A boombox with compact discs near it beckons visitors to play a title.

But their ears may be shocked by the abstract sounds on the CDs.

Beck Slack, a studio art major with a concentration in photography who graduates Saturday, Dec. 18, developed the piece for a sculpture class.

“I wanted a piece people could interact with,” Slack said. “They can pop in a CD and navigate how to play it. Some students have never played a CD before. Within the CDs, there is an element of surprise. I’m looking for viewers to discover certain feelings of anxiousness or calmness and everything in between.”

Slack’s artwork from a Contemporary Sculpture class is on display in room 121 of Applied Arts.

UW-Stout student Beck Slack with artwork showing in UW-Stout Gallery 209.
UW-Stout student Beck Slack with artwork showing in UW-Stout Gallery 209. / Photo courtesy Beck Slack

It will also be part of the School of Art and Design Senior Show. The virtual Senior Show goes live at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 17. Hundreds of artworks from students will be shared.

Having virtual shows makes them more accessible and creates a permanent record of the show, Slack said. “People can come back and revisit on their own time.”

The Stout Game Expo, SGX, fall 2021 will be a virtual showcase of games and interactive experiences created by first-year through senior game design and development program students. Browse the virtual Stout Game Expo starting at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 17. A live awards show will take place at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 20, via Facebook.

Kimberly Loken, associate professor of design and program director of B.F.A. animation and digital media, said the virtual show will be available until the end of spring semester.

“A virtual show reaches a larger audience, especially those who would be unable to travel the distance required for a conventional exhibit or screening. It communicates our program quality to both prospective students and employers on an open-ended timeline, unlike an event,” Loken said.

Senior Show logo
Senior Show 2021 logo / UW-Stout image

In Gallery 209, the student gallery in Applied Arts, Slack has a sculptural painting installation about 5-feet high comprised of drywall and cinder blocks. The piece [T((E(T)R))A]represents the endurance of concrete items.

“In this case, I take an image of a tetrapod wave breaker. In this installation, one has to move between these objects in different temporal encounters. As a triptych, I attempt to delineate ‘the object,’ the external forces affecting it, and its inner dimensional existence as a kind of planar being. Tetrapods become a membrane-like substance around a coast in attempt to preserve land from erosion. I find it an interesting dichotomy as its job is to essentially erode in order to preserve the time for something else — the coastline. As humans we want to preserve, most of us are unaccepting of change. However, things are constantly in a flux of progression and deterioration, even down to a quantum scale. Through recognizing this one can persist in being attuned with a sense of universality.”

Slack describes themselves as an anti-disciplinary artist, using photographs, poetry and painting in pieces. “It’s the freedom to be able to experience and define things and how they present to me,” Slack said.

The gallery will be open Friday, Dec. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. but is also open regularly when classes are being held, Beck said.

SGX 2021 logo / UW-Stout image

Slack, of White Bear Lake, Minn., plans to attend graduate school either at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland or the National Taiwan University of Arts.

“I definitely want a different perspective outside of the Midwest,” Slack said.

Slack started at UW-Stout as an undeclared major. But after they started working in the art program, they stayed because of the art professors and their knowledge.

As a photographer, Slack enjoys using a $35 Holga 120-format camera.

“You can toss them around, place tape on them. You can control them a lot,” Slack said. “That goes back to my interest in freedom and expressionism.”

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