School of Art and Design Alumni Exhibition 2021

Wellington B. Gray Gallery

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Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge

Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery


Chase Alexander Key
Graduated 2010

Simple, straightforward, and nostalgic, these cast plaster heart forms displayed in multiples reflect my intention to utilize skills and techniques outside of the academic studio environment. The manifestation of the pure white plaster hearts with recessed lettering evolved while living in New York with limited space, creating the first of this series from my small kitchen, just before moving back to North Carolina in 2018. While studying sculpture at ECU I realized I would likely not have access to fabrication facilities and that my skill set needed to be transferrable to life beyond ECU. Using traditional plaster as my material, art history is referenced, and the inherent qualities of plaster hark to the chalky texture of the popular Valentine candies. Using scratch-made molds, the making process is similar to baking a cake, further enhancing the suggestive message recessed on the face of each heart. Simple, straightforward, and accessible, the multi-nuanced hearts are displayed in orderly, repetitive multiples in a gridlike composition, and design strategies are further utilized to beautifully exploit light and shadow while presenting the words EAT ME as a cheeky call-to-action.

The Word, Plaster, 6′ X 6′, 2021