Recycled letter finds way to COM exhibit

Crumpled memories and recycled objects form the centerpiece of “KWT,” on display now at the College of the Mainland J. Palmer Space.

The piece features crinkled paper towers flanking 20 dissected volleyballs, sliced, painted and strung between wooden posts to condemn the wastefulness of society, said creators Callie Rankin and Bibiana Bravo, COM students.

The exhibit’s title, “KWT,” comes from a letter found among the many papers collected from recycle bins.

“It was a handwritten letter to somebody asking for help. It was really personal,” said Bravo. “(Our art) became a sympathetic thing. Some of that stuff, if you look at it closely enough, means something to somebody.”

The origin of the letter remains a mystery.

“We went to Dickinson library, McAdams and other community colleges (to collect paper), so we have no idea where if came from really,” said Rankin.

Bravo and Rankin, both art majors, created “KWT” as the second in a two-part project for professor Mark Greenwalt’s Painting II class.

Greenwalt describes Rankin and Bravo’s partnership-driven art as a model of teamwork.

“Watching these two develop projects is instructive in itself because no one knows what will happen next. The rate of development seems to occur at the speed of thought. Their artworks are also indicative of the kinds of leeway granted to students in advanced studio courses,” said Greenwalt.     “The Painting II class requires students to take the lead on collaborating with me in designing the course curriculum. The beauty of art classes in teaching creative thinking is how you can remove the predictive, step-by-step training wheels at any point in a process."

Bravo and Rankin presented work at COM’s 2015 GCIC Academic Symposium and won honorable mention at the Fourteenth Houston Area Community College Student Exhibition at UHCL, currently on view until Jan. 7, 2016.  

For more information about art at COM, visit www.com.edu/art-gallery or call 409-933-8354.

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