I, too, am America — round table discussion

On October 27, Mona Lee and Zoe Abbey, visited Truman State University Art Gallery to discuss their contributions to the current exhibition I, too, am America: Photographs by Kansas City Fast Food Workers, on view in the side gallery until Thursday December 1.
The two artists, who have both been employed in the fast food industry for many years, are actively involved in Stand Up KC (http://standupkc.org), an organization set up to give fast-food and retail workers a voice to speak for better working conditions, higher wages, and a union. Through their work with Stand Up KC, Lee and Abbey were drawn into the Langston Hughes Club and collaborated on this photography project with photojournalist Steve Hebert. The aim of the project was to document—from their own perspective—the conditions in which low-income workers live and work.
Both Lee and Abbey talked discussed how their and their fellow workers’ financial, personal, and social difficulties were expressed in the everyday scenes captured in this exhibition, showing among other things bare rooms, empty refrigerators, and bathtubs full of laundry. The interactive and personal discussion provided an invaluable inside perspective, showcasing exactly why the exhibition I, too, am America has caught the attention of media nationwide (http://nyti.ms/1GDn5Ld).
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Mona Lee and Zoe Abbey, who contributed to the I, too, am America exhibition, pictured with Gallery Director Heidi Cook

Fact or Fiction

(Featuring artists Brandon Anschultz, Michael Behle, and Greg Edmondson)

The second set of fall exhibition at the Truman State University Art Gallery, Ophelia Parrish 1114 are coming to a close on Friday December 2. Fact or Fiction features new work by three Saint Louis-based artists: Brandon Anschultz, Michael Behle, and Greg Edmondson.

The works of these three artists collaboratively come together to address questions concerning artistic media, patternistic logic, material reality, color, and the illusionary.

Brandon Anschultz’s works featured in the exhibition fog the border of painting and sculpture. Utilizing the paint as a physically sculptural medium, he challenges the tradition of painting and explores the effect of color on the human eye. The pieces are created to stimulate curiosity in the viewer to explore the unknown and the ambiguous. His works are inspired by elements of narratives, art historical movements like Minimalism and Constructivism, Queer culture, and personal history.

Michael Behle’s paintings on photographs question the material reality, illusionary, and the representational in art. Iconographic elements exist alongside a fascination with the human experience. His sculptural works and mix-media photographs draw a psychological reaction from the viewer, exploring common themes and narratives.

Greg Edmondson uses his art to explore the ideas of organic growth and informational coding systems. His pieces emphasize pattern and artistic technique. Edmondson’s pieces see through the process of exchanging and organizing information. He utilizes the imagination to create art and cement the importance of the scientific, in the seemly separate, but all-to-connected world of art.

#15 for Art

The Art Department’s series of short faculty presentations — 15 minutes, one professor, one work of art — continues this Thursday, October 17th, with Professor Matthew Derezinski, who teaches in the Design (formerly “Visual Communications”) program. Matt’s talk will begin at 4:45 pm in the University Gallery.

The mini lecture series was featured several weeks ago on Truman’s media network.  Talks will continue into the spring semester, with a different faculty member featured every two weeks.

Painting professor Lindsey Dunnagan to speak at “#15 for Art” on Thursday, October 20th

New Assistant Professor of Painting, Lindsey Dunnagan, is giving this week’s “#15 for Art” talk.  Come to the University Gallery on Thursday October 20th at 4:45 pm.  These images may give you a sense of her work, but come and see what she talks about on Thursday afternoon.

Professor Dunnagan has a major art series which just had its first public exhibit this past summer. Her The Journey Home Project was featured at Carneal Simmons Contemporary Art in Dallas, TX, from late July to late August, 2016.  She describes the process of creation and the work itself:the-journey-home-project

For the past year, I collected locations from people in North Texas and beyond, including various student groups and a refugee center in Dallas. Now their names and “ideas of home” have been painted onto a large-scale installation that forms a labyrinth.

As visitors walk through the painted translucent walls, they may find a location that holds significance to them while also experiencing other places that are cherished. In this way, the project presents the world as a treasure and a place to discover; it intimates a deep connection we have with each other and the planet.

Lindsey Dunnagan, The Journey Home Project, on display in Dallas, August 2016.


In addition, Lindsey Dunnagan installed a large commissioned work in Fort Worth, TX, at Store #532 of the Kroger Company.  Native Treasures is painted and drawn with watercolor, ink, salt, and acrylic on Clear Acrylic.  You can see it in Fort Worth at 5241 N Tarrant Parkway.

nativetreasures-by-lindsey-dunnaganNative Treasures, 2016, installed in Kroger store #532.

All photographs courtesy of Lindsey Dunnagan.

“New Works by Truman Faculty” Show to Close This Saturday

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The University Art Gallery’s current show “New Works by Truman Faculty,” with artwork by Laura Bigger, Amanda Breitbach, Aaron Fine, and Francine Fox, has its last day on Saturday, October 8th.  If you are interested in seeing art from our new faculty or some of the works created by Aaron Fine on his sabbatical, you don’t have much time to take a look.

As a special treat, Laura Bigger will discuss one of her works on Thursday, October 6th, as part of the Art Department’s #forArt series.  At 4:45 pm every other Thursday in the University Gallery there is a presentation from a faculty member.  A 15 minute talk, between classes on  Thursday evening.  Come hear Professor Bigger talk about her own work in front of examples of it, as one of the highlights of this week in art.

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Events You Won’t Want to Miss: Friday, April 29th

Two retirement receptions and one gallery reception.  What a way to end the semester and the year! Come join us this Friday to celebrate the end of Bob Jones’ and Jim Jereb’s careers at Truman, and the completion of the BFA degrees of three seniors.


The events start at 2 pm in the Georgian Room in the Student Union.  Come and celebrate the contributions of Professor Bob Jones to Truman and the Art Department.  The senior member of our department, Bob has taught at Truman since 1979, serving in numerous administrative positions, starting the Visual Communications program, and teaching thousands of students over the decades. fad-jonesThen at 6 pm come to the University Gallery for the reception celebrating the last gallery show of the year.

BFA posterAnd a fitting way to end the evening is the retirement reception for our printmaking professor Jim Jereb, who has been at Truman since 1990. In addition to teaching a generation of printmakers, Jim has taught a variety of courses in foundations and the university core.  He has mentored many students who were interested in learning about conservation and most recently has helped to prepare an exhibit of posters from the Great War to be displayed in the University Gallery in 2017.  Come to the Dukum Inn at 7 pm Friday and celebrate his contributions, his past, and his future.fad-jereb

 

University Gallery Features New Painting Professor

One of Ricardo Quiñónez Alemán's paintings on display in the University Gallery.

One of Ricardo Quiñónez Alemán’s paintings on display in the University Gallery.

The University Gallery is welcoming Truman State University’s new painting professor, Ricardo Quiñónez Alemán, by hosting his exhibition Within My Borders.

“I think coming in with an exhibition is great,” said Quiñónez. “It gives the students the opportunity to get to know me as an artist, not just their teacher.”

Before coming to Truman, Quiñónez spent two years conducting observational research at the southern U.S. border dividing El Paso, Texas, from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Quiñónez is from Ciudad Juárez, and wanted to go back to his roots after spending many years living and teaching in the Midwest. He spent this time at the border researching the conflicts people face at the line dividing the two nations.

“It is a study of the problematic social events that happen on the south borders relating to politics, immigration, and religion,” said Quiñónez about Within My Borders.

Quiñónez uses painting as his mode of storytelling. He said he uses a process of underpainting and glazing from the 16th and 17th centuries. He calls his work a constant experimentation and makes modifications by applying new techniques in background lighting, layering, paint thickness, and sizing. Quiñónez loves working with a paintbrush has been inspired by many artists over the years.

“Some of my inspirations include Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Frida Kahlo, and many more,” said Quiñónez. “It is possible to see other people’s influences in my work because I admire many artists.”

Within My Borders will be on display in the main gallery from January 21 to February 26. An opening reception with refreshments will be held in the University Gallery on Tuesday, January 26, at 6:00 p.m. The gallery is free and open to the public.

(This post was written by University Gallery Public Relations intern Anna Lang)

Heidi Cook (B.A. ’07) serves as Director of the University Art Gallery for 2015-2016

While Professor of Art Aaron Fine is on sabbatical this year, researching and writing about color theory, 2007 Truman graduate Professor Heidi Cook is filling in as Visiting Director of the University Art Gallery and teaching Art History courses as well – Non-Western Art, Contemporary Art, and Introduction to the Visual Arts. She writes:

I am a Truman alumna (German and Art History, ’07) and I am truly excited to be back on campus and working alongside the Art Historians who introduced me to the history of art and made me want to pursue it further. Teaching Art History is one of the coolest jobs. I get to spend my time reading, thinking, and talking about how artworks visualize important and changing social, historical and religious ideas across the globe and throughout history. My hope is always that I can begin to open students’ eyes to the power of their visual surroundings.

I am currently a PhD candidate (All But Dissertation) in the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh. My research focuses on the modern art and design of Central and Eastern Europe. Using a body of folkloric works created by Croatian-American artist Maksimilijan Vanka as a guiding thread, my dissertation explores how objects and images related to Croatian folk culture were used to imagine a variety of competing Central European identities. In February, I am chairing a panel at the College Art Association Conference in Washington, D.C., about the relationship between European folk culture and American immigrant identity titled “Old Country in the New Country: Exhibitions, Museums, and Early Twentieth-Century American Immigration.”

If you ever want to talk about modern art in Central Europe or about applying or attending graduate school, feel free to stop by my office OP 1231 or email me at hcook@truman.edu.

We are very pleased to have Prof. Cook on campus this year, and know that students in her classes are benefiting from her knowledge and enthusiasm.

Prof. Heidi Cook, her husband Brent, and Pumpkin, in Kumrovec, Croatia in front of the house where Yugoslavian dictator Josip Broz Tito was born.

Prof. Heidi Cook, her husband Brent, and Pumpkin, in Kumrovec, Croatia in front of the house where Yugoslavian dictator Josip Broz Tito was born.

Art Exhibits and Receptions This Week

The last week of classes is always busy, but it is good to get out and enjoy looking at some art.  Fortunately, there are lots of opportunities this time of year.

One of the pieces from Darrell Williams’ BFA exhibition, up in the gallery from November 30th to December 4th.

        Darrell Williams’ B.F.A. thesis show will take place in the gallery November 30 to December 4. His show includes six large (4 x 6 foot) works painted in acrylic using airbrush. Each presents an interpretation of a specific verse of the Bible dealing with the subject of spiritual warfare. Please join us for a reception Tuesday evening December 1 at 6:00 pm.
        Accompanying this BFA show, the “Strong Foundation” show in the side gallery will present faculty selections from this fall’s art student proficiency examinations.
        Elsewhere on campus. students from the Visual Communications 4 class are exhibiting in the SUB Activities Room from Wednesday night, December 2nd, to Thursday night, December 3rd.  The exhibit also will have a reception, on Thursday, December 3rd, at 7pm.
        The Visual Communications 4 class has been looking how Truman State University has been branded and deciding how they as students think it could be enhanced. Each student was given a department at random to design for as well.  The results of their work will be on display at the SUB this week.
        All these exhibits will highlight student work and give you a chance to talk with the artists.  Please come out and enjoy the art on campus.