In a university becoming increasingly defined by its advancement in the STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, lies an undercurrent of artistic movement. The Old Dominion art building is home to this strong flow where professors and students inspire each other to excel in a gifted community where recognition is difficult to come by.
Associate professor of arts Peter Eudenbach recently burst through the dam with his sculpture and photography work that is drawing him special attention.
Eudenbach’s work was recently showcased in the Select 2013. It is an exhibition in its thirty-second year and put on by the Washington Project for the Arts (WPA). The Select 2013 is free and open to the public in Washington, D.C. until the auction on March 16. The exhibition is selected by a group of notable curators and is dedicated to promoting “contemporary art by presenting exhibitions, issues, and ideas that stimulate public dialogue on art and culture,” explained the WPA. Amy Brandt, a curator from the Chrysler Museum of Art, selected Peter Eudenbach’s work.
Ever since Eudenbach was young, he knew he wanted to make art. “I’ve always had the ideas,” said Eudenbach, a conceptual artist who uses sculpture, installations and video to explore our understanding of commonplace objects and to create metaphors that make his audience rethink function and purpose.
A print of one of his photographs rests on the wall of his office, it depicts a clear plastic bottle sitting on a beach holding a miniature shipping container. “This was sort of inspired by being here with these containers that you see being pulled up and down Hampton Boulevard everyday, its a container within a container,” he said of the print.
Eudenbach is a native of Newport, R.I. and started his college career as a student of the humanities at Providence College. After graduating in 1987, he later earned his B.F.A. in Sculpture at the Massachusetts College of Art in 1991 and then his M.F.A. in Sculpture from Ohio State University in 1995.
He moved to New York in 1995 to gain knowledge about the business and worked as a studio assistant for different galleries and successful artists. But he doesn’t necessarily desire that fame for himself. “A lot of my work doesn’t have that same commercial appeal,” he said. He stayed there for eight years and has been teaching at ODU since 2003.
Eudenbach’s professional work has influenced his time as a professor. “If any of this is worth doing, it is worth passing on,” he said, “and everything I do goes right back into the classroom.”
One of his proudest moments as an artist, his recent curatorial project entitled “To Arrive Where We Started,” was partly funded with the help of an ODU grant. This exhibition is located at one of the oldest libraries in America, the Redwood Library and Athenaeum in Rhode Island. “To Arrive Where We Started” is a conceptual project that explores historical events and how they have influenced and reflect contemporary life. It is on display until June 2013.
His work has been shown locally, at the Contemporary Arts Center as well as at the Pretlow Planetarium on campus. He has also been on display internationally, in such places as Germany, France and Sweden. The Hermitage Museum in Norfolk approached Eudenbach to prepare another installation on their grounds, a recent development that he is excited for in the future.
To experience Peter Eudenbach’s work for yourself, visit his website at petereudenbach.com.
By: Allison Terres