Art to Change Perspective: Artist Martha Whittington Uses Sculpture to Shift Focus

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – To some, an art gallery is a place to go to immerse themselves in art. To others, they are rooms filled with knowledge of history, both current and past. To Atlanta-based artist Martha Whittington, a gallery is a canvas waiting to be filled with sculpted pieces of intrigue and beauty.

In her exhibition, featured in the Weil Gallery located in the Center for the Arts until Dec. 7, Whittington, a nationally and internationally known artist and professor of foundations studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, showcases sculptures inspired by surveying. Some works may remind viewers of a circle graph or bar graphs or even compasses and surveying markers. Each work is connected through red lines, with varying line weight, that race along the walls and work as a map to lead the eye through the journey the room provides.

“I think students will enjoy seeing this use of materials and craftsmanship,” said Whittington. “I want them to have the experience of the gallery, not just as something to place art in, but that it can be a part of the work, and the viewer, too.”

While Whittington took inspiration from the gallery itself, she also looked at the Island campus as a whole when creating her art.

“This campus’s architecture and map structure is based heavily on triangles, so you will see a lot of those shapes in my sculptures here,” said Whittington. “I hope to inspire students to look more around themselves and really take in and understand their surroundings.”

Along with speaking at an opening reception to introduce the public to her work on Nov. 5, Whittington also visited the studios of several Texas A&M-Corpus Christi graduate art students to give her unique opinion and feedback on their personal work.

“The students here are all so present and have such an energy,” said Whittington. “It’s been a joy to be here and work with these students.”

This exhibition is Whittington’s third time showing her work in Texas. Along with the Island University, she has been featured twice in Austin. She has also had installations at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Georgia, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, Florida, and has drawing works featured in the High Museum of Art in Georgia.

Whittington’s work is focused on one central idea: exhibiting complex concepts through sculpted minimalism.

“Often I start experimenting with a material and then through research I discover something in history that I think is important,” said Whittington. “I want to share these discoveries that are important to us, our thinking, and our world.”