Michael Aurbach’s larger than life collection featured in Joan Derryberry Art Gallery

As you walk into the Joan Derryberry Art Gallery, you’ll notice there aren’t as many pieces as the last exhibit, but the pieces there are much larger.

Michael Aurbach, artist-educator at Vanderbilt University, says his art is basically about protest, and he uses a lot of art historical “formats” and “designs” to help give it form.

These pieces take about a year of planning.

“The work is expensive to produce so I do not want to rush into a piece without careful thought. If I am still excited about an idea after a year of thinking about it, then it is probably worth doing,” said Aurbach.

Aurbach bases his work on some of his own experiences.

“All it takes is to get me inspired is some jerk who thinks he or she has the right to interfere with my life,” said Aurbach.

One piece, “Administrative Vision,” is based on a dean Aurbach encountered during his career.

“He jerked me around when he required that I provide 17 names of external reviewers for my promotion application for full professor,” said Aurbach.

Kimberly Winkle, gallery coordinator and member of the University Art Committee, describes the exhibit as “at first, intimidating, then I am curious.”

The Aurbach exhibit took approximately nine hours for a team of gallery employees to unload and install.

Samantha Rouse, junior art education major, was in the gallery when the exhibit was being put together.

“It started off just these random pieces of metal like laying from each corner to corner and it was amazing. I left while he was putting it up so when I came back it was all one thing and it was crazy that it came from all these tiny little pieces of metal laying around the room to this,” said Rouse.

Rouse says the exhibit is futuristic but also has the feel of old war.

This may be one the last solo shows in the area for Aurbach, who plans to retire soon.