Ho-Chunk artist Tom Jones

Edgewood College Gallery’s new exhibit, “Rove,” features Ho-Chunk artist Tom Jones. Jones’ collection titled, “Remnants,” appears with Terrance Campagna’s photography.

Fridays on the University of Wisconsin campus, at least this semester, art professor Tom Jones teaches a 5-hour long class. He said this way his class only meets once a week.

Jones arrives to an artists’ reception in his honor directly from his class. His niece and a nephew greet him even before he can take off his coat. Jones picks up and carries his niece, while the nephew wraps his arms around his uncle’s leg.

Jones is already having an enjoyable reception, and more family and friends are expected.

“I wonder how they turned out. This is the first time I’m seeing them,” Jones said.

Edgewood College Gallery Director David Wells planned his 2017-2018 calendar more than a year and a half ago.

“This show came about because I know both of these artists. I know their work and we’re Facebook friends,” Wells said.

“I noticed that Tom was posting images of casino carpets on Facebook at the same time that Terrance was posting, every once in a while, an imagine of these reflections in miscellaneous water puddles.”

Knowing both of the artists and their work, neither of these things were central to their bodies of work, but it was just things that they seem to be exploring, Wells said.

“I saw relationships between these two different bodies of work in how they were paying attention to their environments and taking photos of them,” Wells said. “And both point their cameras down, which is not usually the direction you see a lens.”
There’s something to start with there, he thought.

Wells asked if he could see more carpet and puddle images from the two because he felt some overlapping between them. After having them look at each other’s work, Wells asked the two if they’d be willing to do an exhibition together.

“So that’s how it came about, that’s how it started,” Wells said.

Jones visited more than 100 native casinos from Wisconsin to Texas and from Wisconsin to Wyoming taking photos of native design carpets with his cell phone camera.

“I’m surprised this one even turned out,” Jones said, indicating one of his works. “It was so dark, and the casino was lit up by purple lights.”

Jones’ “Remnants” consists of two or more, usually two, shadowbox framed art pieces making one piece together. One frame contains a selected photo of the native design casino carpet, while the other frame contains a glass etching of artwork over a coordinated color background.

The frames are standard size black shadowbox frames.

“My work is usually larger than this,” Jones said.

The artwork for the glass etchings were from archaic woodblock prints Jones had uncovered during his travels.

“I converted the woodblock prints into PDF files and they were laser etched into the glass,” Jones said.

Terrance Campagna wasn’t able to attend the reception.

Gallery Director Wells said Campagna is known more as a sculptor, and less as a photographer.

“Terrance’s regular work or much of his work is about taking long walks and collecting detritus that he turns into sculpture. These photographs are taken as he’s making those walks, whether just through town or in one of his collecting walks, or whatever, but just noticing these things and doing it,” Wells said.

Wells called the exhibit “Rove” based on the wanders of the two artists.

“Well, in speaking with them, about titling the show and what they were doing, it was that both of these things were happening during their travels. Not when they were at home, but mostly when they were going out and about in other places,” Wells said.

“To me it was about paying attention to your surroundings, in a way where you’re noticing the things that most people won’t notice. I would call it, advertent looking, which is heeding, paying attention, close looking no matter where you are.”
“Rove” is open at the Edgewood College Gallery through March 9.