A Cal Poly production, “God’s Ear,” will be accompanied by an art gallery filled with students’ and community members’ work this November. The gallery, sponsored by Cal Poly’s Theatre and Dance Department, is intended to help viewers and artists to explore and better understand the play.
The art submitted to the gallery will be reviewed by a member of the Cal Poly Art and Design Department who will also pick the top two entries. The winner will be offered a $700 prize and second place will receive $400.
Those interested in participating must complete a “Pledge to Exhibit” by Oct. 18. There is no fee to enter, but there are only 125 openings for Cal Poly students and 125 for community artists.
Students and community members will be interpreting the piece “God’s Ear,” written by Jenny Schwartz. The play depicts the death of a son and how it tears his family apart.
“It’s so poetic and open ended,” director and designer of the play and gallery Al Schnupp said. “It allows you to get symbolic. It is not a realistic, straightforward play. Therefore, it’s open to interpretation, making it more fun for the artist.”
Participants are given a large amount of freedom with their work, and there are minimal requirements in the agreement they must sign. One size and weight limitation is that none of the artwork entered can be more than 40 pounds.
This is the first year that a gallery has complemented a production, and Schnupp, also a professor in the theatre and dance department, chose an art gallery because he felt it would be the most successful in depicting artists’ creative abilities.
The art gallery will be located behind the stage of the play in Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre. This will allow viewers to come and see the gallery before the show, or to explore it after.
“You can come see the gallery and come see the play,” Schnupp said. “It’s a way of cross-pollinating the arts and looking across disciplines to interpret literature for how I direct it and how the artists create it before the show.”
As of now, the gallery will be set up in a way that resembles a maze, and instead of lighting each individual piece, people will be given a flashlight to illuminate what they choose to, Schnupp said.
“Al is very artistic in the way he does things, so he created this so you can go into the art part of it too,” construction management junior Tal Herman said.
“God’s Ear” has many layers and is something open for interpretation, theatre arts junior Devin O’Brien said.
“The play is centered around grief and how people cope with grief,” O’Brien said. “I think that there are so many ways that that can express itself and I am really excited to see how that shows up in the gallery.”
The gallery will be located in Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre and will be open the same dates as the play, Nov. 8-10 and Nov. 15-17.