The Rising Arts Writers Program is an initiative created by The Arts Beacon to encourage, mentor, support and post writings by aspiring locals writers. With the intention of fostering critical responses to art and artists in the Valley, the RAW Program creates an opportunity for up and coming writers to comment on their own art scene using the platform of The Arts Beacon website while also being a valuable resource for local artists seeking insights into their practice.
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Zach Valent’s MFA Thesis Exhibition The Antiquarium of Change was created to show the inevitable effects of change over time. Valent used everyday objects like tea cups and saucers, and attached minerals and crystals to present a decaying image of time. This isn’t the first time Valent has used the idea of time in his work, in past exhibitions he has utilized old books, polaroid cameras, and even a dial phone. Valent has been focused on the repurposing of every day house hold objects to create “powerful images that stand as icons for current consumerist culture.”
These objects show that everything must change, nothing is permanent, and one must not put too much value over monetary things. Valent’s knowledge of “geological processes” also helped in designing his show since each piece portrays a different stage of fossilization. The crystals encompass the teacup and saucer in a circular pattern, like a clock, showing another allusion to time.
The teacup emerged in the water was an interesting addition. This teacup isn’t as encompassed by the crystals as the first one either, but by putting the crystals in the water, the viewer sees the minerals the crystals are made up of, and a more in depth view of just how they could “grow” onto the cup, even though Valent has glued them on.
This teacup was almost completely encompassed by crystals. The sharp and jagged look of the crystals created a different look to the fossilized teacup that emphasized the effects of change over time. Something small, dainty, and fragile became rough, sharp, and sturdy. Who would have thought that tea cups could have such a rough and sharp shape and texture after hundreds of years? No one knows what the future will bring, and Valent proves that with his fossilized tea cups.