Page 6 - 3rd Issue

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By Jason Rose
William Woods University students learned the benefts
of travel and the misconceptions of stereotypes during a
recent presentation on campus.
Sydney Pursel and Justin Rodier, senior fne arts
students at the University of Missouri, presented a
traveling art project and their individual projects and
described the journey of their projects from inception.
Pursel, whose father is Native American, set out to
expose the misrepresentation of Native Americans, to
educate others about stereotypes and to force people to
question current ideas about Native American culture.
Part of her project demonstrated the power of
images, such as those used to advertise beer, baking
powder, chewing tobacco and cigarettes, in relation
to Native Americans.
Instead of attacking groups to express her ideas, Pursel
took to art as a tool to calmly share views. For example,
she went to a Native American gathering and “took
pictures of them wearing whatever they were wearing
and doing whatever they were doing…capturing them as
they really are.”
With the Rodier’s help, Pursel held a “house gallery,”
for which she set up her art in her home and invited
people in. After receiving funding from MU to continue
her project, the house gallery idea evolved into a “teepee
gallery.” The students created a teepee out of canvas and
aluminum, constructing a mobile art exhibit.
They acknowledge that the teepee is not just a gallery,
but a sculpture as well.
“It’s exciting to have it in the Midwest. Missouri doesn’t
even have federally recognized land for Native
Americans. It’s great exposure,” said Rodier.
After establishing the mobile art gallery, it seemed
natural to mobilize it. Part of their goal was to consider
the “American identity,” and, according to Rodier,
“there’s nothing more American than a road trip.”
They set off for different parts of the western United
States, talking to students in Los Angeles, San Francisco,
Portland and Seattle.
The combination of art and travel proved to be a great
experience. They wanted to continue the blend of these
ideas, and have done so with the Ruthless Project, a
forum of artists from the Midwest attempting to
showcase more modern art.
“We’re trying to show the transition of art, how modern
stuff is as much about the idea behind the art as the art
itself. This is why you can put a toilet up and call it
a sculpture.”
The project came about from the pair’s emphasis on the
idea of reciprocity, which they defne as the informal
exchange of ideas between people, “and what better
place for that than the Internet?” Rodier asked.
The Ruthless Project is a “lighthearted, celebratory
look at life, because art doesn’t always have to be sad,”
he said.
“It’s very important to get out of your environment to
understand yourself better in a different place. It’s
important to get a more holistic world view and a holistic
view of yourself,” said Pursel.
“Travel is not only important, but necessary.”
Additional information about the project can be found at
www.ruthlessproject.com.
Road Trippers
Bach for the Holidays
The classics . . . electrifed.
These St. Louis musicians
are wildly creative and
have transformed the
music of the masters –
Bach, Beethoven, Mozart
– to the 21st Century.
Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Cutlip Auditorium
“The Immigrant: A
Hamilton County Album”
A true story about two Eastern European Jews
who immigrated to a small Texas town in 1909.
Dec. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 at 8 p.m.
Dulany Auditorium $6 for WWU folks
Talon Trivia
Answer these questions correctly and you’ll be entered
in a drawing for a nifty prize from the Logo Store.
1. How many issues of the campus newspaper
(including this one) have been published online
this semester?
2. Name one of the editors.
3. What does “Talon” mean?
To be eligible, e-mail your answers by Nov. 19 to
prbasso@owls.williamwoods.edu.