On Friday, Sept. 7, the first art exhibit of EMU’s 2018-19 academic year made its debut in the University Commons’ art gallery. “Running With the Bulls” is a creative assembly of several dozen bull heads displayed along the walls of EMU’s gallery, each of them unique in their varied artistic styles. Structurally, the bulls appear identical in their approximate 24-inch height, 18-inch width and two-inch depth from the wall. The uniformity of each display’s size and shape, contrasted with a wide variety of inventive artistic techniques, makes “Running With the Bulls” an exceptional exposition and marks a colorful beginning to EMU’s fall semester art gallery.
The new addition to campus is courtesy of artist, teacher, and graphic design- er Fabrizio Bianchi. Along with his wife and two children, Bianchi was present at the exhibit’s opening on Friday, greeting and conversing with students, professors, and members of the community who came to see “Running With the Bulls” for the first time. Bianchi described some of the symbolism in the exhibit as well as his inspirations for the project, which he drew from the city of Durham, N. C., where he and his family currently reside. Durham, he explained, has been famously nicknamed the “Bull City.” Additionally, Bianchi explained how he drew inspiration from his part-Argentine heritage, as bulls, cattle, and cows are all symbols in Argentina.
Bianchi was sure to acknowledge the important role of his family during the creation of this exhibit, at one point identifying two specific bulls on the wall which were partially painted by his two children, as well as attributing credit to his wife for helping him mix and match patterns and materials for bull heads throughout the entire project.
“Different surfaces, different materials, different time periods, if you will,” Bianchi continued, explaining the diversity of artistic styles in the work.
The exhibit’s description panel, posted on a wall inside the gallery, illustrates the details of these diverse techniques, reading, “Each bull is made from wooden or medium-density fiber boards, acrylic paints, collage elements, and other mixed media.” Bianchi stressed the importance of using old or used materials to make something unique, pointing to his first-ever bull head, which stands alone in the corner of the room. Bianchi described a Japanese technique he used to create this bull, in which he woodburned the middle piece with a blowtorch and then sanded the surface, altogether creating a distinct dark brown appearance.
Alex Rosenberg, a senior Art major at EMU, was intrigued by Bianchi’s exhibit. “Even though you have the same symbolic figure of a bull,” Rosenburg pointed out, “the different elements in both texture and design—I just thought it was pretty cool how it was done and what was in the artist’s mind when creating them.” Rosenburg’s favorite display was the bull with grey horns, a black background piece, and top-to-bottom flames on the centerpiece. As an art student who loves to employ different techniques and use his imagination through pencil drawing, Alex is inspired by Bianchi’s exhibition and thinks he may want to create something similar in pencil.
Junior Jared Bergman, a Biology major at EMU, shared his appreciation for Bianchi’s sentiment behind the art. “I found the artwork inspired from a deep passion of roots,” he said. “The artist speaks of having masculine roots, and I could definitely tell that was what he was going for. But at the same time, there were also soft and more vibrant pieces on display.” Bergman added, “I appreciated the simplicity of the medium that was painted on.”
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