Monday, February 14, 2022

Experience Black Love: Ty's Blog


                                This is a guest blog by our current exhibiting artist Tykeisha Swan Patrick 
                        Experience Black Love on display at Perspective Gallery at VT Squires Student Center
                                                                        through March 5, 2022

Hello, my name is Tykeisha Swan Patrick, and I’m a freelance artist. I am also a wife and stay-at-home mother who enjoys outdoor activities, visiting family, and spending quality time at home with our fur babies.

Tug of War (Digital Illustration 2021)

This year I finally decided to take being an artist seriously and treat it as the career I’ve always wanted, no more excuses. My art is the best way to interpret my past, present, and future. As a self-taught artist, I have been on a mission to free up space in my mind from negative and traumatic experiences. I believe we fill up our heads with memories that stop us from pursuing our dreams, real or imagined. You are not alone! As I continue to grow, I find it best that my work does not remain the same, and I do not limit myself to one medium, style, or concept.

    Chalk drawing of childhood cartoon with son (2021)  

I mainly find inspiration in cartoons, specifically the 90’s era, and obsess over vibrant palette choices. Being creative has also become a way to connect with people through collaborative work such as book covers and illustrations, gallery pieces, business design, logos, and more.

 Experience Black Love Digital Collection (2021)


In this project, I created sentiment pieces from two perspectives, then and now. I wanted to bring about the positive aspects of Black History. The ones where we spent time together with our families, enjoying great foods and games that undoubtedly brought the funniest and most love felt experiences in our lives, the kind that highlights our spirits. I hope this brings back a spark in your memory that you may have felt was beyond traumatic to revisit and join yourself in finding some good in it. I find that it has brought great healing for me, not yet entirely, but enough to imagine a world filled with love and togetherness. 



Experience Black Love Exhibit Perspective Gallery, VT Squires Student Center

I hope my journey as an artist inspires other artists to chase their dreams and make their healing process a part of their business by simply doing what they love. Huge thanks to Perspective Gallery for providing the space needed for my work and being a part of my continuing growth.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Flex Gallery Guest Blog by student Emilie Apel


Perspective Gallery at Virginia Tech hosts a Flex Gallery in the hallway adjacent to the gallery on the 2nd floor of Squires.  We reserve this space for emerging artists who are members of the campus community and not necessarily with a background in the arts. 

Emilie Apel

Emilie Apel is a rising senior at Virginia Tech, majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Visual Arts Society. She is heavily involved in the art and music scene on Virginia Tech’s campus and wants to find a job that will combine these passions. Outside of class she spends a lot of time hiking, reading, and creating. She hopes to continue working on her artistic practice after graduation to one day pursue her MFA. 


My exhibit Ethereal Light is a series of photographs I took using long exposure on a digital camera. They are a direct result of me experimenting with moving the camera in different ways to manipulate the light. The forms the light took in the photos only exist in the photos themselves, they never existed in the physical world. This concept brought me to the idea that reality is subjective. Your reality is different from my reality, we perceive the world in different ways because we’re having completely different experiences. My hope with these photographs is that they will be perceived differently from person to person, reinforcing this concept of subjective reality. Acknowledging the fluidity that ‘reality’ is makes a lot of things in life easier to comprehend and accept. Most of my artistic practice explores similar existential themes and concepts.

Untitled, Digital Photograph, 2021 (Ethereal Light @ Perspective Flex Gallery) 

I’m still a young artist, who is self-taught, and I don’t have any specific direction that I want to take my art in…yet. This leaves me a lot of room for experimentation, which I’ve been enjoying more and more recently. I’ve been enjoying working in a variety of different mediums, and I’m not planning on restricting myself to focus on just one anytime soon. The next somewhat structured project I’ve been working on is a project where I photograph cows across rural Appalachia. I want these photographs to show that there is a right way to raise animals, and it is possible to raise cows on farms in humane ways; in ways that are sustainable and beneficial to the ecosystem. My goal is to photograph the beauty that comes from seeing cows are living how they’re supposed to live. 

                    Twenty-Four, Digital Photograph, 2020

I’ve had a camera in my hands ever since I was 12 years old, which led me to learning Photoshop at a young age. I didn’t know it at the time, but learning to use my camera and editing photographs on Photoshop was the beginning of my artistic practice. My extensive knowledge of Photoshop is what brought me to creating digital art. I enjoy the process that comes from drawing the sketch out on paper, then digitizing it and adding color and other details on Photoshop. Umbrella Hand is one of my favorite digital media pieces because it can be viewed from any orientation. You can flip it 90, 180 or 270 degrees and the illustration still makes sense, only your perception of the image changes.


                       Umbrella Hand, Digital Media, 2020

A lot of my work has messages that are focused on  sustainability and climate change. I want people to start treating their local environments and the Earth as a whole with the respect it deserves. As the climate crisis continues to escalate, our time to take action is diminishing. Awareness is the first step to get society on board with changing our lifestyles to implement sustainable practices. I created this digital art piece for a class last semester, the idea behind the piece is to show how we as humans are one species, killing hundreds of other species. The sea is home to species we haven’t even discovered yet, and we’re evoking irreversible damage to it. 

  100 Species, Digital Media, 2021

It’s hard to say where my art will take me, or what mediums I will gravitate towards. All I know is that I am motivated by my passion for it, and the complex ideologies that can be explored through visual representation. I’ve gone down a long road of self-discovery to reach the point where I’m at right now, but I know this is just the tip of the iceberg. I photograph a lot of natural landscapes and nature in the world. I like to say that I don’t have to do any of the work when it comes to my pictures, the mountains, the light, and the landscape do all the work for me. My gratitude is never-ending for the natural beauty I’ve gotten to witness so far in my lifetime.

                             Sunrise with a Red Tent, Digital Photograph, 2020

If you’re interested in viewing some of my other work, I try to maintain a digital portfolio here: And I just decided to make an Instagram account for my art (, I’ve been posting a lot of sketches and less developed pieces I’ve done. My Instagram is an experiment, I’m not huge on social media, but I understand the opportunities it can bring for artists, so I’m seeing how it goes. Thank you for taking the time to read about my work and if you have questions or just want to connect, please follow my Instagram, or shoot me a message on my contact page on my website. Many thanks and appreciation goes to Perspective Gallery for showing my work. It is a truly surreal experience to see my art in a gallery setting.


Thursday, February 4, 2021

Why We Can't Wait

Inspired by the book published by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964 this exhibit invited students and staff at Virginia Tech to submit artworks which expressed "why we can't wait."  

Artwork was submitted electronically during the pandemic to assure that students working away from Blacksburg this semester had the opportunity to participate.  Most of the pieces are included in a projection on the gallery wall. 

Faculty members also sent in poignant entries that are included in the exhibit. 

 In addition to original artwork submitted by students, student groups, and staff members, a historical perspective of student involvement in racial justice issues is included as part of the exhibit. 

                        A group of students staged a peaceful demonstration on the steps of                                                                                       Burruss Hall Friday after the announcement of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King.                                                                      April 10, 1968  Courtesy Virginia Tech Special Collections and University Archives 

Why We Can't Wait is on display at Perspective Gallery through March 7, 2021.  Gallery hours are Tuesday - Friday 12 - 8 p.m., Saturday 12 - 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 - 5 p.m.   


Patrons are invited to leave a message on our back wall telling why we won't wait and what you will peacefully do to stop racial injustice.

We offer a safe viewing experience for our patrons and our staff.  Please wear your mask when visiting the gallery. 


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Installation of Lauren Cooper's Medicine Show

Perspective Gallery Front Window
Is it ironic that Virginia artist Lauren Cooper has an exhibit up at Perspective Gallery titled Medicine Show but it is currently inaccessible because of a pandemic?  

The exhibit is an exploration of spiritual medicine. Lauren's skills as an herbalist coupled with her artistic vision gives viewers a rare opportunity to explore the nooks and crannies of an unseen world.  

For the past four weeks the staff at Perspective Gallery has been editing photos and texts of Lauren's exhibit. The installation was completed just as Virginia Tech made the difficult decision to move the spring semester and other programming online due to COVID-19 concerns.  Thankfully, our gallery intern, Megan (a senior art major who is putting her senior show online), has been a great asset as we moved with purpose towards our new virtual reality. 

This week Perspective Gallery will present an online version of Medicine Show, in its entirety.  We also have plans to  provide a Zoom interview with Lauren, and other virtual activities.   

Until then, here is a little video showing a bit of the installation of Medicine Show.  The work is beautiful so be sure to check out our website in the coming days to see the exhibit.


Monday, November 11, 2019

The Peace Project

The Peace Project
On Display October 25 – December 14, 2019

As global citizens, we have a responsibility to uphold kind, civil behavior and develop empathy towards our natural environment and one another.  How we do that and what that looks like is imperative for world peace.  The Peace Project is a social practice artistic venture designed to create awareness of our role in peacemaking through dialogue and art making.

The project was presented as a Virginia Tech Perspective Gallery Pop Up Art Event at music festivals, farmers markets, nature centers, galleries, and schools between May 2018 – November 2019.  Participants were asked to create drawings of their visions of peace while dialoguing about how we can all be a "piece" of the solution to peace. 
The Peace Project suggests a “walk your talk” process for taking small daily actions towards becoming a peace practitioner.  This simple, approachable assignment required people to draw on an 8.5 x 5.5-inch blank puzzle with Sharpie markers. Over 700 puzzles were submitted towards the final installation at the Virginia Tech Perspective Gallery on display now. 

Suggesting the “pillars of peace,” the drawings are installed on brightly colored wooden columns throughout the gallery. 

On adjacent black painted walls are two interactive “peace poetry” alcoves.  Patrons are asked to interact during the exhibition by writing three words of peace on large puzzle shaped paper to add to other community members' words. 
The large public poem, and 700 (+) puzzles, suggest that we are all linked as a community and that simple actions create big results over time.


-Robin Scully
 Curator, Perspective Gallery

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

A Student's Perspective on Exhibit "Reiterated Histories"

Reiterated Histories

Reiterated Histories by Pippi Miller allows the viewer to step inside a world in which one can feel the sense of childlike wonder again. By using a combination of photography skills, and layering techniques Miller has somehow managed to create a world in which the longer you look at it, the more details you see and the more you feel as if you could step into the image. One particular photograph stood out to me in this way, allowing me to almost smell the smoke from the fireworks, Miller’s print “Spark” portraying her son watching fireworks alongside other adults and children. “Spark” took me back to a time where I spent my days playing in the pool with friends, my eyes burning from the chlorine, my head aching from exhaustion, but my excitement stirring as I waited for the sun to finally go down so that I could watch my father light up the sky in a way that I could only fathom as magic.

Spark digital photo by Pippi Miller 
   Miller invites viewers into her private life, allowing them to see glimpses of her son in his most true forms, pure joy as he dances in the rain in “Rain, “excitement and contentment for the unknown in “Free, “and the very relatable look her son gives that I myself can only interpret as being “over it” in her photograph “The Look.”

Although it is quite easy to focus on Miller’s son when looking at her work as he is a significant focus of it, it is important to remember the overall theme of the show. Reiterated Histories follows Miller’s son growing, learning, and changing in the same environment that she did, giving her new perspectives on old places. Miller stated, “He inhabits these places now, making new memories, a new reiteration of my experiences changed by how I view him in them. They layer on one another, creating a shared existence, stratifying the moments between me, the being I created, the ones who created me, and all the invisible strangers that these trees, these waters, this light bore witness too.”

Spun digital photo by Pippi Miller
If one looks at the artwork within the show closer, it can easily be seen that there is also an overarching theme of rebirth. A great example of this rebirth can be found in the photograph entitled “Spun,” by using the layering technique above Miller is able to show leaves that are on the tree at the present moment of the photograph and the way that they changed as time went on. One reason I particularly care for this photo is that even if one recognized a tree from years prior and it looked the exact same, it would actually not be the same tree as the original leaves one born witness to have likely fallen, as well as possibly some limbs; becoming discarded sticks on the ground. Trees represent a mixture between new and old, of wisdom and wonder as does Miller’s view on her son growing up in the same place that she did, discovering himself and new things and places, just like she did. 

Miller often combines the two themes as well, her son combined with a sense of nature that once again allows the viewer to see the object with a sense of childlike wonder and awe that we as adults all too often forget exists. In the photograph, “Count” Miller displays her young son's hand touching a tree stump that is likely hundreds of years old. Although many did not know it at the time that tree became part of their stories, even if they simply glanced at it and then moved along on their way without thinking a second thought of it. That tree stump could have been seen by Pippi, her parents, or even her grandparents. Through “Count,” I feel that Miller is iterating how we are all connected in a way, sharing bits of air, or the same sight of a tree. The circular rings on the tree show how we are all connected and how we have been for much longer than we have ever known.
Count digital photo by Pippi Miller

All in all, Millers “Reiterated Histories” takes viewers on a journey exploring the beautiful New River Valley area, even introducing nostalgia for places they may not have been. The exhibit “Reiterated Histories” will be on display at the Squires Perspective Art Gallery until October 13th, 2019. The gallery hours can be found at Perspective Gallery

-Kaitlyn Sullivan
 Perspective Gallery Lead
 Virginia Tech Class of 2020 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

"Reiterated Histories" Photographs by Pippi Miller

Pippi Miller  Memory Tree  Digital Photo
Pippi Miller has created an exhibit which speaks of the beauty and serenity many of us feel living in the Appalachian Mountains, or travel elsewhere, to experience.  

The photographs in this exhibit capture the awe and mystery emanating from the mountains and forests and also personalize them with a potent story connecting memories of time and place from her childhood, to that of her young son as he experiences the world.  

Included with the landscapes are Pippi's beautiful portraits of children "in the moment."  These photos of the young people in her life, integrate place with a timelessness that we often forget about as we "grow up," but that children are able to remind us of. 

Pippi's work is also a subtle reminder of how a moment can forever alter an experience, and that our awareness and point of view is necessary to create a path for the next generation who will walk it. 

The exhibit will be on view through October 13, 2019. 

Gallery hours are Monday: 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., Tuesday - Saturday 12 p.m. - 9 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

-Robin Scully
Curator, Perspective Gallery