Abby Golodik ’18 opens ‘Totem’ exhibit in Wikoff Student Gallery

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AbbyGolodik TotemThe Wikoff Student Gallery welcomed Abby Golodik ‘18’s “Totem” gallery on May 5. The junior visual arts major saw the gallery open to the public on Tuesday, May 16 at 5:00 p.m. The Concordiensis had the opportunity to get in touch with Golodik and see what “Totem” means to her.
Emily Kern: What inspired “Totem”? Did it stem from a variety of classes, or perhaps you personal experiences and surroundings?
Abby Golodik: “Totem” was first inspired from a project in Sculpture 2 last spring involving an aluminum cast. I had the chance to further explore the shape with 3D software in Cinema 4D the following Fall term. That was when my interest in the shape and process behind creating it really sparked. I realized how much more I could create with this shape that I named “Totem”
EK: As stated in your short introduction in the gallery, you said that you found “inspiration in the repeated creation of a single shape, a ‘totem.’” What  is a totem? Is the totem a specific shape, or something you created/imagined?
AG: I found it so interesting how every angle I framed or imagined the totem had its own beauty and independence to it. It stood alone but also could fit into a series. A totem can be any object that specific to them. A totem by definition, “is a spirit being, sacred object, or symbol that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, clan, lineage, or tribe.” This idea of an emblem or symbol to represent myself really resonated with me. I was able to create this myself, envision how and where it would be, then actually create the environments and sculptures.
EK: How would you define totem? What makes a shape a totem? Is it a mathematical definition, or something more theoretical?
AG: The idea did not revolve around math. More of experimentation of simple shapes using 3D Software. It is a square with the center point of each side extracted outwards by using the edge of the square as an anchor point. Essentially six pyramids extruding from each side of the square.
EK: You mentioned that the purpose of this project was to create a totem that represents you. How do the finished products represent you?
AG: I think the final product represents my aesthetic and quality of work I strive to produce as an artist. As I have mentioned before, I think every piece of work inevitably is a self-portrait. How much work and detail I put into each piece will be known.In this trial, my portrait is totem in these many different forms and mediums. In a way the project mimics my own explorations, as I do with mediums and forms. Moving on from this point I hope to build from this project with different subjects and break away from the continuity of this work. I do not want to neglect the good that come from exhausting a form. This method of constructing iteration after iteration of the form resulted in a uniform show.
EK: What courses did you take to obtain the skills to render a 3D model of the totem and build 3D physical models?
AG: The obtained the skills to create 3D models and render images from the couse 3D Modeling taught by Professor Fernando Orellana. I also worked with Professor Orellana in an Independent Study called Digital Fabrication. In this study, I learned many different ways to take the digital plans and fabricate sculptures, whether using Adobe Illustrator, 123DMake Software, MakerBot for 3D printing, the Laser Cutter, or Water Jet. We soon learned the options and ideas were endless. General woodworking and metal skills were obtained through Sculpture classes taught by Professor Chris Duncan and assisted by Technician Patrick Healy. Sculpture
EK: How did it feel having your own gallery opened to the public?
AG: It was an amazing experience to have my own gallery. Many friends, family and professors attended the opening reception, and I felt I had a great platform to present my work.
EK: Which of the featured works was your favorite to create? Which was the most challenging?
AG: My favorite piece to create was Interlocked #2. I did many mocks and trials of this piece, finally resulting with a very clean and intricate interlocking wood sculpture. The most challenging piece was Future. This piece involved much precision and planning.
The wooden element is welded inside the angle irons permanently and the outer surface had to be grinded and sanded down to a polished surface, as I decided this would be the best way to capture the future.
EK: Anything else?
AG: The show will be open until August 21 so if you didn’t get a chance to check it out, do it! Also a huge thanks for the amazing work by the Wikoff Student Gallery Curator Sarah Mottalini.

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