Gallery draws in audience

“Write this down: MAGNIFICENT”

Nick Ogle, assitant professor of family and human services, is enthusiastic about Marissa Eclov’s gallery Quietly Found.

Eclov’s gallery features a collection of mixed media. She feels that her three-dimensional pieces force her viewers to engage with her art more fully and process internally.

“It’s very idea-based, and invites participation rather than passive viewing, which I passionately feel like art should be.” Eclov said. “Art democracy for all. Down with the elitist art and the snobbish galleries.”

In order to avoid passivity, Eclov’s gallery includes a section dedicated to personal integration. From the ceiling there are a variety of slides tied to strings.

Near them, there is a table with tags and markers, on which viewers are encouraged to choose a favorite slide and write a hypothesized story about it, then tie it to the slide for others to see.

Not only is this fun to join in on, the slides are also just pretty to look at from a distance.

Senior Megan Toney said of them that “the way they catch the light is lovely. It’s the first thing I noticed about the gallery.”

Eclov’s gallery took her about a year and a half to complete, but she had been processing it for much longer, involving lots and lots of meetings with Joel Armstrong, assistant professor of visual art.

One of her most intriguing facets of artful processing are the dresses and the tea bags which hang from the walls. Eclov said they related to her mother and “some of the positive and negative aspects of our relationship.”

“As I created the dress, it was a way of working through some personal baggage and also celebrating my relationship with her and the inspiration she has given me in my life,” Eclov said.

Eclov’s edgy, off-beat gallery has gotten mixed reviews, according to the artist. Some doubt her art’s credibility and some think it has got to be too easy to be real art, but she defends her pieces.

“I want to challenge people, especially ‘non-art world’ people to think outside of the box and ask questions,” Eclov said. “Go and take a second look if you are suspicious, and know that it is deceptively difficult to create a gallery show like this. Many, many tears of frustration, creative block, and dead ends made this possible, believe me.”

Eclov’s show runs until March 31 in Windgate Visual Arts East.