Sep 302010
Authors: Lianna Salva

Tires can be more than air and rubber. They can also be towering sculptures of black mass that represent environmentalism, race and gender.

This art, created by Chakaia Booker, will come to CSU today as The University Center for the Arts welcomes her for the Critic and Artist Residency Series.

The exhibition, “Unexpected Retreading: The Art of Chakaia Booker,” will be presented at the Robert W. Hoffert Gallery in the University Art Museum at the UCA.

The exhibition will start today and run through Dec. 17.

Admission is free and the exhibit will be open during regular museum hours, which are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Booker is a nationally-acclaimed artist who specializes in large-scale sculptures. This exhibition focuses on sculptures he made with recycled material.

“There is a very large environmental factor in her work,” said Jennifer Clary, spokeswoman for CSU’s School of the Arts.

Not only is Booker’s work environmental, it is a visual representation of many issues that she is passionate about.

She has used recycled tires to “metaphorically refer to issues of race, gender, the violence of automobile crashes, industrial labor and environmental degradation,” said Linda Frickman, director of the University Art Museum.

“I think using art is a great way to get your message and opinion out,” said Steven Simms, a freshman art major.

On top of showcasing her own work, Booker will critique the art of CSU students. Simms is one of the students that will show his art.

“I’m honored as a freshman to have my work shown to a professional artist,” Simms said, “But I’m also nervous about what she’ll say.”

These sculptures, along with works on paper, will be displayed at this exhibition.

On Oct. 13 at 5 p.m., Booker will give a lecture in the Griffin Concert Hall at the UCA, followed by a book signing and reception from 7 to 9 p.m.

Booker will also be available for an open discussion to answer questions in the museum on Oct. 14 at 4 p.m.

The lecture, reception and open discussion are free events.

The CSU School of the Arts, the FUNd at CSU, the City of Fort Collins Fort Fund, Colorado Creative Industries and the Best Western University Inn sponsor the event.

Staff writer Lianna Salva can be reached at

Go to the Gallery

What: Exhibit of nationally-acclaimed artist Chakaia Booker comes to CSU
Where: The University Center for the Arts
When: Exhibit is open through Dec. 17, the UCA is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Admission is free

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