It is no secret that Bozeman has a rich art scene. Numerous art galleries line Main Street and many Townies participate in Bozeman’s Art Walk Fridays during the summer. Bozeman’s lavish artistic community has made waves all over the country as it was featured in an article published in the Los Angeles Times. 

There are several different small art galleries on campus, one of which is the Exit Gallery, located in the SUB. The Exit Gallery allows MSU art students, alumni artists, and visiting artists to showcase their work. 

From Oct. 28 to Nov. 9, MSU’s very own Canon Parker presents his art, titled, “Stuff.” There was  a reception held on Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 5-7 p.m. to kick off Parker’s first solo art exhibit. 

Upon entering the small Exit Gallery, an assortment of, well, stuff, greets attendees. A heavily painted canary colored canvas hangs from the wall. A blue cabinet hangs open in the corner. A dangling fan gives visitors a gust of moving air across their face. A bike sits in the far corner of the gallery, adorned with a golden bike lock, bolted to the wall. An old, rather flattened aerosol bottle is pressed against the back wall. A pair of black binoculars also sway from the ceiling.

At first, this art may not make sense. Some people may not consider a room full of stuff to be art, but Parker has a much more interesting and different way to view the stuff that fills the Exit Gallery. 

Parker explains, “I approach my work as physical poetry, written in a language of materials. Like words, each material carries unique expressive capabilities according to its use, value, history, etc. Every aspect of the work is influenced by the existential qualities of its material components.”

At first glance, the room might look like it is filled with random things, but each featured material adds unique value to Parker’s life, and possibly to the viewer’s life as well. The yellow canvas is not just a yellow canvas, the binoculars are not just binoculars and the dangling fan is not just a fan. 

Perhaps the most interesting part of Parker’s exhibit is a QR code that is fixed high on the wall above everyone. When a phone camera is placed in front of the code, the Wikipedia page for reality is pulled onto the phone screen. According to the Wikipedia page, “Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent.” 

Parker’s exhibit,“Stuff” forces all that see it to question the materials in their lives, what they mean, and how they come together to form a version of reality. Parker himself declares that “through the act of art-making, I question the forces, both real and illusory, which shape my perception of (and participation in) this mysterious plane of existence.”

For everyone that enjoys challenging their brain to see things in a new light, go check out Parker’s art before Nov. 9.

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