Arts & CultureFeatureFor Students

Strings and Stars: An Abstract Art Exhibit

Peer a little closer at the walls in the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library and you’ll be in for a surprise.

Tucked away in a corner on the first floor, far from shelves of books and the murmurs of students discussing assignments, lies a small, abstract art exhibit featuring bright colors and bold brushstrokes on multiple canvases.

The collection, entitled Strings and Stars: Meditations on Space, Time, and Memory, from artist Nathan Beard, is available for all who pass through the library to view.

The exhibit displays four pieces that Beard created from 2014-2019. Each work of art tells its own individual story, but the pieces blend together to make onlookers think about space and time in a more meaningful way; to question the relationship between human will and natural forces. 

Four canvases stand side-by-side on a wall covered with a mix of acrylic paint and soil. This is Beard’s take on the traditional Japanese tradition of Kintsugi. However, he used his own technique and aesthetic, prominent in his work, Exit Music, to guide him into creating these visual metaphors.

Beard was also inspired by the Japanese writing of Kanji, using it to blend together the ancient and modern worlds in his work.

The largest piece in the collection is entitled Exit Music. It features bright and bold acrylic paints, mixed together with Spanish moss.

Exit Music by Nathan Beard. Photo by Kiara Soriano

Exit Music by Nathan Beard. Photo by Kiara Soriano

For Beard, Exit Music serves as a metaphor for the transition of space through time. The use of Spanish moss gives this piece added texture and dimension. Along with the different layers, this piece creates a visual of the inside of Beard’s mind. 

The most muted piece in the exhibit is entitled Life Lines.

Although the bold colors are missing, the story behind what’s on the canvas is one that many can relate to. The many lines represent Beard’s family tree. By depicting the deceased with gold lines, Beard is able to tie this painting with the Kintsugi piece to tell a more complete story. 

If you have the chance, stop by the library and take a glance at the exhibit. The appreciation of this fine art may inspire to create your own masterpieces. 

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