Ithaca Fine Arts Update: Exhibitionists: A guide to art around town

• The Blue Tape Show: Tjaden Experimental Gallery, Tjaden Hall; through 2/20; closing reception 2/20 at 7 p.m.
Blue tape is no longer for house painters alone; this week, fine arts majors teamed up to explore the finer side of that sticky stuff in “The Blue Tape Show.” Currently up in the experimental gallery in Tjaden is an exhibition unlike typical shows: there are no gilt frames, mounted photos or sculptures. Rather it is a seemingly ad-hoc, in situ exploration of space and surface. The interior of the room is covered in stripe-y patterns of blue tape — over 50 rolls were used, no joke. To find out what the shelves of the Cornell Store were cleaned out for, check out the exhibition before Friday.
• Art Made Money Made Art; Tjaden Gallery, Tjaden Hall; through 2/20

From Big Red to Architectural Fame

When Peter Eisenman ’55 (Frank H. T. Rhodes Class of ’56 professor) attended Cornell, he moonlighted as our sports mascot the Big Red Bear. For a man whose post-graduation work has been revered as changing the field of architecture, it’s a pretty big surprise that when Eisenman attended C.U. he wasn’t always a studious architect, living in Rand Hall. Rather, there was a side to him that was about big lights and game night. Current students now have the opportunity to see Eisenman, live in performance, when he visits this week.

A+E's Guide to Valentine's Day

It’s possible that you have been spending the past week making elaborate plans that revolve around rose petals, silk sheets and a moonlight serenade; or, if you’re anything like the rest of us, you’ve forgotten to make plans and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Lucky for you, the Arts and Entertainment staff has pooled together live music, dance and film for your Saturday night — so you can still rock out with your special someone (or your best buds … all of whom deserve a distraction from what might be the most loved and hated holiday there is.) But hey — love is all around. We take no liability for who might be caught by Cupid’s arrow at any of these events.

SufferJets Sweet & Tart Valentine’s Party with the Sutras

Ithaca Arts Update: Pretty Paper

Sometimes it’s a little bit sad to come back to Ithaca from NYC and realize that the Johnson is our one venue to see non-student-produced art. And close to our heart as it is, the Johnson doesn’t have the same allure as discovering small galleries in the big city. That same small-show magic, however, is currently available in Ithaca at the Ithaca Ink Shop Printmaking Center at 330 E. State St., which is exhibiting until Feb. 28 a collaborative show of prints by artists from The Olive Branch Press and Vandeb Editions in New York City. Founded in 2000 by a group of artists looking to promote printmaking in the Ithaca area, the Shop functions as a gallery as well as a professional print shop.

Strange Art From Down Under

It would be impossible to experience the Johnson’s exhibit Icons of the Desert without being profoundly disconcerted. Though the works on display are extremely graphic (so much that they could be confused with the works of Piet Mondrian or Robert Slutsky from a distance — both of whom lingered on patterns as well), these paintings are not to be confused with typical “fine art.” What is disconcerting about this exhibition is explained by their source:

A Story of the Hurricane

Were it not for Kimberly Roberts, the fiercely tenacious protagonist of Trouble the Water, this documentary would have left many in tears. While television media seemingly only covered the disaster after the Hurricane Katrina, Trouble the Water brings us right into the thick of the storm: the rising flood waters overcoming street signs, houses, trees, footage of the death of neighbors and family and the rotten corpse of a dog in the street. Roberts, along with her husband Scott, shares her videotaped documentation from directly before Katrina hit, during the storm itself and the struggle to survive afterward.

Cornell Architecture Myths: Busted

Where can you find the tomb of a secret society built into the side of a cliff, a building with no doors or windows and a secret research laboratory beneath a waterfall? No, it isn’t Hogwarts, it’s here in Ithaca on your way to class, by the road on your way home. Cornell’s campus has more secrets than a Dan Brown book: a closer look at some of the mysterious architecture around Ithaca reveals that the glossy brochure pictures of the Arts Quad are just the tip of a strange, strange iceberg. Some legends remain mysteries (catacombs beneath Sage Chapel, a secret exit from Uris) while others have been confirmed — you can walk through a tunnel between Olin and Uris on Slope Day, and the Cornell Synchotron accelerates particles under your feet while you run at Barton Hall.

The Art of Expatriates

Skip Ithaca’s sad excuse for Italian food this Wednesday and seduce your date instead with the work of student artists who participated in the study abroad program, Cornell Abroad in Rome, last semester. At Tjaden Gallery, third year students from the fine arts program are exhibiting the work of their independent studies in Italy. Their work covers a variety of mediums from paint to collage to sculpture. Nearly all the works have been influenced by the artists’ experience abroad. As the College of Architecture, Art and Planning’s Rome program is intended to mimic the traditional tour of Europe embarked upon by historic painters and architects, many of the works are inspired by the rich cultural traditions in Italy’s capital.

Passion that Might Have Been

Keira Knightley stars in the The Duchess, which has as much depth and intellect as 90210, but without the flair. The Duchess, a semi-non-fictional film about the 18th century Duchess of Devonshire rides high on fluff and drama but has no voice or message. While TV shows like 90210 and Gossip Girl makes the petty intrigues and romances of young people glamorous and sparkling, The Duchess revels in unsympathetic, disingenuous characters. The Duchess of Devonshire, Georgiana Spencer (Keira Knightley), could have been a rich life for investigation considering her political persona, her flair for fashion and social life. The film however, shows her over and over again as a victim of the era she lived in. Even Knightley’s usual spunk is dampened by the perpetual dullness of this film.

Student Artist Spotlight: Weston Baker

Weston Baker is a real one-man-band in the art world. An architecture major who recently exhibited a collection of paintings and collages at a Seattle gallery, Weston also designs t-shirts, hats and freelances in graphic design. His work is hip and urban—he prefers graffiti over oil paint, motorcycles and sky scrapers over landscapes. He is also an accomplished musician who lived in JAM his freshman year, but has moved on to serenading the occupants of Rand Hall (where he spends the majority of the time.) Contact Weston for a personalized t-shirt, a sweet promotional poster or an acoustic rendition of any Death Cab for Cutie song at: [email protected]

Sun: Weston, you recently had an exhibit in Seattle, what kind of works did you show?