Del Mar College’s annual National Drawing and Small Sculpture Show will have an opening reception on Feb. 20. This year’s show, which attracts contemporary American artists working in the drawing and sculpture mediums from across the country, was juried by Oklahoma State University professor and artist Chris Ramsay, who gave a slide lecture on Feb. 5 in Richardson Performance Hall on East Campus.
Ramsay teaches metals and jewelry courses at OSU. His artwork is composed of objects that he has collected and arranged to pursue his interests in conservation, life cycles and his relationship to nature.
Ramsay has been collecting souvenirs of the everyday for years by filling the spaces of his art as if they were the shelves of a living room curio cabinet or rather storage drawers in a museum of anthropology. He creates mixed-media sculptures that invite the viewer to look closely at humble traces of time and life: not rare and precious artifacts but rather simple, anonymous objects.
Ramsay gave an intriguing and thoughtful talk about his artwork and the stories behind them. Ramsay said he doesn’t consider himself an installation artist, but an artist who creates sculptures through unpretentious materials, intimate scale, natural harmonies and quiet conduciveness to thought.
The intimate experience of looking into these works, lingering over details, and reflecting on the multitude of objects that have touched one’s own life elicits the kind of subtle revelation that is all too often left untapped by art today in the quest of monumental impressions.
Ramsay is a collector and he is the kind of collector who loves to show the world the kind of objects that have incredible value.
“I like to see what other viewers collect and see what objects have priceless value to them. The emotional content with these objects are blessed objects to them. Each object carries its own tale,” Ramsay said at the lecture.
Ramsay has received from viewers and has in his own personal collection items including stones, starfish, cow hairballs, thimbles, the world’s tiniest doll and many other odd objects — and all are museum quality.
Art can sometimes be very odd, but art is meant to challenge the norm. Ramsay’s artwork is something that many fans find beautifully unique. The way he integrates his work as a cycle of change through objects gives a deeper and more intimate reflection on what lies inside his inner being.
The 49th annual national drawing and small sculpture show’s opening reception will be from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 20 in the Joseph A. Cain Memorial Art Gallery, Fine Arts Center, on East Campus. Admission is free. The show will remain on display through May 8.