Back in May of this year, an exhibit was opened to showcase the works of the late Billy Mayer in the Kruizenga Art Museum. The exhibit features all kinds of sculptures and works from Mayer’s career as an artist. Among them, there are many abstract colors and references to popular culture with a twist.
Others feature nods to his familial history and past. In one piece, there were two portraits, side by side, of Mayer’s parents when they were children which he punctuated with two sculptures. One was an amplifier with a gun on top, and the other was what seemed to be a record player conjoined with a speed bag.The message behind the sculptures was along the lines of “innocence dies young.” The sculptures themselves are difficult to put into words and are far more admirable in person than in description alone.
The exhibit ended Saturday, September 8, with a reception in Maas Auditorium. The reception was, in the words of Charles Mason, Director/Curator at the museum, “a tribute to the personal life of Billy Mayer, featuring some of his favorite foods like barbeque and such.” As well as food and drink being provided at the reception, a video was shown in remembrance of Mayer. Mason also went on to talk about how all of the pieces in the exhibit were up for auction, with the proceeds going to a scholarship for art students at Hope in Mayer’s name. “As of September 7th,” he said, “we’ve raised $15,000 already, and we’re expecting more on the last day of the exhibit.”
It is said that memory was a huge aspect of Mayer’s works, and the exhibit is titled as such: “In Memory: The Art of Billy Mayer.” This not only describes his body of work, but it reminds us to remember and celebrate the life of a respected teacher, cherished friend and a devoted artist. Billy Mayer’s memory will continue to be cherished.