Superhero exhibit represents pop culture

Danny Gutierrez, 23, business major, snaps a few photos of superhero figurines and sketches as part of the "Shadows of American Popular Culture" exhibit in the Schauerman Library.

Tayani Davis, Staff Writer
October 6, 2011
Filed under Arts, Top Stories

As the double doors of the Schauerman Library open, superheroes stare  students in the face.

Posters hug the empty white walls, Batman sculptures fill the glass cases with great detail and color.

Superhero figures from major films are placed next to their nemeses as if they were waiting for battle.

Unlike last year’s Looney tune exhibit, Maria Brown, history professor and Kim Reynolds, Senior Computer Artist at Warner Brothers Studios, decided to curate this exhibit with a different approach, Brown said.

“Maria Brown did previous exhibits, but this year she wanted to do something out of the norm about super heroes and what they mean to American culture,” Albert Romero, library technician said.  From comic books, TV shows and movie screens, pop culture has shaped our society in ways people may not realize, Brown said.

“Comic books are a reflection of the time period that they are from,” Brown said.

Super heroes are a large part of our society, from clothes and music to films on the big screen.

Brown used her action figure collection along with Warner Brother’s art to create a superhero exhibit as an example of pop culture.

“America has done an excellent job in exporting our pop culture,” Brown said.  “The beautiful thing about it is you learn about everyone’s desires and wants and everyone wants to be perceived as special, extraordinary, but in the time of crisis, pop culture is definitely reflected in how we spend our time.”

Brown said that superheroes have influenced society since they were first created during the depression.

“We go to the movies to see superhero movies wishing we were the superhero,” Brown added.

Even though some people see super heroes as an escape route from their own issues, super heroes also face problems of their own on the big screen but somehow find a way to get through them, Brown said. The message is that these heroes are similar to everyday people, which has shaped American pop culture.

“Superheroes are seen as a sign of hope, good, and they overcome things. But most super heroes have issues and I think regular people can relate to those issues,” Reynolds said.

Brown said that the students will be amazed when they walk in the Schauerman library and see some of their favorite super heroes.

Reynolds added that this exhibit will definitely make a difference on the students’  lives.

“I think many students will be impacted by this exhibit not only because they can relate to their favorite superhero but this may make them want to join this field,” Reynolds said.

The exhibit also shows the different time eras going all the way back to the 1930s.

Even back then, superheroes were used as a scapegoat in times when America was in a crisis, letting people know that they will overcome any obstacle.

“The way the exhibit is set up is to show every aspect of art from inking, sculpting, drawings, and adding the colors,” Reynolds said. “This method of computer drawing, shows students the different artistic options.”

“I want students to be inspired and say ‘I want to be a part of this,’” Reynolds said.

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