During a regular weekday on a hectic schedule, students may find it hard to set out a time or place for peaceful reflection. Student artists working in expanded media aim to change that with "HOT SPOT," a new interactive exhibition at the Art and Design Gallery in Chalmers Hall.

"We were interested in something that was modular just because it is something that can grow," Olivia Hernández said, a senior visual arts student involved with the exhibition. "There’s something really beautiful about organized repetition and synchronicity. I think especially in these very uncertain times, I think having a sense of order and repetition just as a concept is very soothing."

The exhibition features a circular labyrinth laid out across the gallery floor, taking one through the vibrant colors and laser-cut modules that encompass the space. Together eight graduate and undergraduate students took part in the creation process as a part of the installation art class offered at the University.  

The course is led by Associate Professor Maria Velasco. She said the inspiration for the almost butterfly-shaped path was to invite those in the University community to take a break from their lives and explore the space's possibilities. 

"We were just fantasizing immediately about it being a hotspot," she said. "What if the space was so beautiful that people would want to come here just to be, or to check their phones or rest. To cut off from other worries or classes."

Steps taken throughout the semester to accomplish this feat included delegating tasks with the strengths of each individual artist. 

Hernández, a Miami native, said this aspect of coming together and working as a team brought out the best that the work could be. 

"I think it’s just important when you’re working with a group to have each member setting each other for success," she said. "Now it has all come together really well and we’ve really found our stride as a group. I’m really proud of the work we made together."

In the process of creating the exhibition, one of the most important aspects Hernández said was the right color palette, a specifically chosen scheme meant to energize those who walk through it.

"Color as an elemental symbol and object or concept is very powerful. You hear about color therapy and how you can generate certain strength from palettes and again the fact that we didn’t end up choosing a monochromatic palette, that we went for something lively, vibrant and enriching is perfect for it," she said.

Those who choose to visit during its run will see the array of colors, which include a variety of purples, oranges, and reds. All complement each other in a way that brings it together as a whole and will magnetize those who walk past it, Velasco said. 

The "HOT SPOT" exhibition will run through Dec. 7 and is open Monday through Wednesday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

— Edited by Lexanna Sims

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