Past relationship inspires student exhibit at Heller Center

Feb. 23, 2015

Audrey Jensen
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Audrey Jensen | The Scribe
Senior JD Sell invites the community to the Heller Center to revisit their past, good or bad.

“What’s Changed”, Sell’s solo exhibit, will be in the Heller Center March 6-8 and will feature a special event on March 6 and 8 at 5:30 p.m. with a performance by local band “Millicent.”

Sell, a visual and performing arts major and the president of the Art Club wanted experience building an art exhibit before the senior art show in May. He was inspired by a previous relationship to create the theme of nostalgia in his art.

“It is correlating natural and decaying processes to the way you recall memories in present time,” Sell said. “For example, when you recall a memory you do not see it for what it was, you have a different interpretation and different biases you may have had towards that specific memory.”

“The ultimate outline factor is that you don’t know the other perspectives that were going on at the time. It’s an adaptation of the memory changed or evolved with something you are dealing with in the present,” he continued.

Sell revisited emotions experienced in his past relationship while creating the exhibit.

“All of the work is the under-toned emotion of lost and confusion and pain. There is dialogue I’ve began with myself to understand those experiences. It was very traumatic when I was younger,” Sell said.

“What’s Changed,” will feature pieces with a touch of old-fashion to reiterate the theme. One of the main pictures Sell has worked on will be a figurine of a girl on several large square plates that have been layered with rust.

“There are different chemical processes to rust metal. I have been experimenting for the past several months, trying to understand different tones and colors that can come from different chemicals. Texture as well is a huge thing. You get a bunch of different atmospheric texture qualities to it,” Sell said.

Video journals will show Sell documenting his work throughout the past year of piecing the exhibit together.

The audio of the journals will be digitally altered through the process of static distortion. Sell hopes to make this similar to police scanners with several noise sources so his documented journals will stand out.

Upon entering the exhibit in the Heller Center, the first object the audience sees will be a video that is like entering into the mindset of recalling memory, said Sell.

“I’ve incorporated a lot of references into past and nostalgia. It is something I found that people look at it on a high note, something that has influenced your life. In this work here, it has a nostalgic quality, but is more rooted in memory that you don’t want to recall.”

“The importance of those memories is for growth and understanding where you came from and dial in with yourself,” he said.

Sell wants to raise awareness of the Heller Center with his show as well. On March 6, the exhibit will be open from 5:30-9 p.m.; March 7 it will be open at noon; and March 8 from 5:30-9 p.m.

“The main thing I’m hoping this art does is open dialogue into the emotions that I’m touching on and open dialogue with an unfiltered or unbiased perspective of those emotions internally,” Sell said.