Taking time to stop and observe the art

Laura Lucas

Laura Lucas

From Nov. 20 through Nov. 30 the Ritz gallery is holding the combined 28 works of Eric Mertz and Andrew Wittnebel.

Mertz, a senior visual arts major with an emphasis in sculpture and cyramics, and Wittnebel, a senior general arts major with an emphasis in sculpture, have different styles but mesh well together.

A lot of Mertz’s work shows his interest in nature and wildlife. He also uses earth tones such as greens, tans and blues.

“I have been creating things for the past five years now,” he said.

Mertz did all the pottery in the exhibit. He currently has around 400 pieces in different sizes, shapes and colors.

Mertz uses a combination of wood, alabaster, canvas board, graphite pencil and paint to make his works. “I usually just throw paint at the canvas,” he said.

He also does not sketch what he is about to make and just “goes with the flow” while creating.

Wittnebel’s style is more expressionistic. He has been making art pieces for about two years and likes to use a wide array of colors. “When I make something I want it to grab your attention,” he said.

His inspiration comes from many places, including what others have done, collective human thoughts and the world around him. “I always get inspired,” he said. “Usually I start with a rough idea and work with the piece itself.”

Wittnebel said he likes to work with wood and acrylics because it is easy and natural. The difference is assemblage versus reductive process he said. Also, acrylics dry fast and blend well.

“It is always interesting to hear how others interpret your work. I think it is better to hear others’ thoughts about what I do,” Wittnebel said.

He would like to someday work with metal and make bigger sculptures. Currently he is unsure of his future in the art world. He said he would like to get a master’s degree or work in a gallery.

Though they have different styles, when the time came to display their work, both wanted to show together. They both believe that, “Art changes the way you look at things. It gives you a mood setting.”

“We both use scraps to help and create our art pieces,” Wittnebel said. “The time our creations took to make is also similar. Some pieces took one day while others took all semester.”

The frames take a long time to make, said Mertz. The frames usually take longer than the actual pieces.

Nov. 30 is the closing reception, and both artists encourage people to come. The exhibit is open to all Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.