Dean Tae ’24
This Friday, April 8, the show called Split Infinitive by Ryan Akers will open in the Cofrin and small galleries in The Burgin Center for the Arts. The visiting artists that come to Mercersburg Academy provide opportunities for students to meet professionals in the field and experience different artistic styles. Often, the artists’ whose work is exhibited have unique ways of expressing themselves through art.
Mercersburg art shows are distinctly different than those of professional galleries. Art teacher and director of galleries, Sydney Caretti said, “My aim is to bring in differing artists who vary in medium to expose our community to possibilities in visual art. Often there may be a connection within our community already – for this show, in particular, the artist, Ryan Akers is Mrs. Swope’s brother.”
Aker’s special connection to Mercersburg is not the only thing that makes his exhibit stand out. “This show was very far outside my usual experience of hanging a show of traditional rectangular 2D works or 3D work on pedestals. Ryan was intentional and integral to the flow, spacing, and lighting of Split Infinitive – it’s quite evident that he did an outstanding job activating the space for the greatest impact for all of us,” Caretti said. Aker’s art is a series of mixed media works and sculptures, not featured on pedestals, but instead directly on the walls and floors.
Although Akers has shown his work in many places—including The University of Alabama and The White Cube Gallery in London—this will be the first time that his work has been featured in a solo show.
As with any other show, before preparing to hang his works at Mercersburg, Akers looked for a way to present the work that would function well in the space provided. Akers said, “It’s my belief that everything we experience is influenced by the context. Our experience is influenced by being locked in a body. Everything we experience is based on our unique perspectives—how we physically inhabit the world, each of our individual histories of experience—all this influences our perception.”
Split Infinitive features 14 pieces of various textures, shapes, and arrangements, representing his memories and the objects he saw in everyday-life.“Album cover art, skateboard deck graphics, my children’s art, nostalgia, shapes/forms/colors I see when walking around, automatic drawing, my poetry, music, teachers, my fellow grad students” all serve as inspirations for Aker’s work.
Split Infinitive will remain on display in the Cofrin and small galleries until April 27. Akers will also be around campus and in studios on April 8. The opening reception will occur on April 8 from 6:30pm to 7:30pm, just before the pops concert.