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Paradox and Conformity

Works by Richard Deon

Exhibition: January 15 - February 15

Gallery Reception:January 16, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

 

Artist Statement:

What is the deal with these paintings?

Defacement

While fretting over delayed textbooks, my seventh grade social studies instructor unknowingly issued me a peculiar American History textbook. When I opened it, I discovered that a student from a prior generation had defaced the illustrations with a ballpoint pen. Mustaches and eyeglasses were drawn on portraits of historical figures; warplanes and speedboats were added to landscapes like the Boston Tea Party. Delighted with this unexpected comic book, I took editorial control and began extending the illustrations into the margins by adding buildings and creating new scenes--my personal Manifest Destiny. Within a few weeks, I was disciplined and issued a clean textbook, a bill, and a stern warning.

Boot Camp

The narrative of history is always being transformed. As an art student of the late 70s, I was exposed to a predominantly progressive faculty who used Marxist critical theory. Their process of deconstruction was applied to the study of American History and to the visual arts as well. I began using the process without the dogma, and realized that a partial narrative out of its original context creates a kind of social surrealism--an absurd record.

The Story Goes On

Using a based-on-precedent policy over the last 25 years, I have created a body of work much like the defaced illustrations of my formative years. Commentary is suggested; visual information is repeated; point of view is obfuscated. The resulting compositions are truly mixed messages--which speak or don't speak--for themselves.

 

Gallery of Works:

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Artifacts of Matrimony

Works by Mary Weidner and the MACC Alumni Museum

Exhibition: August 28 - September 28

Gallery Reception: September 7, 2:00-7:00 p.m.

 

Artist Statement:

Mary Weidner: Statement on the Work for Matrimony

My work focuses on the complex dynamics of our most fundamental social unit, the family. This is the unit that forms and molds, provides for and provokes; the unit that is applauded and maligned, idealized and disparaged. While sociologists may analyze the changing nature of family, and politicians expound upon family values, I am more interested in examining the shared histories, intimacies and layers of emotion, which form our understanding of family. Interpersonal and psychological dynamics have often been addressed in literature with the written word. As a visual artist, I employ the medium of paint to probe the uniquely personal and inherently universal experiences of familial life. The pieces take the form of individual paintings, multiple panel narratives, and mixed media installations, all of which serve to chronicle life’s passages, its quandaries, and the repetitive patterns of behavior that link generations. Images selected for this exhibit: Garnet and Jim, The Wedding and Daddy Had a Purple Heart particularly address the various meanings we assign to the term matrimony, as the act of marrying, the state of being husband and wife, or married life.

 

Gallery of Works:

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The Evidence of Being

Works by Erin Wiersma

Exhibition: October 6 - November 4

Gallery Reception: October 14, 12:00-2:30 p.m.

 

Artist Statement:

Figuration has consistently been the foundation of my paintings. My practice as an artist has progressed from observing the tangible human form of another, to the physical representation of myself in relationship to the paper, to expressing the emotional and intangible aspects that make up my being. When I paint, I seek to maintain a meditative-like state in which I'm present and in the moment, experiencing what T.S. Eliot calls "a still point of the turning world." Freed from ordinary time in this way, I give myself a place where I can ask questions and search for assurance; with large surfaces to paint on, engaging the scale of my whole body, I'm able to use my physical energy and manipulate materials to see beyond myself, to catch a glimmer of something powerful and ineffable. Tracing my body's movements, I generate a language of marks across the surface of the paper, leaving physical evidence of my presence, residues of energy transcribed over time as lyrical passages and encountered again in the present. Observing this score of bodily gestures, I discover a confluence of the spiritual and the material.

 

Gallery of Works:

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The Postcard Show

Works by Kristin Carlson

Exhibition: September 8 - September 30

Gallery Reception: September 28, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

 

Artist Statement:

Kristin Carlson: Statement on The Postcard Show

Last year I embarked on a five-month project called Large Letters, Small Signs as part of my MFA thesis in Printmaking. At the outset of the project I chose four people whose friendship was important to me and mailed each person a handmade box (image 1). My goal over the next five months was to fill each person’s box with letters (image 2) and postcards (images 3–4) that served as both personal communications and as visual artworks. The original mailed pieces have been displayed as artifacts in the gallery setting, and as archival digital prints that composite multiple pieces into new visualizations (images 5–10).

My activity was based on the notion of art as correspondence—between people, over time. The metaphor is not new. But by making the metaphor literal—by using the visual and verbal relationships inherent in the art-making process to correspond with both friends and strangers—my work attempted to reveal structures and dynamics of that correspondence, and to elicit an instance of art's gift economy folding back upon itself. Many pieces become more artifact than artwork because the intersection I worked to produce in making them first occurred when recipients received the works, as a gift, via the postal service. By displaying these pieces in the gallery I hope the experiences I occasioned in giving them as gifts produce similarly resonant experiences for the viewer, i.e. a correspondence that is simultaneously public and personal, self-conscious and accidental.

In addition to showing my correspondence-inspired pieces, I propose instigating a collaborative work at the Moberly College Gallery that invites the response of viewers through their own writing and/or drawing. I recently gave a paper called Words Become Images: Visual, Verbal, and Gestural Brainstorming in the College Classroom (see resume), demonstrating that the physical act of mark-making—either through handwriting or drawing or both—can intensify the creative and critical-thinking process. Based on this research, my collaborative piece would ask viewers to react to an initial instigator-artwork, which would be a printed piece produced in multiple and displayed in both its original form and its altered contributor-manifestations. The specifics of such an artwork, created specially for the Moberly College Gallery, would be based on detailed knowledge of the gallery and its attendees, and would result from discussion between the gallery director and myself.

The collaborative piece is an opportunity to draw-in viewers and show them the value of the creative process—to learn by doing rather than just looking. For a gallery with educational programming, it might also offer students a more structured and prolonged learning experience, and give them an opportunity to correspond with a practicing artist who lives in another part of the country. I am open to the possibility of coordinating the collaborative piece with a specific group of students and initiating a correspondence that travels back and forth multiple times. This offers the possibility of a gallery component that will change from week to week, capturing viewers’ attention for more than one visit.

I look forward to the possibility of showing my work in the college’s gallery, and, if it is of interest, discussing a new piece that will allow me to collaborate with students and other viewers in the Moberly College Gallery.

Gallery of Works:

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Kaleidoscope Garden

Works by Jill Parisi

Exhibition: January 12 - February 10

Gallery Reception:January 13, 12:00-3:00 p.m.

 

Artist Statement:

I create imaginary botanical and zoological species. The study of texts and direct observation of flora and fauna serve as a basis for my invented plants and animals. Then through the use of translucent handmade paper, printmaking, and drawing techniques, I fabricate petals, animal skins, and various shapes and forms that bring to mind life forms of the earth, sea, and sky.

 

The individual elements that comprise my work begin as two dimensional prints and drawings. Employing precise hand cutting, hand coloring and pyrographic techniques, I transform the components sculpturally, or interpret them digitally as designs for translation into glass or other media. The resulting works are introduced into gallery settings; each time that I install each piece, it takes on a slightly different form in response to a new habitat, by turns mimicking paper ecosystems or museum specimens.

 

Sometimes the pieces that I create are used as components for large installations that react to viewer proximity, fluttering in response to the air currents within an interior space, the outdoors, or the movements of passers by. The effect attests to the universe’s constant state of flux, making the pieces very much alive in their movement and relationship to local environs. This aspect intends both a spontaneous whimsy and to cause the viewer to slow down to observe the details of the work, a brief respite from our fast-paced, screen based lives.

 

Gallery of Works:

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