Final Phase of ‘tautline’ by Karl Burkheimer

The collaborative artwork by Karl Burkheimer reached its final stage after months of student involvement. 


By Monserrat Solis, Co-Editor-in-Chief


When artist Karl Burkheimer first introduced his ‘tautline’ exhibit it was a blank canvas – now it showcases community.


The interactive project that started in September is coming to an end with a collaborative effort between Burkheimer and student artists from Valley College and Sun Valley Magnet. Burkheimer allowed students to add their mark in various forms from painting, wheat pasting and physically altering the artwork. 


“Art is about the exchange. Without exchange it’s nothing,” said Burkheimer.


At first, Burkheimer recalled students choosing small sections to mark then gradually they became more comfortable with the piece and began marking bigger portions of the canvas making it their own. 


“Visually small random eyes started to become bigger and come together,” said Burkheimer about the community of student artists that began working on the canvas. 


Wanda Byrant, Alberto Keossian, Danilo Caluma and Catherine Anderson were some of the students from Professor Carter’s Advanced sculpture class that contributed to the artwork. They were tasked with removing chunks from the original artwork and translated what that meant to them. 


Bryant cut a piece out the artwork so people could walk below it without ducking, creating an idea of looking inside the interior of the piece, giving the observer a different perspective. 


Keossian removed a piece from the artwork with a Sawzall, a type of saw commonly used in construction and demolition work, and placed it nearby. This allowed an observer to walk around, see it from all sides and its structure. 


“I had to modify and adapt to the artwork because it’s forcing me to,” said Keossian. 


Caluma who carved a piece from a warped wall presented his version of the structure. The carved piece stood nearby, an onlooker could possibly think it was about to fall over. But it stood there, creating tension. 


“My purpose on the piece was based on structure, to have a sense of balance,” said Caluma on why he chose to cut from a warped wall. 


Anderson, who mixed Burkheimer’s artwork with a previous piece, created a self-portrait by extracting a piece from a corner of the artwork and added repurposed wire and black tissue paper. Trying to convey grief from an abrupt ending to a relationship. 


All students placed their own meaning to the canvas Burkheimer initiated, which was exactly what he wanted. Sharing ideas and becoming connected through the artist community was important to him; creating student involvement. 


“The viewer and the artist are always in involved,” said Burkheimer.


“It’s amazing to be able to do a project like this, it’s time-consuming but we had fun,” said Caluma. “I’m proud of everyone who worked on it and collaborated with the piece.”


“I like the interaction, people are interacting without even knowing,” said an onlooker.  


‘Tautline’ will be on display at the art gallery until Dec. 6. Hours and parking instructions can be found on their website https://www.lavc.edu/arts/artgallery.aspx. 


‘Launch 19’ will be the next student art exhibit hosted at Valley’s Art Gallery. Students will be allowed to enter up to three artworks produced in an art course at Valley during the 2018-2019 academic year. Applications can be picked up at the gallery or their website and must be submitted by May 7 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or May 9 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. 


The new exhibit will run from May 2 to Sept. 6, 2019. If you are interested or have any questions you may reach out to Gallery Director Jenene Nagy at nagyj@lavc.eduor on Instagram at lavcartgallery.

The Valley Star 

Los Angeles Valley College

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