Since the links to the article seem to be iffy, I've decided to "reprint" the article here.
David Nordmark - Whatcom Independent
Viking Union - WWU campus
Weekdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Now through Nov. 22
Admission is Free
Reception is Nov. 2, 6 to 8 p.m.
An engaging new art exhibit premiered on Monday, Oct. 30 at Western Washington University’s Viking Union Gallery. The exhibit, titled “Inner Landscapes,” is comprised of works by artist Angela Wales Rockett. As for all the exhibits that appear at the gallery, it is entirely student-curated.
Rockett’s works are what she calls “abstract collage paintings.”
“[The paintings] don’t look like a lot of mixed media collages you see out there, because in mine you can see the paint more; I use the collage elements more for texture,” she said.
Her paintings don’t even look like collages upon first glance, so heavily tilted is her work toward the painting side. The “found paper and other objects” that she incorporates into her work seem more like grace notes than the overwhelming cacophony one thinks of when hearing the phrase “mixed-media collage.”
Rockett has been working full time as an artist for the past year. She received her MFA in illustration from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2001, and has an undergraduate degree in art history from UC-Santa Barbara. Her father is a commercial artist who has worked in photography and computer-based art.
Though Rockett is originally from California, she has lived in numerous places since then.
“My step-dad worked for the government and so we moved around a lot,” she said of her childhood. She has been living in Washington State for two and a half years, and presently lives in Bothell.
Rockett has spent time working in other media as well, but is currently focusing on the collage paintings. She likes working in watercolors, and has recently started experimenting with printmaking.
She has undergone a pretty radical shift in her thinking about art. Orinally, she was of the opinion that “only realistic art was real art.” After taking a Photoshop class and finding that she liked “making a mess,” she found herself drifting toward a more abstract style.
Her work was brought to the attention of Heidi Norgaard, the coordinator of the Viking Union (VU) Gallery, through an exhibit of hers that Norgaard saw in Kirkland.
“I found Angela’s work at the Parklane Gallery,” Norgaard said. “I was impressed by the textures and rich colors of her work … [it] drew me in and stood out among the other artists that were showing at the Parklane at the time.”
Norgaard is a junior at Western, majoring in creative writing. She was the assistant coordinator of the gallery during her sophomore year.
The VU Gallery is entirely student-curated. “The coordinator and assistant coordinator work as a team to decide what goes in the gallery,” she said. “We also work with the artist to install or hang the show and handle shipping, storing and return of work that is exhibited.”
Some other recent exhibits that have been featured at the gallery include “Naked Voyage,” which divided the space into “rooms” through the use of salt, leaves, dirt and love letters lining the floor, and “A Dress Speaks,” which concerned sexual assault and abuse.
“In the past, the gallery has been host to many different types of media — it is really up to the current coordinators what the space will be used for each year,” said Norgaard.
The “Inner Landscapes” run will be followed in late November by an exhibit titled “Prison Nation,” which is a display of activist posters designed to “raise awareness about injustices in the prison system,” according to Rockett.
The opening reception for Rockett’s exhibit is this evening, Thursday, Nov. 2, from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is free, refreshments will be provided and the artist will be on hand to speak with interested patrons. The paintings will be available for purchase throughout the exhibit’s run.