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One Tank Trip: Bloom Bloom exhibit at Kutztown University

One Tank Trip: Bloom Bloom exhibit at...

KUTZTOWN., Pa. - Like a bloom cultivated for its beauty, an art exhibit mimics a flower at its biggest and brightest.

"It's just joyful. It's beautiful," said Kutztown University senior Logan Hanning.

Bloom Bloom fills The Marlin and Regina Miller Gallery in the Sharadin Arts Building on KU's campus.

"The most beautiful thing about it is that it turns everyone I know into children again, and it's beautiful," Hanning said.

"So this is unique to our space, and it won't be shown like this anywhere else," added Karen Stanford, the director of university galleries and community outreach.

Stanford chose Ohio-based artist Dana Lynn Harper and her site-specific art installation, titled Bloom Bloom out of more than 175 artists from around the world to be part of the university's residency program.

Harper and students, some high school, some from KU, like Hanning, spent three weeks tying on each piece.

"It was kind of like knitting a really big scarf," Hanning explained. "I've never seen anything like this that has formed so organically. and like it was such a process of just exploring the material and creating."

The material is a bit of a surprise. Harper uses vinyl flagging tape, the kind used by surveyors to mark trees and work spaces, tied to chicken wire with zip ties attached to the ceiling with parachute cord -- basic, sturdy materials with stunning effect.

"It turned out not what I expected at all, because before we had it on the walls just kind of hanging up and you could kind of get a sense about how it was going to be, but I had no idea until they actually pulled it up and it started hanging from the ceiling, and I just came through and ran through it," Hanning said.

That kind of excitement is encouraged, expected even. It's art you can touch, that's made to touch.

"Most people don't want to touch it and don't want to let themselves go, but as soon as I'm like, 'Yes, you can go in there,' are they are like, 'Oh my gosh! It's really cool,'' Hanning said.

It's a tactile space with a reflective quality that is all about the mood. If you listen, you'll hear a soundtrack playing. The music is part of the piece and it's fittingly from an album titled Bloom by Maryland band Beach House.

Art can be an escape, and here it's in the middle of campus.

The exhibit will be on display at Kutztown University through March 10.

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