Meet the art student who created a moving cardboard chair
(Posted Dec. 24, 2018)
Jeremy Vega utters the phrase often: “I kinda went a bit overboard.”
The Austin Peay State University art student used a version of the phrase to describe a robot he built entirely with cardboard: “I kind of went over.”
And he wrote those exact words on Instagram to describe the panda he 3D-printed for a friend: “Someone wanted me to draw a 2D panda playing the cello, so I was like, ‘All right,’ but I kinda went a bit overboard and made it in the next dimension.”
Though his friends and classmates might avoid “overboard” when describing his art, they say he takes his class assignments to the “next level.”
“I like to go the extra mile,” Vega, a sophomore who graduated from Northeast High in Clarksville, said. “I like to challenge myself with my ideas.”
THE ROLLING CARDBOARD CHAIR
The assignment for the Foundations Studio II art class – if not the actual work – was simple: “Make a chair from cardboard that you can sit in,” Vega said.
That set Vega’s mind in motion: “What would be really cool that everyone likes that they wouldn’t do? I wanted to put moving parts on mine, to make it work.
As he puts it, the chair took “lots of hours and dedication.”
“I even burned myself in the process while also cutting myself accidentally countless of times,” Vega said.
The chair has a spinning umbrella, a steering feature, pedals and, of course, wheels. The chair rolls and turns.
He also made a paper robot for the class.
“You put the battery in here (the head), and you crank it, and the battery ends up down here,” in the robot’s belly.
At the end of the class, Vega realized he likes to make art people can interact with.
“I noticed all my artwork for this class was something that someone could use in some way,” he said.
‘ART IS MY PASSION’
Vega wasn’t always this open about his art.
“Before college I wasn’t social at all, I was very alone, antisocial, so I didn’t have anyone to show my ideas, but here I can show my work and see their reactions, and that makes me want to create more.”
The change has been dramatic. He had never dressed up extravagantly for Halloween, for example, until this year.
Vega was the big man on campus on Halloween day, strutting around Austin Peay as “The Mask,” popularized by Jim Carrey’s 1994 starring movie role. Vega created his mask from scratch.
“I did some sketches up to college, nothing extraordinary,” he said. “When I got here, I wanted to use the resources. I feel like I’m pretty lucky to have this art department.”
“Art is my passion, above anything, above math, above science,” Vega said. “I really like it when someone sees my work and are, ‘Oh, my gosh, that’s so cool!’”
TO LEARN MORE
For more about APSU Art + Design, visit https://www.apsu.edu/art-design/.