gmail.com for more information.