Artist Santiago Cal visited Wayne State College last Thursday to exhibit his artwork, which includes sculptures and drawings he uses to depict emotional imagery.
Cal presented a 50-minute presentation to faculty and students in Gardner Auditorium, followed by a reception in the Nordstrand Visual Arts Gallery. Cal’s artwork will be on display in the gallery through Feb. 20.
“Several main themes which are overarching throughout this body of work that I’ve created over the past 20 years deal with, in the most generic terms, place, persons, things and processes,” Cal said.
An associate professor of art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Cal has exhibited work in places such as Barcelona, Havana, Auckland, Taipei and New York. He has also been an artist-in-residence in Mexico, Belize and the United States.
Cal’s art media includes plastic, fabric, metal, and wood.
“I think my love for working with wood is multiple,” Cal said. “One, I like working with this thing that’s a time capsule. I love that trees have their own history in life. I like its speed, too; it’s a very slow process. For me, I like being slowed down. I also like the history of woodworking – both functional and sculptural.”
Five of Cal’s pieces currently on display at WSC had never before been exhibited, making Wayne State College their place of debut.
Dr. Andy Haslit, assistant professor of art history at WSC, curated Cal’s exhibit as gallery director.
“Santiago Cal is the first visiting artist who is a sculptor,” Haslit said. “We have had prints, paintings, installations and a lot of two-dimensional works, but this is the first sculptor who has shown here. I try to find artists who represent a range of media, but then a range of interests. We try to bring in people who are working artists, teaching artists, that, likewise, are kind of coming from a variety of backgrounds.”
Many Wayne State students attended both Cal’s presentation and his reception.
“I’m currently in a sculpture class, so seeing how he (Cal) gets his ideas from his background and how he uses the battles he faced as an inspiration for his art, that’s kind of how I want to create my artwork as well,” senior art major Lily Roberts said. “So, it’s kind of a nice connection of seeing how he interpreted his past into his art; that’s what I also want to do with my major.”
To get a look at Cal’s artwork, visit the Nordstrand Art Gallery in the Conn Library, Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 3 to 7 p.m. The show will end at noon on Feb. 20.