Take a sneak peak into the office of ar department chair, Phil “Mary Poppins” Scorza. Not only the chair of the department but a celebrated artist in his own right, Scorza’s office could be better described as part exhibition hall, part studio and part mad science lab. Pieces come and go (though the hood of a 68’ Chevy he mounted to the wall seems pretty permanent) as his office functions as storage for his completed pieces and a temporary home for works coming and going to exhibitions from New York to California.
Further, Scorza’s office is an active art studio for dozens of pieces in various stages of completion, with some unfinished pieces decorating the walls to be accessible as soon as inspiration strikes. High ceilings, white walls and a studio-quality lighting rig make Scorza’s office an ideal location for displaying his work. With his eclectic style that bridges screen printing, pop-art and mixed media; pieces with inspirations as far flung as the moon landing, Superman and Ray-Ban, Phil Scorza’s playful and vibrant art brings life, mystery and curiosity to the ordinary.
With his use of mixed media, boundary pushing techniques and playful Warhol-inspired style, Scorza has an artistic ethos bordering on mad scientist. Whether he’s using the jerry-rigged pigment transfer method of his own design, caustic chemicals like lighter fluid and bleach or even a handful of Sweet Tarts, Phil’s got the eye and the skill to find beauty and creativity in the least of things, and it’s this artistic wizardry which gave him the nickname “Mary Poppins” for his ability to bring art from junk.
Scorza’s great talent and creativity, it seemed only fitting to lend him this platform to comment on the art world today as he sees it, to which he had this to say: “Visual art at the moment is low on the totem pole…. We’re in a space where if you don’t understand, you research, but with visual art, people don’t take the time. People give an hour or two to a movie or play, but with art they say, ‘explain it to me!’” It’s a fast-paced world out there, and that pace mixed with the sheer volume of images we’re presented with has devalued the visual mediums. Doom scrolling, and micro-cultures have caused us to seek out cheapened art that reflects well on us rather than causing us to reflect on it.
So, spend some time with some art this week – take some time to seriously enjoy the visual arts. Spend an hour in the art building looking at Jessica Henderson’s exhibition or check out Scorza’s office to see his work. Be taken aback by the beauty there is to be found in the ordinary, and let its meaning reflect on you as you reflect on it. Let yourself be in awe of God’s creation this week. Your enjoyment of it is just as much an act of worship as the hour or two you spend at P&W, the theatre or the movies.