Visiting professors host unique art exhibitby Chris Barsotti, Journal Review • March 1, 2010
A video game and bartering are two aspects of a major art exhibit at Wabash College.
Two Wabash professors visiting from California, Kristen Wilkins and Jeff Eisenberg, are presenting the exhibit, “Stake Your Claim,” at the Wabash College Eric Dean Gallery. In return, they hope to receive strong community involvement.
“The collaboration started early this school year when Jeff and I were talking about some of our summer experiences,” Wilkins said. “We both had some unique adventures and we wanted to show it through our exhibit, which is how this thing got started. Eisenberg focused on the mural and Wilkins jumped on the idea of a video game because video games have only received partial attention from the art world.
Wilkins said the game is centered around themes of the economy and the relationship between working hard to get somewhere as opposed to get-rich quick ideas.
While Wilkins takes the “game” into the art world, the characters still have to get to certain points by running and jumping. The two artists also are excited about the bartering table.
“It will be exciting to see how the community responds to the idea we are throwing out there,” Wilkins said.
Wilkins and Eisenberg are posting classified ads on the college’s Web site, www.wabash.edu, asking for items from the community that they will trade for pieces of
Some of the items offered will be small sculptures representing various items encountered by Wilkins and Eisenberg during their summers.
“One of the ads may say something like, ‘We are looking for a drawing of a frying pan and will trade our sculpture of a trailer for it,’” Wilkins said. “Once we make the exchange for whatever it is the public brings to us, that then becomes a piece of our exhibit.
“We are trying to get the community to make things they may not normally make and in the process they will be trading things for art instead of paying for the artwork.”
Eisenberg encourages everyone to participate in the bartering part of the exhibit.
“It will give the community a different outlook on the exhibit and allow them to feel more a part of it,” he said. “Everyone can find the classified ads on Wabash’s Web site and join in on the fun.”
Community involvement is a key aspect to the exhibit and Wilkins said it brings more people in who may not otherwise come to the exhibit.
“I am very excited to see what people will bring to us,” Wilkins said. “There is always such a strong community involvement with Wabash and we wanted to expand that to the art gallery as well.”
Eisenberg said one of the big challenges was the logistics of the entire thing.
“Everything we are doing with the exhibit is a major project and each one has required a different skill set from one of us,” Eisenberg said. “The timing of each project has been a challenge, but everything has come together nicely and we are very excited to open the exhibit up.”
For more information on the exhibit visit www.wabash.edu. Admission is free.