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Concluding Passages explores realities of aging

March 13, 2002

What: Concluding Passages: Degenerative Transformation, an MFA thesis exhibition featuring works in fibers that explore the sometimes-frightening realities of aging.

Where: Harry Wood Gallery, Art Building, ASU Main, Tempe. (900 Forest Mall on the west side of campus near the intersection of Forest and Tyler Malls.)

Who: Frank E. Bell, a graduate student at the School of Art in the Herberger College of Fine Arts at ASU.

When: March 25-29, 2002
          Opening Reception: 6:30-8 p.m., March 25.

Hours: Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Friday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Cost: Always Free

About the Exhibition: Frank E. Bell, a graduate student in fibers at the Herberger College School of Art, uses his art to explore the realities he discovered through conversations with elderly residents of retirement homes. Bell’s work grew out of his realization that the term “golden years” is a misnomer for many of the elderly, as physical and mental health problems gradually make them helpless and reliant on others for their most basic needs.

Bell works with layers of nylon that he melts and transforms through the application of heat, changing them almost unrecognizably from the original, pliable fabric into hardened plastic forms.

“My work explores how the irreversible transformation of fabric parallels our own aging process,” Bell says. “My feelings of vulnerability and the reality of fragility in aging are reflected in the fabric I transform. The hollowness of my forms echoes my own feelings of lost capabilities and marks a relentless passage of time. The changes in the fabric and my body can never be reversed and the fabric becomes more fragile and vulnerable to my touch as I transform it with heat.”

About the Images: 
Thought #3, 2002, by Frank E. Bell. Nylon, 16 x 12 x 4 inches.
Untitled, 2002, by Frank E. Bell. Nylon, 34 x 8 x 6 inches.

The Harry Wood Gallery is one of three galleries on the ASU Tempe campus operated by students, staff and faculty of ASU’s School of Art in The Katherine K. Herberger College of Fine Arts. The Harry Wood Gallery features solo thesis exhibitions and group shows by graduate students pursuing master of fine arts (MFA) degrees and group shows by undergraduate students. 

Media Contact:
Jennifer Pringle