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"Unstitched" exhibit on display at A&M-Commerce

By Megan Carey
On September 9, 2010

"Unstitched," an art show comprised of new works by Robert Ruello, debuted at A&M-Commerce the evening of Sept. 7, with a reception at 5 p.m. Although Ruello did not attend the reception, many students and professors turned out to show their support.

Ruello's most recent work is extremely detailed, and illustrates his understanding and knowledge of design.

"All paintings exist as a series of layers that add up to create the ‘image'," Art Professor Michael Winegarden said. "Robert Ruello's work simply makes that layering obvious."

Many students who attended the show did so to fulfill class assignments, but regardless, many were able to find favorites among the 28 pieces on display.

"My favorite piece was "Gust" because of the colors and the use of the acrylic medium," freshman art major Haley De La Garza said.

Whether students are new to the school or are close to graduating, Ruello's testing of the relationship between objects and their backgrounds as a foundation for his designs garners everyone's attention.

"It's hard [to describe an overall impression of the show]," senior experimental studies major Alex Donaghy said. "It is interesting to process what he has done. He's found a really great niche for creating artwork. The works are symmetrical and it really draws you in from across the room."

Many of the featured pieces were completed on paper using graphite pencil, watercolor or acrylic paint.

"I liked how he used the paint," freshman all level art major Macy Gowin said. "Some [of the paint] was flat and some was shiny. It was very abstract."

The general appeal of Ruello's show stems from the connection viewers feel when they observe the work.

"The contrast of the positive and negative shapes imply space and images, which become an emotional or psychological space for the viewer," Winegarden said.

Many of the pieces feature what appears to be beams of light bursting outward through the flat paper. The artist can flex a real power over the audience, depending on where he places forms within the work.

"Where he places forms creates a tension, often giving the feeling of the designs floating in the space of the picture plane," Winegarden said. "That combined with the allusion to the circular points of light seeming to show through from the furthest layer give the work a somewhat ‘spiritual attitude.'"

However, the show can also be appreciated on a much simpler level.

"The show is very interesting because it's all graphic drawing," De La Garza said.

The University Gallery will publish an online document for the show featuring a conversation between Ruello, A&M-Commerce Art Professor Michael Miller, and Allison Greene, who is a curator at The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.

For those who missed the opening of the show, the Art Building will continue to house the display until Oct. 1 when the show closes. The closing reception for the show will be held on Oct. 1, as well as a casual gallery discussion with Ruello.

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