‘Terrestrial Celestial’ invites viewers to ponder paradox


Taylor Stinson

The largerst art piece on display, “Ball Drop” covers an entire wall in the exhibit.

Katerina Mihailidis, Intern Reporter

Once a mere series of drawings, Cody VanderKaay’s “Terrestrial Celestial” art exhibit is now on display at the Oakland University Art Gallery. The show’s opening on March 3 was met with great success and a lot of positive feedback, said VanderKaay, an associate professor of art at OU.

Four silver buckets greet visitors. Those are merely the start of a journey into the small world that VanderKaay created in the gallery’s two rooms.

“Ball Drop,” the largest art piece on display, covers a big portion of one of the gallery walls. Frames, sketches, bits of wood and plastic, and wires are weaved into the piece; a broom stick and countless other elements are included in VanderKaay’s work.

Everyone “wants to know what it all means,” VanderKaay said. The art show has “so many different parts that people are still trying to structure their thoughts.”

Concrete blocks displayed at different heights and in various forms at the end of the gallery also demand attention.

The exhibit took approximately two weeks to prepare, said Dick Goody, director of the gallery. Rendered black for the previous display, the gallery’s walls had to be repainted with three coats of white paint, he said.

All shows come at a very strategic time, Goody said. He continuously searches for and chooses artists to exhibit their work and needs to have an agenda for the gallery to keep running.

“The program [of the gallery] has to ensure that it remains successful,” he said.

With regional and international artists, it is important that the art curation is balanced, he added. Different shows appeal to different groups of people, and Goody chooses shows to attract diverse audiences.

According to Goody, VanderKaay’s show came about because VanderKaay was on sabbatical leave the previous year. When faculty take their sabbatical, they have a chance to create a body of work that is oftentimes displayed when they return.

“The pieces displayed, the pieces you see, those are just the tip of the iceberg,” Goody said.

The gallery is a nonprofit program to benefit students, said Jacky Leow, assistant to the director and registrar. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. If someone desires to purchase a piece of VanderKaay’s work, he can be reached at [email protected]

The gallery exhibits “Terrestrial Celestial” until April 9, and VanderKaay will give an artist’s talk at noon on Thursday, April 6 in the gallery. The event will be free and open to the public.

The gallery is open from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and is located in 208 Wilson Hall.

For more information, visit ouartgallery.org.