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

Monday, July 29, 2019

Fragility within Stability the work of Nikki Pynn

Nikki Pynn's sculptural stained glass artworks are kinetic.  Most think of stained glass as fragile, meant to be viewed and admired from a distance.  But Nikki decided she didn't want her work to be just viewed.  She wanted people to approach her work and then when the instinct to touch the beautiful, playful pieces kicked in, Nikki wanted patrons to fulfill that desire, mostly by spinning the wheel that contained the glass.

Perhaps a curator's nightmare, having people touch artwork made of glass, but also a curator's greatest hope; which is to help people connect to art on a personal level.  Sometimes looking or reading about art doesn't advance the viewer's understanding of the deeper meaning of it.  It seems that adding one more sensory aspect to an art viewing experience takes patrons out of the esoteric and into the real. 

This is the first exhibit we have specifically asked patrons to interact with the art by touching it.   It has been uplifting to watch patron surprise and delight as they interact (gently of course) with the pieces in the show.

Nikki Pynn studied art at Virginia Commonwealth University where she learned traditional stained glass methods.  She now practices art in the New River Valley of Virginia, where she creates community based art and her wildly imaginative stained glass sculptures. 

The exhibit runs through August 9, 2019.

Gallery Hours through August 3 
Monday - Friday: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday: 12 - 5 p.m.

August 6, 7, 8 and 9
Gallery Hours
Tuesday - Friday
12 - 6 p.m.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Black Love Opens 2/22/19

This exhibit is all about Black Love. In a time when 
Black existence is a threat—in a climate where police 
have been called because of Black people swimming, canvassing, singing, jump-roping or drinking coffee—being Black can be a reminder of suffering. Alternatively, Blackness is also love, resilience, and community and our love is legendary or as Toni Morrison wrote:

 “Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.”

We love through romanticism, we love our religion, we 
love our families, we love our Greek organizations, our
friends, and more. For this Virginia Tech student 
biennial art exhibit, all students were invited to explore
and create a piece that evokes Black Love.
-Kimberly Williams, Director VT Black Cultural Center