Hunt Gallery features international artist

One of two video installations created by Nadija Mustapic for her exhibit “An Afternoon Without Gravity” at the Hunt Gallery. PHOTO BY GALE WHITEHEAD

The Hunt Gallery exhibited “An Afternoon Without Gravity” which presented artwork of Nadija Mustapic on Friday, Feb. 10. Mustapic featured two pieces of artwork and gave a lecture explaining the history of her art. This was her first time showing in St. Louis.

She presented two video illustrations in her show. One was  a single channel video with headphones, and the other a two-channel video with four-channel surround sound.

In the two channel video installation, a young girl transformed an abandoned building, an old torpedo factory into a childhood playground. In the single channel installation, video poetry is used to illustrate changes one undergoes while trying to understand theirself.

Mustapic is from the city of Rijeka, on the northern coast of Croatia. She lived in the United States from 2002-2006 to study at the University of Iowa where she received her M.A and M.F.A.  Since her graduation, she has moved back to Croatia and is currently teaching at the Applied Arts Academy University of Rijeka.

Sophomore Tatiana Neumann, international studies and art major, said she enjoyed both the exhibit and the lecture. Although she hadn’t known about Mustapic’s art before the day of the exhibition, she said the lecture earlier that day helped her understand the art.

“If she wouldn’t have talked about her background, her own personal life, which reflected upon her work, then I probably wouldn’t have understood her video as well as I do now,” Neumann said.

No longer a student, Mustapic still has some affiliations with the University of Iowa. She helps coordinate their residency program for the inter-media department. She said she is glad she still has the opportunity to work with the University of Iowa because it helped her present in St. Louis. Jeff Hughes, director of the Hunt Gallery, received his Ph.D. from University of Iowa.

Mustapic received an email  invitation from Hughes a year and a half ago. Hughes said for at least five years one or more of the exhibitions given each year at the Hunt Gallery has consisted of international art. Hughes and his colleague, Tom Lang came across Mustapic’s art while searching print making on the University of Iowa’s database. After Hughes found her work, he contacted her about featuring her work at Webster. After she accepted, they began choosing what pieces to present.

Mustapic often comes to the United States to give lectures or presentations at universities. For this showing, she visited for a week, during which she set up her exhibition and gave lectures and workshops to students. This included a public workshop that was held at Webster on Friday, Feb. 10.

“It’s been an intense week and I had a lot of fun. It was great to meet the students here and to get to know the art department and I’m really happy about the show,” Mustapic said.

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