Light, Paper, Sound

Friday night, 444 Humphreys Pop Up and Galleries closed out the most serene installation I’ve experienced in a long time. Saying “experienced” sounds both stylistically bad and hoaky, but Kelli Shay Hix and Josh Gumiela’s collaboration is seen, heard, and felt.

On the first Saturday of each month for Arts and Music at Wedgewood-Houston, 444 Humphreys’ front room is crowded with art crawlers. While  I love the energy of the crawls in my neighborhood each month, it’s impossible to step back and let the exhibit shape my experience. I attended the show’s closing rather than opening, and I’m so glad I did.

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The room is dark but for a bit of streetlight from outside, and a beam of light slowly creeps across the wall, revealing Kelli Shay Hix’s paper cut shapes. Some have a natural curve, like curling leaves, while others meet at hard angles. Each is mirrored by its shadow, which is just as impressive as the intricate paper cutting itself. The light moves along the wall, revealing another shape and its shadow. Gumiela’s ambient music lends an underwater feeling, as if its coming from the air itself. It kind of is—rather than using speakers, he opted for exciters—silver-dollar-sized discs mounted to the windows that vibrate, adding harmonic content and an otherworldly sound.

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Photo by Tony Youngblood

Kelli Shay Hix is an artist and crafter. Her company Odilon Arts creates and sells paper craft that is inspired, she writes, “by walks in alleys, in the streets, and in nature.” Josh Gumiela is a new media artist who works with sound and light. He’s moving to Minnesota soon, but keep an eye out for him on the international stage. He also has a beautiful website.

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Photo by Tony Youngblood

–Erica Ciccarone

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