UPD partners with local artists for exhibition

Mar 29, 2017

Northwest alumni, students and University police officers pondered pieces of art to get the bigger picture on what community represents.

The one-night art exhibition hosted by the University Police Department March 27 at 7 p.m. housed paintings, ceramics, photography and sculptures from Northwest alumni and Northwest students. University police officers participated in discussions about the artwork with the Maryville community and artists who attended.

Northwest students Chance Allen, Alexis Banegas, Dupree Dolor, Zoe Green and Melody Monroe had art displayed throughout the station. Northwest alumni who presented their work included sculptor Brant Weiland, ceramicist Jamie Woodard and painter Tia Calkins.

Woodard had porcelain work on display and for sale. She focuses on subjects such as nature, trees and texture in her work.

“When I’m working on a piece, I try to capture the impressions left by life and nature on the piece itself,” Woodard said. “I tend to focus on earthy elements. I want nature to show through in my work.”

Calkins curated the event and said University police officers connected with the group of artists at an art showcase earlier this month.

“By hosting an art exhibit in their new building, the UPD is hoping not only to continue their pursuit of art but also invite the community into their new space and experience the art together,” Calkins said.

University Police Department Lieutenant and Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Ceperley attended the event among other officers with an open mind.

“They’re experimenting in New York where they are bringing the officers in and teaching them to use their visual skills and conceptual skills in seeing things and identifying things in pictures in the art that normally people don’t see and pick up on,” Ceperley said.

Lieutenant Ceperley said he is always looking for new ways to get involved with the community. Doing something both productive for the force and enjoyable for the community is gratifying to Ceperley.

“We do Pizza and Police; we do jump starts and all kinds of fun stuff,” Ceperley said. “We’re on Twitter and social media and different things. We’re always searching for that thing that separates us from the rest. It is nice to partner with the artists, to use the facility and invite the public over and then also have a training for the officers to work on our visual and critical thinking skills.

Most art was for sale and prices ranged from $50 to $1,000. Artists had the chance to engage with the attendees and get their names out into the Maryville community.

“The artists have utilized contextual elements from the present time and then have visually and compositionally manipulated them in an attempt to open up the conversation about societal issues,” Calkins said.


Published March 29, 2017 @TheMissourian

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