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“Perception” exhibition on display at Looking Glass Gallery

BOONE—“Perception,” an installation work of artist Rachel Ginder, is on display through Feb. 5 at Appalachian State University’s Looking Glass Gallery. Ginder is a senior psychology and art major.

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A reception for the show will be held Feb. 1 from 6-7 p.m. in the gallery located on the first floor of Plemmons Student Union. The public is invited.

Life’s experiences shape the human view of the world. In “Perception,” Ginder creates a space that mimics a child’s play tent in which viewers are encouraged to step away from traditional notions of art and view the work with child-like wonder and curiosity.

Through her playful, fabric-filled space, Ginder depicts subjects that once inspired fear in her own life. “I use play as a means of finding comfort in my fears, in the things I cannot face. By making toys out of the things I fear, they become controllable. If I can control them, they cannot hurt me,” she said.

Those who interact with the space do not simply look at the work. They play within the world she has built. As viewers make their way through the tent, stepping into a woodland scene filled with animals, walking along a train track, or becoming engulfed in a deep sea scene, there is no worry of the unknown or uncontrolled. Instead, the space becomes a playground where fear is replaced with joy.

“This installation is about turning back the clock and making a new memory to replace my past ones,” Ginder said. “This time will be different because I make it different. I will defeat all my fears and make them feel safe.”

Ginder’s exhibit is her thesis project for honors recognition in the Department of Psychology and Department of Art, and university honors from The Honors College. Looking Glass Gallery will be used during the exhibition as a space for a psychological study Ginder has connected to the work. Ginder hopes to explore the effect that play has on stress reduction.

Looking Glass Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Sunday from noon – 10 p.m. Gallery admission is free. For more information, visit