The Athlete and the Aesthete

Collegiate wrestler Jake Harman turns into Multimedia Man

Photography teacher Eric Kronengold didn't know what to expect. As one of the oldest heads in the room, Kronengold admits he was afraid he wouldn't cotton to the type of crowd that would be there. But he leaves with an appreciation for his former student's artwork and the culture he is celebrating.

"I expected to see something good, but I'm just overwhelmed," says Kronengold. "[Harman] could probably make a coffee-table book of the content of his work for this generation. I'm an outsider to this type of culture, but it's a wholesome atmosphere. I like the energy, and the music is positive."

At 9 p.m., the 90-minute show comes to an uneventful close. Dr. Dre doesn't bum rush Harman with a blunt in one hand and a record contract in the other. Annie Leibovitz isn't there trying to woo photography secrets, either.

However, Harman has accomplished what he set out to do. He has brought the underground culture into a mainstream setting. Insiders saw a growing appreciation for their milieu, and outsiders got a peek at a rave new world.

The toughest critic in the room is Harman, who seems a bit dazed as he breaks down his equipment. He has spent almost three months obsessing over the show, and suddenly it's over.

"I wasn't pleased at all with the sound," he says. "Luckily, I was working with veterans. I seem to be the most displeased person in the room, so I guess it was okay. As long as everyone had a good time."

"The show turned out really well," says Veronica Fallis, chair of the gallery for the Memorial Union. "Usually these things are quiet, maybe with a little piano music to set the mood. We've never had a show as big as this."

Once his work comes off the walls, Harman will start thinking of a way to turn his passion for art into steady employment. He believes his skills as a photographer might be the easiest to market, but he's reluctant to limit himself to a specific field.

His career as a warrior is over, so Harman is donning all the caps that his coach asked him to drop. Photographer, music producer, filmmaker--Harman dreams of working for some multimedia company that needs a professional dabbler.

"I'm going to be doing that stuff anyway, so I might as well get paid for it."

Contact Matthew Doig at his online address: mdoig@newtimes.com

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