Benjamin Mohr

“Part of what I’m after is  [. . .]  trying to take the very simple and the very ordinary and make them extraordinary,” says Charles Matson Lume, professor of Art and Design at the University of WisconsinStout, in regards to his sabbatical exhibition “I Do Not Have To See In Order to Believe.”


Taking a minimalistic approach to his work, Lume’s art makes use of simple, lustrous forms to demonstrate the reflective and illuminating qualities of light. Strategically placed to catch the gallery lighting, Lume’s various installations cast many interesting shapes and designs about the room in a manner that causes the experience of viewing the exhibit to be a truly unique one.

The aesthetically-pleasing aspects of the exhibit aside, there is a central aspect to Lume’s work that can be fully realized only after one has visited the exhibit several times. As light changes due to the constant motion of the sun, so too does the experience of viewing change with each subsequent visit.


Depending on the time of day, one may experience certain reflections and phenomena of light that are not always present. This change will be undiscovered until one visits the exhibit several times throughout the day. As viewers experience this luminescent change in the exhibit, they may witness a change in how they think about it, a change which Lume hopes will “keep opening up in the viewer something really surprising or unexpected.”

In this regard, Lume considers his installations to be partially metaphorical. Interested in the interplay between belief and doubt, Lume hopes that viewers have questions after viewing “I Do Not Have To See In Order to Believe,” and that viewers “affirm experiences that they have in life and maybe question those experiences.”
“I Do Not Have to See In Order to Believe” will be on display in the Furlong Gallery from March 6 to April 1.

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