UTEP Faculty Show

I saw this show a week before its official opening reception but have put off writing about it for a number of reasons. My main thought is that it is so clutttered and so uneven it resembles nothing so much as an artist’s garage, and, in fact, I thought perhaps they should have built fake garage doors at the opening and made it an installation piece entitled Misbegotten pieces from an Artists garage-the UTEP faculty show. Like any garage it is not without its pleasures and gems. Albert Wong’s elegant trompe l’oeil work always delights as does Anna Jaquez amazing miniature buildings-although I have preferred other examples. Gary Mark’s cones are also well made as are other works but many of the pieces might have worked better in another setting, like Ray Parrish’s well made but obvious metal corpses making a political statement about border issues. Much of the rest seems frankly unexceptional and either rushed or simply reiteration of previous work. Perhaps the space itself is a bit too small to encompass all of the sculptural pieces, and therefore makes it looks cramped. I also feel compelled to say that while one can be a so-so artist and still be an exceptionally wonderful teacher, and there have been exceptional artists who are horrible teachers, nevertheless if your art is conceptual and your concept is banal then, as they say, it gives one pause.-David Sokolec

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