The CBU Gallery in Downtown Riverside is featuring a new student exhibition called “Shadows, Projections and Silhouettes.” The exhibition is based on the Spanish play, “Life is a Dream,” by Pedro Calderón de la Barca.
The exhibition was designed by seven advanced students in the College of Architecture, Visual Arts and Design, who situated the room with black paper mounted on wood frames against white walls.
The papers have intricate cutout animations of a forest, a man transforming into a beast — one of the key metaphorical elements in the play — and constellations. The Moroccan design casts shapes across the white walls, giving it a haunted, romantic atmosphere.
“The room will be dark so we can place lights to shine through the black paper, casting shadows on the walls,” said Bailey Dahlgren, sophomore international studies major. “The actual art is the shadow created by the designs in the paper. We want people to feel enveloped into the piece.”
On a flat-screen television on the far wall of the gallery is a moving animation of mountains, a rising sun, a bird flying into the wind and a fish jumping out of the water.
“It was definitely the most tedious part about the exhibit, but also the most satisfying,” Dahlgren said. “Every frame is a picture — a picture we had to then physically rearrange for the next shot.”
The animation is about 500 frames, all visual representations of the play’s script.
“We had people bent on the floor, holding the paper and moving them for each frame,” said Julianna Anderson, senior visual arts major. “Take a picture, move position, next picture. I was so sore the next day.”
The students said their visual arts professor, Kristine Lippire, is the reason the gallery is decorated with their art. She said she believes in them and in the story their art has to tell.
“They worked so hard,” Lippire said. “I am so glad they have the opportunity to display the art downtown. It lets the students decide on the displays of their work. I want it to reflect their intensive labor.”
The exhibition will be held at the gallery until March 12. It is open to the public Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m.