On the evening of Thursday, Feb. 9, many university students were found shuffling through Popp Martin Student Union art gallery for an exhibition reception. The reception went from 5 to 7 p.m. The gallery showcased the work of UNC Charlotte alums Madison Dunaway, Vedant Raval and Caleb Roenigk with their piece titled “Lost Hollow.”

“Lost Hollow” is a man-made tree composed of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe and bamboo. Dead leaves lay at the tree’s roots and surrounding the outskirts of the room.

Their idea for creating the piece was attributed to their shared concern for the environment in its present state and in the future. Specifically, they are interested in exploring conceptually driven installations which advocate for a change in the status quo with regards to the environment and human relationship with it.

They first envisioned a distorted future where real trees are extinct and humans must manufacture them. They used bamboo because like humans are a threat to other living things, bamboo is a threat to indigenous plants. The addition of PVC piping more clearly confronts the idea that even the invasive plants are dying out.

Madison studied fine arts, Vedant studied mechanical engineering and Caleb studied graphic design as well as digital media. Their various backgrounds allowed them each to contribute something new and unique to the piece. It was a collaborative effort; without the help of one another the piece wouldn’t have come into fruition.

The creation process was not one of meticulous planning, but rather one of spontaneity. They began the with a general plan of achievement and then the process became more extemporaneous as they encountered new problems and were struck with new ideas.

When asked about what message is trying to be presented through this piece, Madison stated, “There is a mental separation of ourselves from the environment: this work serves as an urgent reminder to change the status quo and break through the apathy.”

The exhibition will remain in the union gallery until Friday, March 3. This the last day of classes before the beginning of spring recess.

Interested in submitting original artwork? Popp Martin is currently accepting proposals for 2017 exhibitions. Additional information on submission can be found at https://studentunion.uncc.edu/gallery.