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Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

Fright Night: An Immersive Art Exhibition

Artwork by Emmy Smith displayed in the exhibition. Via @oduartsletters on Instagram

The Barry Arts Building has been transformed into a house of horrors. With phobias, personal nightmares, and spooky imagery throughout the building, it’s not easy to avoid a scare. Fright Night: An Immersive Art Exhibition has made its second appearance at ODU, and this year it is weirder and scarier than ever. 

The opening reception occurred on Oct. 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. The free exhibit will be open to the public until Nov. 6. About twenty-five art department classes and student groups brought this event to life showcasing student-made drawings, paintings, installations, sculptures, posters, and projections throughout all three floors of the building. The ODU Music and Dance departments, as well as the Magic Dirt Puppet Theatre, gave performances.


This event was organized with the intention of highlighting the talents of the creative community on campus. 


I wanted to give our students the experience of having their work included in an exhibition and seeing it engaged with viewers outside a classroom setting,” said Kyle Kogut, the event coordinator. 


With Halloween around the corner, Kogut said it gave the opportunity to “create an aesthetically exciting event … [while being able to] play with spooky imagery and macabre themes while exploring deeper concepts and craftsmanship.” 


At the exhibit, you will find 3-D designs in the form of skulls and spiders, ‘Still Death’ black and white paintings, and photoshopped portraits done by the digital basics class. My personal favorite collection is the Capes of Fear in the Hixon Gallery, in which students from the Foundation Concepts class created a wearable cape to protect them from phobias such as childbirth, the fear of the unknown, and fires. 


Floating, stained glass of ghosts and ghouls hung in the staircases, along with spooky sketches and word art mounted to the walls. There was a display of Screenprint and Lithography students’ frightful subjects inspired by tarot and card games; an evidence board layout of photography student’s fears. 


As the exhibition continues, the Hofheimer Art Library welcomes you with a Spooktacular Scavenger Hunt for all things Halloween. The library also features staff picks of spooky books that will put you right in the mood for Halloween. There are also booklets available where you can read about how different cultures around the world celebrate Halloween. This includes (but is not limited to) the Philippines, Guatemala, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Italy. 


While viewers browsed the artworks throughout the night, the performances from the different departments are what really made this night special. Viewers were able to see ODU’s departments coming together to make this event a large interdepartmental collaboration. 


The ongoing performances by Dance Composition students were certainly a one-of-a-kind experience. They wore white and black and masquerade masks. Whether the dancers were in a glass-walled room or around the buildings, they never broke character and brought all the spookiness with their crawling and screams. 


The Magic Puppet Theatre performed three short shows using handmade props and puppets that entertained the audience through laughs, mystery, and the occasional jump scare. 


The two performances by the Percussion Ensemble were especially outstanding. The first performance was “Stool Pigeon” by Julie Davila, in which eight performers create bone-like sounds using wooden stools as their drums. The performers were dressed in skeleton outfits, skull masks, and moved their heads in a skeleton-esque fashion to sustain the aesthetic. 


The second performance was “Stinkin Garbage” by Ed Argenziano. The six performers dressed as zombies, starting the performance spread out and eventually coming together to play on 30-gallon aluminum trash cans. In this song, the performers got a solo section where they demonstrated advanced drumming techniques, drumstick tricks, and other visual moves. The performers did an amazing job at opening the audience’s “eyes to realize how truly anything can be a percussion instrument,” as Percussion Ensemble director David Walker expressed hope for. 


The audience could certainly see the desire to make this year’s exhibition bigger and better. The immersive exhibition is a unique Halloween experience and I would definitely recommend people to go while it is still open. However, if you are unable to attend, the event will be here again next year. 

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About the Contributor
Reagan Williams
Reagan Williams, Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor
Reagan Williams is the Arts and Entertainment assistant for the Mace and Crown. She is double majoring in Creative Writing and World Cultural Studies with a minor in Japanese. Reagan is passionate about traveling, literature, and cinema. She is excited to write and review the artistic events around ODU and Norfolk.

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