Visiting artist creates musical instruments out of used items

Halleigh Hawkins , Staff Writer

Jay Kreimer, a composer, musician, educator and sculptor, spoke in Gardner Auditorium on Aug. 23, about his art exhibit “Listening to Materials,” that is on display in the Nordstrand Visual Arts Gallery until Sept. 22.

Kreimer spoke to the audience about his background, listed some of the organizations he’s involved in and demonstrated a couple of his instruments to the audience. Kreimer’s passion to make different musical instruments with used materials began when he was three-years-old. His desire to repurpose used materials into practical, playable instruments never stopped.

“I don’t set out to make something that is predetermined,” Kreimer said. “It’s more of an exploration.”

Finding materials and thinking about how best to use them are two very important things to him. Transforming these different pieces into art takes months for him to complete.

“I like the idea of reusing things that have been discarded, but still have this kind of value is important to me,” Kreimer said. “Listening to these pieces, holding them to my ear, manipulating it, and seeing what these things can do.”

Kreimer stated that his instruments aren’t inspired by anyone or anything in particular – they are just inspired by what he thinks about, sees or even hears while working with it. One of his pieces was inspired by a dream of three’s. This piece has a few different representations of the three pattern, which is available to see at the gallery.

The gallery also showcases multiple instruments with which visitors can try out themselves. The different instruments include a multitude of objects that have been reused.

“I look for a variety for all of the shows and I think he is bringing new ideas to the table that we haven’t seen in the gallery yet, specifically a lot of found materials and the element of sound,” said Andy Haslit, associate professor of art history.

Showcased in the museum are many interesting art pieces that reveal how Kreimer’s mind operates. In particular, his unique sense of sound for music.

“Students can benefit from an enlarged understanding of what art can be and what an interesting thing this can be,” Haslit said. “There’s interest in old paintings and a broader variety of what is out there than what they can even imagine.”

As for the future, there are going to be three shows this semester including the faculty exhibit, the senior exhibit and another visiting artist next semester.