Husband-and-wife artistic team Kelly Cox and Eric Mullis, students in Boise State University's MFA program, will unveil their latest joint project at the Eagle Performing Arts Center with a reception Thursday, July 18, from 6-9 p.m.
Arrested Momentum is the result of nine months of work completed for Boise State's graduate program. The couple has been doing ceramics together for 12 years, receiving their bachelor's degrees in ceramics from the University of Montana. Their passion for ecology inspired them to create new pieces structured out of clay, high-temperature bricks, sand and electronics.
"We're both interested in earth, but Eric is interested in electronics and how clay looks when it's plugged in, creating illusion," Cox said.
Arrested Momentum features several previously displayed projects, as well as some never-before-seen pieces.
"We have two clay, life-sized boars with sculpted orange trees sprouting out of their spines. Eric sculpts meticulous miniatures, and I sculpt bigger, looser things and we put them together," Cox explained. "The main piece is two walruses that are fighting each other on a plant of bricks and sand. We also have small dioramas: one of Ben Franklin and one of a house with a zoetrope inside making its debut."
The show's main piece, the walruses adorned with barnacles fashioned out of engine turbines, inspired the rest of the show and was previously displayed at the 2013 Modern Art event at the Modern Hotel and Bar. Cox said Arrested Momentum was originally the name of the two marine mammals.
"The walrus is an endangered species because their habitat is melting. The idea is that the two walruses are fighting over turf, but the turf they need to survive doesn't exist anymore," Cox said. "Unfortunately, they're unable to stop and recognize that. They're being propelled into one another by their collision, and the mass is arresting their momentum."
Cox and Mullis hope to deliver the main piece to its final resting place in the desert after the show completes its run at EPAC Saturday, Aug. 31. As far as the format of the show is concerned, Arrested Momentum has been designed to accommodate the inquisitive minds of the venue's younger audience.
"We arranged the pieces a little bit more whimsically for the show. We made the dioramas as if they're something to be discovered," Cox said.