UNC Charlotte’s Digital Art Mob hosted the opening of their annual gallery show, DAM Good Art Show. The gallery opening held on Monday presented unique artistic pieces from Digital Media Bachelor of Fine Arts students in the Side Gallery in the Rowe Arts Building.
Participating artists, DAM member and UNC Charlotte Digital Media graduate, Ashley Owens and current Graphic Design and Digital Media major, Sarah Deaton submitted pieces inspired by real life experiences.
“I’m trying to get back to why I like to paint. I explored traumatic events I had in dealing with post traumatic stress disorder,” says Owens of her work.
In exploring the theme of gender identity, Owens hopes to return to the vibrant side of painting.
“Some of the pieces do explore sexuality, the whole boys liking girls and girls liking boys, and how it’s not always that clear cut. But for the most part it’s just having fun with bright colors.”
Sarah Deaton showcased works involving her experience in being misdiagnosed with mental illnesses and coming to terms with her father’s poor health during the fall of 2012.
“It took a while for me to figure out where my own head was and I was trying to visualize that whole mental struggle and show that through imagery,” explains Deaton.
Other members of the Digital Art Mob include Harry Nguyen, Zack Tompkins, Grace Hartrick and Tara Sweeney.
DAM’s first gallery show of the semester offers digital media students an opportunity to become acquainted with others in the digital art community, as well as a chance at exposure and peer insight.
“People in the digital media department are brilliant, I really respect these guys. We’re a small group, so we’re tight knit, we all do very different work, but to be able to share views and observations help a lot. You’re constantly learning,” says Deaton.
Deaton and Owens both cite awareness as a quandary for emerging digital artists.
“Most people think if you’re using a computer for art its graphic design. But graphic design is a commercial business; digital media is a different process that encompasses anything that uses a computer. Digital photography, animation, video and illustration included.” says Deaton.
“You see a lot of things where someone has taken someone else’s work and photoshopped it. People normally don’t understand these pieces are made from scratch, I inked on the computer, I edited them. A lot of times when you say ‘I photoshopped this’ they think you stole the image offline,” Owens explains.
Owens hopes the digital art world will act as an avenue for education so that the craft will one day be accepted as a fine art, where it is currently more media oriented and believed to lack content.
“People should know you can display concrete, intellectual ideas within a digital medium,” says Owens.
Established in 2010, Owens believes UNCC’s Digital Media department taught her how to integrate her 2D skills with technology.
“The digital media degree prepared me for the technical jobs, while the non artsy jobs fund shows,” says Owens.
Deaton describes the craft as “the perfect intersection of science and art,” while other DAM members list laser cutting, 3D modeling and printing, animation, video technology and photoshop after affects as techniques they’ve learned since joining the club.
Deaton continues in the importance of curiosity in digital art.
“Never stop exploring, keep your curiosity alive. Try new things that seem scary and impossible, do it! You’ll be incredibly surprised that you can pull it off.”
DAM Good Art Show will be on display Jan. 14th through Jan. 18th in the Side Gallery of the Rowe Arts Building during regular gallery hours.