‘Art You Step On’ shows art is everywhere

Ana Pacella/Contributing Writer

Imagination can lead to create amazing things and sometimes can be the greatest skill that anyone could have. That is how professor Thirunarayanan finds art in almost everything he sees.  Art exhibitions are constantly held at FIU libraries, Steven and Dorothea Green Library at MMC and Glenn Hubert Library at BBC. In this space, different personalities such as faculty and staff from Florida International University display their artwork. This time the artist on display is Doctor Mandayam Osuri Thirunarayanan with his exhibition “Art that You Step On.”

Osuti, or “Thiru,” as he is usually called by friends and colleagues, is originally from Madras, India, but came to the United States in 1983. He graduated from Arizona State University in 1990 with a Ph.D in Elementary Education. Dr. Thirunarayanan is currently a faculty member in the School of Education and Human Development at FIU, and teaches Educational Technologies to FIU students.

Thirunarayanan has already curated 120 pictures for his exhibition “Art That People Step On.” He also likes to refer to his art as: “Art That People Walk Over,” “Art in Unexpected Everyday Places,” and “Unnoticed Art in Common Places.” Though a large number of photographs have been collect, Thirunarayanan is planning to expand and develop it.

“I was walking one day looking to the floor, searching for a symbol of Om – a meaningful symbol for Hindu religion,” Thirunarayanan said. “But I ended up finding much more than that,” he said about how he started his new hobby.  

“I have been asked many times why am I taking pictures of the floor. It is something that I am usually doing,” said Thirunarayanan.

He also admitted that he had always been interested in photography, but that he never practiced it until a year ago when he started taking pictures of “unnoticed art,” demonstrating that it is never too late to do what we enjoy.

Attendees to the exhibition are encouraged to write down whatever they interpret or perceive from each of his pieces displayed in the exposition, since  art does not have any right or wrong answer, and perspectives might be different from the ones of Thirunarayanan.

Hoang Tran, an FIU student, visited the exhibition at BBC and commented about what he perceived in the diverse pictures from Thiru’s artwork.

“It is fascinating how simple stains and splashes can be perceived as art if you use your imagination,” said Hoang about the exhibition.

Thirunarayanan’s work was displayed in the GC Art Gallery at MMC, from July 1st to August 14th. Part of it was also exhibited in the Frost Art Museum on campus as part of the “FIU Faculty, Staff, and Retirees Art Exhibition”, held on August 22nd.

The artwork is currently exhibited in the first floor of the Glenn Hubert Library in BBC and it will remain there until Thanksgiving of this year. The Artist Reception will be held in the same place this coming Thursday, October 26th at 2:00 pm. In addition, one of his art pieces is going to be exhibited in the University President’s House until March of next year.

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