Steampunk Chronicle

Emerging subgenre of art to come to brand-new Fine Art Gallery

Ferris is about to get Steampunk’d.

Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy literature and art inspired both by the Victorian period and the 19 century Wild West. It encompasses a variety of elements including mechanical, futurism, and steam-powered machinery.

“Disparse Elements: A Steampunk Revolution” is coming to the University Center’s Fine Art Gallery on Jan. 30.

Work by national and international artists David Trautrimas, Joshua Kinsey, Myke Amend, and Erik Deary will be on display. The exhibit will also feature projects from Ferris students and Kendall College of Art and Design students.

A handful of FSU Architecture Students were asked to “Steampunk” select Ferris and Big Rapids buildings to prepare for the exhibit.

“After researching the design principles behind Steampunk, the students are now working on re-imaging their built elements in the Steampunk mode,” Assistant Professor of Architecture and Facility Management Chris Cosper said.

Cosper’s students were randomly assigned to buildings on campus or in Big Rapids, including the University Center, the Nesbit Building, and the Baldwin Street Bridge.

“The project offers a wide range of creativity, but at the same time Steampunk is a developed aesthetic, with certain rules and limitations,” Cosper said.

All 14 of Cosper’s students in his ARCH 290: Architectural Design and Principles class were assigned to the Steampunk projects, but only a few will actually make it into the exhibit.

Architecture sophomore Kyle Mckeown hopes to be one of those students.

“There’s a little bit of a competitive aspect,” Mckeown said. “I’m really looking forward to it. Steampunk does seem very interesting. It’s not what we’re really used to because we have to reinvent the building into a whole new era. This is the first project I’ve had to do pertaining to this kind of thing.”

Ferris Professor Luke Hedman’s Product Design students will be creating sketches of Steampunk influenced objects. Since Steampunk features relatively unpolished elements, his students’ sketches won’t look out of place at the exhibit.

“It’s a reminder that in the past, engineering was considered beautiful,” Hedman said. “People who were developing these things wanted their devices to be aesthetically pleasing, and now it’s just sort of reemerging under this term.”

The reception for the grand opening of the “Disparate Elements: A Steampunk Revolution” exhibit will be held on Jan. 30 from 6:30 – 9 p.m in the University Center, room 205.

“Steampunk SK8 Decks” created by KCAD Grapic Design and “Myths & Legends; Woodbridge N. Ferris in an Alternative Universe” written by FSU students will also be at the exhibit.

A Steampunk Fashion Event on Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. will feature clothing pieces from Kendall students in UCB-202A.