Posted on: February 11, 2024 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

By Aimee Bustamante

Recently on display were several art pieces by artist Kaia Olsen of Chicago, IL inside the Performing Arts building on Moraine’s main campus.

 Kaia Olsen, with expertise in sculpting, dance, and filmmaking introduced his new exhibit–– Instar; which brought several different designs made of wood and steel materials. Once walking into the art gallery, I was overcome with excitement and curiosity. The designs pull you all from different parts of the room. The first untitled piece that drew my eye was a bent and blue wooden piece that almost appeared hovering over a wooden geometric shape that lay on the floor, directly underneath it. Along the blue wooden piece, were numerous thin steel rods that neatly draped over the wooden geometric object.

Across the room were two oval-shaped, untitled, designs made of steel. One was enclosed with circular shells all around within itself. Beside it, lay another oval-shaped design distinguished by its more winged-like intricates that looked similar to of an elk’s antlers.

Out of the two similar steel sculptures, I enjoyed observing, the elk’s antlers piece much more. I was originally overcome with an ominous and intimidating aura, but it also allowed me to ponder its true message. Aside from both pieces having almost the same structure, they were also visibly different and also made me experience different feelings. The steel-shaped piece, with enclosed rings, gave me a strong sense of restriction. While the other piece with winged-like intricacies, gave me a feeling of liberation.

The winged-like sculpture, perhaps, successfully replicates an individual’s normal feelings of intimidation and fear before leaping into a world of freedom (just like in real life). The other wooden pieces that surrounded the room, were nothing short of extraordinary. Olsen’s choice to strictly use wooden and steel products for his creations perfectly conveys the idea that limitations can still convey strong and crucial messages.