Demopolis: A Preview of Magic, Space, and Art


Rebecca Ou

Demi Anter’s College of Creative Studies senior art show, “Demopolis: Space//Magic//Art Show,” will feature all new work from the award-winning artist and University of California, Santa Barbara fourth-year student. Demopolis has been in the works since this fall, and it is a full-scale installation exhibit that aims to immerse the viewer in a space that the artist has transformed.

Instead of choosing to display successful pieces from the past, Anter will exhibit all new pieces. She said that she had various ideas when first thinking about the project, ranging from a playground for adults to works inspired by her idols. But, Anter said she wanted to push herself more than she would have pushed herself in the past.

“I wanted to make all new stuff,” said Anter. “If I’m going to do a senior show, I’m going to do the best senior show.”

Anter described Demopolis as a cumulation of concepts she has thought about throughout the years. However, she had never had the chance or the resources to pursue them until now.

“It’s a lot of disjointed projects that I had always wanted to do,” Anter said, smiling. She expressed how happy she was to have the chance to make her concepts come to life and have a venue in which to display them.

Anter’s installations focus largely on manipulating space. She wants her art to come close to paralleling magic.

“I want magic when I go see art. I think art has kind of a big potential to create space that seem otherworldly, or impossible,” she said.

Hanging in her workspace beside a poster of Cher were drawings of various tents. She explained that her goal was to have the projects housed within tents.

“Things that you can enter that are their own spaces really appeal to me,” said Anter. She explained that having that interactive quality distinguished her installations from the ones in a typical gallery.

“Once you walk in, it won’t feel like you’re in a gallery where everything is white and pristine,” she added.

Anter is currently working on a number of projects, one which includes the shell of a vintage, rusted blue Volkswagen Beetle. She plans to reupholster the car so that visitors can actually enter it. The VW Beetle will also be housed in a glass box rather than a tent, but Anter will be utilizing printed fabrics she designed to create a special effect.

“I hope people go in and just say…’wow,'” said Anter.

“When I go into museums, I look at something for maybe a few seconds, then move on,” she said. “I want this to be something that stays with you, something you want to be around for a long time.”

In addition to putting on Demopolis, Anter began a kickstarter campaign to help cover the cost of such a large scale project. Anter’s goal of $2,000 was surpassed by more than $50 as of press time.

“It’s been a really cool process, doing the kickstarter,” she said. “Part of the reason I’m doing the kickstarter is because I’ve never really made work that’s easy to hang on the wall…”

Anter discussed the obstacles that many artists face after leaving a college program and how it is especially difficult to sustain projects that consist of installations that don’t “go anywhere” after they are completed.

She said that oftentimes, artists like herself take pictures of their installations or find a way to get a permanent image or record of the show, because these installations are only temporary. Artists need an image out of the final project to gather resources necessary to start new projects and get other gigs.

Anter encourages people to come to Demopolis and to check out her kickstarter page.

“If you’ve ever wanted a Kanye West mug,” she said, “you should definitely check out the kickstarter.”

The show is free and open to the public, and will take place from May 27 to May 31 at UCSB’s Arts Building, Gallery 1328, with a reception May 30 from 6 to 9 p.m.