Much of Boonstra’s sculptural work is with steel. He has developed an intimate relationship with the substance during welding and fastening manipulations. Boonstra has successfully externalized his artistic feelings in much the same deft way that his relatives have turned materials into automobiles over the years. His assemblage titled “Human, Human, Human” (2011) is an oversized steel form in the shape of a car key. A plaster human torso and head emerge from the shank of the key and a foot with ankle is linked to the key’s ring. The viewer has morphed into the device that controls the vehicle that many of us are totally dependent on for all our transportation needs.
“One side of the MAINSITE show will be my largest work yet,” Boonstra said. “It’s an installation piece that works with the architecture of the building.”
Miniature concrete houses in the middle of the gallery will be attached by string to positions on the walls that follow the up and down points of the Dow Jones industrial average for the last century in three dimensional graph form. It’s Boonstra’s take on the housing market bubble that burst in 2008.
“I’m excited to increase the scale of my work that MAINSITE is giving me the opportunity to do as well as staying with my conceptual interests,” he said.
Boonstra graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from Michigan State University in 2009 and has been a visiting assistant professor of art at Oklahoma State University since 2010. This is his first solo exhibition in Oklahoma. Last year he was awarded the prestigious Oklahoma Visual Arts Fellowship by the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition.
Other works on display concurrently include Norman Arts Council Individual Artist Award winner and printmaker Michael Joy Wilson, exhibited in The Library gallery.
The Water Closet Gallery will house Discernible Discourse, a micro-exhibit curated by Krystle Brewer, a graduate student at Oklahoma State University. It features the work of Amanda Christine, Sarah Morgan, John Steen, Ashley Sword-Buster and Liz Wilson. All the artists’ pieces showcase a use of language — be it poetry, lyrics, quotes or scripture — in combination with visual art.