Opening Reception: Friday, June 26th 6-8pm
Exhibit Dates: June 26th – July 31st
Artist Statement: The current body of artwork exhibits my academic interests in applying mixed media techniques with non-traditional materials. With my major in studio printmaking and minor in art history, I focus on using a cross-disciplinary approach to the research and execution of my art. Combining representational drawing, painting, and printmaking methods is a way for me as a student to learn more about the process of image making. By experimenting with various forms of expression, I am able to expand my own capabilities as an artist.
The use of non-traditional materials and subject matters are intended to highlight community issues in the local area and elsewhere. The art is thus a reflection, or product of its environment. I believe that fusing found and handmade materials lends itself to the materiality of my own social and environmental surroundings. By exploring the physical texture of the various surfaces, I can understand more about relationship of overlapping layers of information within the picture plane. The interplay of the newspaper and phonebook text and layers of glazes helps advance this notion of revealing and concealing words and images. I frequently sand down specific areas to create more visually unique textures. Applying items such as coffee filters or caution tape symbolizes the universality of the human condition. Using these materials to signify the unseen social inequality in which they are associated with, certain questions of traditions and rituals arise. The juxtaposition of the material and the spiritual spheres can always be found nearby. The muted and rustic color palettes used in most of my current artwork is meant to display a more somber critique of consumerism added to the aftermath of the material lifestyle and its impact on the community that I belong to.
The architectural images are a collection of local structures from my hometown in Wood River, Illinois and neighboring towns of Roxana, Alton, Edwardsville, and St. Louis. The historical and industrial nature of these areas has always interested me. The use of water towers, refineries and bridges are references to Shell Oil Refinery and the Mississippi River which strongly influence the local economy. The repeated smoke cloud motif is a reminder of this byproduct of industrialization. I invented these images to pose deeper questions about the pollution. The human experience within these urban landscapes is a central theme throughout my artwork.