The current exhibit at (SCENE) Metrospace features the eclectic, mixed media art of MSU alumnus Robert B. Park, who graduated from MSU twice, first in 1969 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and again in the early 70s with an art teaching certificate.
Each of the more than 10 pieces in the exhibit, titled Quantum Entanglement, took Park about six months to a year to complete. His work features unique objects such as grape vines, bouncy balls, birch bark, magazine clippings, and more as he finds inspiration in his everyday life, from simple things such as a book, a quote, or a map.
“You can’t help being influenced by things that you see,” he said. “Some people have described my work as being cosmic and exploring things beyond our natural realm, so I hope that when people see my work, they get cosmically inspired a little bit…whatever that means.”
Each of Park’s pieces experiment with different forms of painting, collage, sculptural assemblage, found objects, and text.
“I think the mixed media form of art is becoming more popular now because we’re all searching,” Park said. “Artists are bringing all of these art forms together and thinking maybe they’ll discover a new type of art. It’s an alchemy.”
Park first discovered his artistic side in grade school, and has been honing his skills ever since. When he first came to MSU, he wanted to pursue graphic design, but eventually found that sculpture and painting were where his true passions lay.
Since his time at MSU, Park has lived in Bath, Michigan, where he works daily on his craft. And though art is his full-time job, his primary focus is on keeping his work authentic.
“I had a professor who told me, ‘If your work starts selling, watch out, you could be in trouble,’ and that stuck with me,” Park said. “I want to do something new that will impress experts and artists because they see something unique in it rather than something that’s meant to be popular and created just to be sold commercially.”
Park has been featured in countless artistic shows around Michigan and has won awards at many of them. But he says his current show at (SCENE) Metrospace is one of the best experiences of his career thus far.
“This show has been one of my proudest moments as an artist,” Park said. “A one-man show is very significant, and I’ve only had three others in my life. But having MSU connected with this is nice and gives it an even higher prestige for me.”
Run by MSU’s Department of Art, Art History, and Design, (SCENE) Metrospace, located at 110 Charles Street in East Lansing, displays work of contemporary artists for six weeks at a time.Quantum Entanglement, which opened September 15, will close on November 7. A closing event is scheduled for Friday, November 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. at (SCENE) Metrospace where visitors will have the opportunity to meet Park and ask him about his work.
Written by Alexandria Drzazgowski, Professional Writing Major