Art exhibit is en pointe


Shane Louis

Pointe shoes for the gallery were donated by SF Dancewear

Katharine Hada, Staff member

How easy would you find it to work intensely with your mother over seven days to produce a complete gallery show in 100 degree weather?

Luckily, for mother/daughter team, Michele and Alexis Krup, this process was not as challenging as it would be for others.

The pair has teamed up to present the beautiful, introspective gallery show currently running in the DVC gallery A-305.

The show combines charcoal wall sketches, ballet shoe sculptures, a hanging wire and feather sculpture, two live dance performances and simple background music. The show focuses around what ballerinas go through to produce the ‘Illusion of Effortlessness’.

Often ballerinas are required to look ethereal, floating through space as if suspended by magic. “The whole body is dependent on that [nickel sized] point of contact with reality to make incredible athleticism happen,” states Alexis, a point which they both found fascinating having studied classical ballet for the majority of their lives.

Michele equates the way pointe shoes are used by ballerinas to the way tools are used. They represent the hard work that has been accomplished. “The shoes are like a symbolic remnant of what the dancer goes through to get to that illusion of perfection.”

Michele is a full-time artist and faculty member of the Art department at DVC and has maintained that position for the past 25 years. Alexis is currently working in the laboratories at UCSF where she studies neurodegenerative and neuromuscular disorders.

This begs the question, how on earth did they find the time to accomplish such a beautiful gallery with so little free time? The answer Alexis gives is simple: “you find the time to do the things you love – the things that inspire you.”

The show utilizes simplicity, focusing on ephemerality and temporality. Pointe shoes are only meant to last 12 to 15 hours of straight use. The art will be washed off the walls when the show is over; the dance performance will not be recorded, it’s only intended to be viewed once.

Michele and Alexis are not only inspired by the completion of their works, they are inspired by what the finished product might inspire in viewers. “For a student or person to be good at something takes some concentration and effort, but it appears to be effortless. The work that went in behind that – in anything you undertake – you are responsible for pulling that energy out of yourself. [The show] is a metaphor for life, in a way.”

The gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The show will run until September 30th.