By Alexandra Benson
Photos by Anna Kathryn Fulp and Katherine Williams
For Nicole Uzzell’s first solo exhibition, Salem College’s Fine Arts Center opened the corridor of the Velma Mason Davis Gallery. This allowed for the sculptor and installation artist to set up the intricate and interesting collection “Sorting It Out.” Her collection combines a rustic feel with fragile detail creating a minimal yet complex, seven-piece set.
Uzzell has a list of artistic accomplishments under her belt, as she graduated from Lesley University College with a Master of Fine Arts and acquired a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art at Winston-Salem University. With her current employment at the Piedmont Craftsmen Gallery and Sawtooth School for Visual Art, Uzzell is able to share her creative mind with the local art community. Although Uzzell is employed in downtown Winston-Salem, her studio is located at the base of Hanging Rock State Park.
One element that sets Uzzell’s exhibit aside from the majority of the collections that have come to Salem College is that her exhibition is interactive and allows you to touch, move, and spin the pieces. The artist uses a variety of natural and found objects including: paper pulp, vines, wire, Q-tips, old fabrics, lemon juice, sawdust, flax pulp, dryer sheets, and snake skin.
Sophomore student, Martha Davis, describes the exhibit as “a post-apocalyptic laundromat” and for good reason, considering Uzzell actually compared the creative process used for this project to the process of doing laundry.
The exhibit includes a personal guestbook for audiences to write their own messages to the installation artist. This guestbook further allows viewers to interact with the collection and record their thoughts and opinions on what they experience. In her artistic statement, Uzzell emphasizes how chance and happenstance have guided each individual work. With the interactive guestbook and the ability to physically touch each piece, Nicole Uzzell allows viewers to contemplate and sort through their own mental laundry.
Exhibit: Sorting It Out
Location: Velma Mason Davis Gallery at the Salem College Fine Arts Center
Date: February 15 – March 26, 2016