ARLINGTON - A box is a box is a box ... except when it's art.
The box as an expressive medium is the premise of Fluxhibition #3: Thinking Inside of the Box, an exhibit that runs through July at the University Center Gallery at The University of Texas at Arlington.
Cecil Touchon, the exhibit's curator and a UT Arlington graduate, put the exhibit together in two months, asking artists around the world to contribute boxes for the International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction and the FluxMuseum, both of which are housed in his Fort Worth home.
Among these boxes are political messages, personal stories, jokes, social commentary, inventions, commemorative works, obsessive passions, homage to other artists, games, gadgets, dead bugs, a rotten egg from Macedonia, family heirlooms from Demark, handmade objects, scientific paraphernalia from the EPA, training kits, the hair of virgins, magic boxes, hidden compartment boxes, a pot of lightning from Greece, air from Colorado and even a bottle "chock full of God."
Fluxus - a Latin word meaning "to flow" - is an international network of artists, composers and designers noted for blending different artistic media and disciplines in the 1960s. They have been active in Neo-Dada noise music and visual art as well as literature, urban planning, architecture and design. Artist George Maciunas organized the first Fluxus exhibit in 1961 in New York City.
"It is not really a particular style of art," he said of Fluxus. "The idea of a box as a medium is a key for Fluxus. It's conceptual art ... it has some sort of performance art as part of it."
Touchon became involved with the Fluxus community in the 1970s. While finishing his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in the spring at UT Arlington, he learned the University Center Gallery needed a summer exhibit. Touchon went online to ask Fluxus artists to contribute to an exhibition.
Within two months, he received works from artists in 18 different countries. Yoko Ono, who was a member of the original Fluxus community, also sent work.
"It was a really extraordinary effort and is an amazing show," Touchon said.
An exhibit reception is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Friday, July 10, at the University Center Gallery in the E.H. Hereford University Center, 300 W. First St.
The Gallery is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday to Friday.
The exhibition is sponsored by the Student Art Association at UT Arlington.
More information is on the FluxMuseum Web site at www.fluxmuseum.org. Also the IMCAC museum Web site is www.collagemuseum.org.
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.