Home Arts & Entertainment Sculpting a sacred space with Amanda Gentry: Murmuration

Sculpting a sacred space with Amanda Gentry: Murmuration

Amanda Gentry: “Murmuration” installation at The Harold J. Miossi Art Gallery. Photo by Aubrie Arndt

Chicago based artist Amanda Gentry brings a sacred space to Cuesta College with her solo exhibition, “Murmuration,” in the Harold J. Miossi Art Gallery. 

The installation consists of 12 egg shaped ceramic pods. The pods are laid out in a circular formation on the floor to create a space for visitors to reconnect with themselves simply through the sound of their own voices. 

Each pod is hand-made with terracotta brick found around the artist’s Chicago neighborhood, while the inside is gilded with 23-karat gold leaf. The pods are metaphorical to the artist in how the outside represents the human body that will eventually rot away, while the inside showcases the significance of inner beauty within people.

A visitor lays down to look inside one of the pods at the installation. Photo by Aubrie Arndt

When talking about her piece, Gentry explained why she felt drawn to clay considering she used it in such a non-traditional way.

“It is a difficult thing for me to be in my own body, and I think that’s probably the case for most modern artists,” Gentry said. “I believe we’re in our heads. We’re disconnected from our bodies, and this makes me feel embodied. To feel that connected with the work that aspect of my body is being used as a tool to actually shape it, I can’t put it into words.” 

Gentry has had multiple exhibitions nationwide, including a residency at STARworks Ceramics in Star, N.C., this past year. This residency inspired the artist to bring what she had learned from this to Cuesta College by creating a smaller version of her piece, “Born Again.”

A full view of the 12 pods inside the Harold J. Miossi Art Gallery. Photo by Aubrie Arndt

The Harold J. Miossi Art Gallery is located on the Cuesta College campus in room 7170. Amanda Gentry’s exhibit “Murmuration” will be open for viewing from March 5 until April 3. There will also be a dance performance from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. on March 26. 

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Aubrie Arndt is currently a journalism student at Cuesta college, and is taking on the role as Editor-in-Chief here at The Cuestonian this semester. Originally from San Diego, she only moved to San Luis Obispo a little over two years ago after going through a major life change. She didn't decide to go back to school until the semester that COVID-19 broke out, and although challenging it is a decision she's glad she stuck with. Throughout her time at Cuesta she has been on the school newspaper multiple semesters, and taken a variety of photography classes. Outside of the classroom she dabbles with film photography, and recently even started selling prints of her work online. She also wrote for her own blog for several years and is bringing it back this Fall as a healthy outlet for her to share some of her passions, and has even had a bit of poetry published on online magazines. With a past in working with social media, marketing, and branding she's hoping to start putting out freelance work for a variety of publications this coming year. There are many things she'd like to accomplish in the next year, and is hopeful she will also be able to relocate to the Bay Area for school depending on how the pandemic evolves. Until then you can find her sharing her work online, out on solo road trips in her native state, taking photos with her favorite film cameras in tow, or hiding out at home watching films with her two feline companions.