Geckler brings L.A. art to Fullerton campus

Fullerton College Fine Arts professor Megan Geckler’s sculptures are, without a doubt, stunning.

“Set a Course for Wayward Schemes,” named after a lyric by indie-pop stars Belle and Sebastian, is her first piece this year, installed at a busy corner in downtown Los Angeles.

Created wholly out of bright multi-colored flagging tape used by construction companies to mark off points in landscaping, they extend the realms of sculpture from classical stone and metallurgy into hung vinyl strips.

“I wanted to create something reminiscent of the movement of light and space, minimalist, while keeping a sense of fun and play,” said Geckler.

“Wayward Schemes” does just that. Comprised of thousands of strands arranged into two walls of diagonal tape, it uses an effect of kinetic movement, which Geckler describes as a “combination of the human sensory system and the physics of light.”

This is because the two walls are separated by about eight feet and florescent light fixtures are mounted above and below.

The resulting florescent artwork presents an evolved “Dan Flavin” florescent and tape style of her own.

FC student Erin Desmond was one of 12 who helped install “Wayward Schemes.”

“Her work is interesting and geometrical,” Desmond said. “Being one of her students was great because I was able to learn about new and upcoming artists, but this was an experience of a lifetime, to work with one.”

Bert Green, curator of Bert Green Fine Art, Bert Green said he chose her for two out of his three window spaces, and for a whole year, because he “knows she can follow through.”

“I think her work is amazing,” said Green. “I have been familiar with her work for quite a while.”

“Wayward Schemes” is one of dozens of windows featured in the Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk, held on the second Thursday of every month since October 2004.

Green, who is also the founder of the Art Walk, said that Geckler’s installation fits the aesthetic and style.

“All of the window installations [on the Art Walk] are energy efficient … light displays and are designed to create a discussion between everyone,” Green said. “[The installations, like hers,] help create a beacon that engages dialogue with everyone in the neighborhood.”

Geckler’s second installation, “Where the Lights Unravel,” is similar to “Wayward Schemes” in that it also uses thousands of strands of flagging tape and it is a lyric from singer Beck.

The “Lights Unravel,” originally on display with a photography exhibit, is a weave of the brightly-colored strands, creating an image resembling a digital photograph taken at “high-zoom.”

The title seems to reference the image capturing charge coupled device found in digital cameras, which unravels visible light into three channels of red, blue and green.

“It’s pretty awesome,” said Eugene Maltez, an assistant at the Vincent Price Gallery. “It looks different throughout the day and it changes the gallery as a whole.”

“Lights Unravel” is the first installment of the VPG’s Inside Out series, in which installed pieces will adorn the windows of the gallery.

The title of Inside Out is a perfect fit for Geckler’s piece – the inside of a digital picture is brought out to the eye, creating an unnatural yet interesting and dynamic image.

Geckler’s installations are fascinating, but they are not stand-alone works – both pieces are intended to fit the environment that they reside in, true sculptures.

The BGFA installation is best seen as part of the Art Walk, which features similar minimalist light and space works.

The VPG sculpture worked well with the past photography exhibit and also compliments the current VPG show on radical Latin American artist Barbara Carrasco, whose work happens to symbolize the red tape of bureaucracy.

Both pieces are still works of art on their own though. There is a definite energy that comes about in seeing the two brightly colored installations—they enliven the spaces they are given.

Artist Profile:

Sculptor Megan Geckler brings her Los Angeles lifestyle to the FC campus.

“L.A. is dirty and scarier,” said Geckler. “When you are sheltered in suburbia, you don’t get to see the other side of life.”

Geckler says that she tries to incorporate the urban experiences of Los Angeles into all of her classes on campus.

“L.A. is diverse and it’s the second most important city for art in the country,” Geckler said. “[The students] need to get more familiar with it.”

Geckler resides in what “used to be a warehouse” at the Santa Fe Artists’ Colony in Downtown Los Angeles.

“It has the space and functions that I need to get my work done,” Geckler said.

Los Angeles is also home to two current exhibitions for Geckler one at East Los Angeles College and another Downtown.

FC student Andrea Birkholm was on a team that helped install Geckler’s downtown show, “Set a Course for Wayward Schemes” at Bert Green Fine Art. Birkholm took Geckler’s sculpture class at FC.

“The experience is so amazing and indescribable,” said Birkholm. “She was very rad to let us work with her.”