Gallery Review: Celebrating the Arts with Augie Alumni

Tucked away in the Visual Arts Center, art exhibits filter through the Eide/Dalrymple Gallery monthly for Augustana students and community members to enjoy. 

Some exhibits are from local artists while others are from senior art students on the cusp of graduation. From Oct. 10 to Nov. 9, the collection lent by former Augie graduates Diane and Joel Eide is titled “Life with the Arts: The Eide Ceramics Collection and Paintings and Drawings by Diane Eide.” All of the paintings decorating the walls are created by Diane Eide, who used materials ranging from watercolor to oil and pastel. 

The ceramic pieces were created by both Diane and Joel Eide, as well as many other well-known ceramicists. Walking around the exhibit allows the viewer to see all of these pieces in a context of harmony. Lindsay Twa, chair of the art department and director of the gallery, said the pieces were placed together as a celebration of the couple’s accomplishments and what they have done with their education since graduating from Augustana.

The synopsis on the Augustana website for the exhibit says the purpose for the collection, as well as the other collections that are yet to come this year, is education and culture. By giving students the opportunity to explore art from around the world and well-traveled artists, students can brush up on other perspectives. The art exhibit displays what art students can achieve throughout their careers.

Twa said one piece in the collection that spoke to her was “Platter” by Peter Voulkos. The clay had been molded into a shallow plate. Holes cracked through the bottom with an iron gave it a rustic appearance. A few low-relief patterns, those carved directly into clay, decorated the outside rim.

“It may not look particularly flashy but Peter Voulkos was probably one of the most important ceramicists of the 20th century,” Twa said.  “He was really at the forefront of pushing ceramics past needing to be just functional and more than just craft-based.” 

Voulkos is just one artist featured in the collection.

Twa oversees the circulation of exhibits in the Eide/Dalrymple Gallery and sends out a press release before it opens. The “Life with the Arts” exhibit had a homecoming gallery reception during Vikings Days, and the artists had the opportunity to talk about their art. The Eide couple was also inducted into Augustana’s Performing and Visual Arts Hall of Fame.

Excitement builds as the art department prepares for new art pieces to arrive. A fresh collection will be installed, and fresh perspectives will accompany it. Even though the Eide/Dalrymple Gallery is replacing the “Life with the Arts” exhibit on Nov. 9, the impact of the artists, their contribution and their dedication to the education of Augustana students will last for years to come. 

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