“Every why hath a wherefore.”
So said Shakespeare in his “Comedy of Errors.” In modern terms, this means “there is a reason for everything.” And that reason might be comical and a bit strange.
The Orange City Arts Council’s upcoming regional art exhibition, which will be open Feb. 15‑23 at the DeWitt Theatre Arts Center, is an occasion to find humor in the peculiar.
The exhibition will display artwork that reflects the different, the paradoxical and the unique throughout the arts center in conjunction with the theater department’s production of “Comedy of Errors.”
Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors” spins a tale of confusion and hilarity. The play, which will be performed at the Allen Black Box Theatre starting Feb. 15, brings to life the comedic struggles of two sets of identical twins. When these sibling look-alikes reunite after 25 years of separation, they cause more than a few problems for each other.
With that in mind, all artists within a 300-mile radius of Orange City were encouraged to submit artwork that reflected this theme of comedic misperceptions.
Northwestern art professors Phil Scorza, Yun Shin and Emily Stokes juried the entries.
Twenty different pieces by 20 different artists were selected for the exhibit. Two were works done by NW art students.
Junior Kayla Vetter submitted a trifecta of ceramic plates she made for her ceramics course last semester. Vetter used a slab roller technique and a dripped glaze effect to produce a cohesive yet unusual look.
When Vetter created these plates last semester, they were not remotely related to “Comedy of Errors.” However, when the call came for artwork, Vetter’s ideas took on a more Shakespearean appreciation.
“Whenever I think of Shakespeare, I think of drama,” Vetter said. “I originally wanted to enter a painting, but I didn’t have time to work on one before the due date, so I entered my plates instead.
“I titled them ‘Falling’ because of the dripped glaze I thought it made my plates fit the Shakespearean theme even though it was a last‑minute decision,” Vetter said.
Professor Emily Stokes, one of the judges for the exhibit, agreed with Vetter’s interpretation and added her own artistic analysis of the presentation.
“I liked the way she photographed her ceramics,” Stokes said. “I thought it was a nice but subtle approach to something comedic.
“When the judging panel narrowed down the works to fit the theme, we took a pretty liberal interpretation,” Stokes said. “We also paid attention to the craft. I’m pretty sure Kayla had the only ceramics.”
Vetter wasn’t the only NW student to get noticed for her craftsmanship.
Sophomore art student Katlyn Loeschen submitted a collage painting that cleverly tied into the up-is-down nature of Shakespeare’s play.
Loeschen’s piece, like Vetter’s, was the product of an art course she took last semester. The assignment was to form an interior space collage of their choice and then duplicate it in an oil painting.
“We were supposed to capture the texture and patterns to make it look like the original collage,” Loeschen said. “It was a really difficult project for me and I complained a lot. I didn’t want to paint a picture of something I had already done.”
It was a weird concept but a perfect fit for this Arts Council exhibition.
“In some cases, the selection process was based on process,” Stokes said. “Katlyn’s piece was a painting from a collage the very nature of doing that is funny.”
The “Falling” plates and painted collage, along with 18 other works of various artists, will be available for viewing in the DeWitt Theatre lobby Friday, Feb. 15.
“There will be a rock‑star sculpture work,which is just funny,” Stokes said.
What else? Stop by and find out.