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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Artist proving point about creativity with student participation in exhibit

By Taylor Jensen/entertainment editor

Thunderbird, Ralph Tobin Photos courtesy Ralph Tobin
Thunderbird, Ralph Tobin
Photos courtesy Ralph Tobin

The presumption of the new NE exhibit, The Shaman Series, isn’t only that art is everywhere but that anyone is capable of creating it.

The artist, NE student Ralph Tobin, made the show interactive by giving participants a blank canvas, a sketchbook, a box of crayons and a title of his creation to inspire a vision. A vision, Tobin says, unknowingly resides in everyone.

The Shaman Series engages the viewers to use the brain’s creative side and their subconscious mind to complete the idea, or title of the art in the show,” he said. “I want them to think about the title and create what comes in [their] mind.”

The name of the exhibit follows Tobin’s self-explorative theme and references his Native American ancestry.

Ozuye Sunka Wankan, Ralph Tobin
Ozuye Sunka Wankan, Ralph Tobin

The Shaman Series encompasses the premise that an artist is like a Shaman,” he said. “A Shaman is someone that provokes. [He] enters the spirit world and brings forth what a person needs to fulfill their life.”

Marcel Duchamp, one of the most noted artists of the 20th century, inspired Tobin with his concept that art is more about meaningful imagination than perfect execution.

“Duchamp said, ‘Art can be anything the artist says is art. And who should know what art is better than the artist that created it? I don’t believe in art, only the artist,’” Tobin said.

NE art associate professor Karmien Bowman said she shares Tobin’s belief that the process of making art is fundamentally more important than the finished product.

“This is about engaging your own creativity,” she said. “Art starts with the artist.”

Tobin said good art doesn’t have to be difficult because everyone interfaces with words and is, therefore, capable of translating these mental images into a piece of work the individual can relish.

“All of us have been told we can’t draw or create at some point in our lives,” he said. “We are all artists

in our own mind.”

The Shaman Series runs until April 8 and is located outside the Galley (NSTU 1506).

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