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Museum brings interactive exhibit to Victoria (video)

By Jessica Rodrigo
Sept. 5, 2013 at 4:05 a.m.
Updated Sept. 6, 2013 at 4:06 a.m.

Chara Helton, left, laughs as Judy Malik plays a Tibetan healing bowl during the opening of McKay Otto's exhibit "Ever About Ever" on Thursday night at the Nave Museum. The 18-inch quartz bowl vibrated and hummed at a specific frequency as it was played in what was made to be the "meditation room."

The vibrations and artwork of McKay Otto will transport the viewer to somewhere else.

The Nave Museum is home to Otto's first collaborative exhibition in which he is creating vibrations and visuals with his trans-dimensional artwork.

"It's an exhibition that involves the viewer," Otto said. "It transports you to wherever you want to be."

As the exhibit "Ever About Ever" opened Thursday night, people admired Otto's unique paintings as well as a memorable performance by members of the community.

In the center of the room, Otto, dressed in black clothing and adorned in a black hat, unveiled a piece titled "Ever Victoria Vibrations Ever" in a crisp, white exhibit where 16 of his paintings hung on display. He stood before the piece and deconstructed it as nine Tibetan bowls were struck around the room. Each person recited words to the group as he cut through the nylon canvas with strong, swift strikes with a box cutter. Each cut left the material tattered and lose, exposing a painting in red, purple and yellow.

The bowls represent the method Otto uses to create his artwork. It is the only sound he allows in his studio in Wimberley home.

"While I paint, I feel like the paint is vibrating in harmony with the tone of the bowl," he said. "I just get a feeling that I need to paint in F-sharp, and the painting starts to feel like F-sharp."

Esther Sandoval, a secretary at the University of Houston-Victoria, used words like "health," "music" and "family" before she rang the bowl resting atop her closed fist. Her bowl rang a G-sharp before the vibrations subsided into the room.

The art on the walls is different than other exhibits, she said. The combination of sound with the art added to the experience.

"The paintings danced with the sounds," she said. "It's something to see."

Otto's exhibit included, for the first time, a meditation room, where he encourages viewers to relax and get in touch with what they are feeling. It's an ongoing theme of his trans-dimensional art, he said.

"These paintings are like windows into oneself," Otto said. "They transcend the material. They go beyond looking just like paint and look like water and icicles. They look like air."

Amy Leissner, executive director of the Nave Museum, was excited to combine the performance and Otto's artwork to give the community an opportunity to participate in the deconstruction and reconstruction of one of his pieces.

"We don't always have (performances)," she said. "It is unique for us."

Leissner also participated in the demonstration, using words like "laughter" and "gratitude" to express herself. She added that it was especially gratifying to have an interactive piece on display at the museum.

The deconstructed piece will remain on display until the end of the exhibit Oct. 20. Guests will have a chance to reconstruct it and transform the painting into something else, he said. He wants the piece to become a part of Victoria through the participation of its community members.

"Guests can come be an active part of the piece," Leissner said.

Otto invites the viewer to experience the music and tonality that comes from the vibrations of the light and the colors.



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