JONESBORO – "Eclectic" opens Thursday, Oct. 4, at Bradbury Art Museum in Fowler Center on the campus of Arkansas State University.
Included in the exhibition are the works of six artists who work in a variety of materials, styles and approaches. Featured are Teresa Cole, Jed Jackson, Tom Lee, Mario M. Muller, Hans Schmitt-Matzen and David Sullivan. Guests will enjoy the opening reception from 5 until 6:30 p.m.
Providing diverse, quality exhibitions has long been one of Bradbury Art Museum’s objectives, noted Les Christensen, director of the museum. BAM exhibitions typically include individual artists or groups of artists whose work is based on a single theme.
"Eclectic foregoes the concept of themes altogether, with each of the six galleries featuring disparate types of art ranging from the use of neon to handmade paper, realistic representation to abstract animation, and installation art to traditional oil painting," she explained.
"Eclectic" continues through Wednesday, Nov. 7.
Papermaker and printmaker Cole, from New Orleans, creates beautiful, patterned works. Her decorative designs, influenced by various cultures, speak to our shared human desire to embellish and adorn.
In a statement of her work Cole says, “I manipulate pattern to explore issues of power, unravel the past, and as a mode to interpret our complicated world. Through the use of repetition, and the representation of space (both shallow and deep), I utilize optics as an agent of seduction to trace cultural expressions within the visual world. Relationships are formed between abstraction and representation, the simple and the complex, and ultimately the viewer and the viewed.”
Memphis artist Jackson, whose work is on display in Vaughn Gallery, paints scenes of people being people. Often humorous, sometimes unsettling, his paintings are beautifully crafted depictions of what it is to be human.
Jackson comments, “Over the years my paintings have coalesced around two dominant concerns. First, the creation of images which mine history and culture for meaningful metaphors, critique and commentary. Second, the continuing development of techniques, although traditional in inception, stretch the possibilities of representation as a contemporary aesthetic practice.”
Sculptor and installation artist Lee handcrafts intricate, labor intensive objects that he juxtaposes to form new meaning. In this exhibition, on view in Windgate Gallery, he creates a fanciful environment where hand-sewn creatures preside over delicate, lacey, paper cutouts, which in turn protect and form a barrier for sturdy, carved wooden columns.
Lee said, “Tinkering is a good word for my general studio practice, sometimes to get an idea going and sometimes to hunt for a way to solve a problem. I don’t have a systematic method of working, or a process I consciously use to create.” He continues, “I get started by resisting all the expectations in my head, and there are many, and allow accidents, play and imagination to lead wherever.”
Muller, who lives and works in Los Angeles, is an artist, writer and curator. His powerful black and white portrayals of objects and people will be shown in Kays Gallery. These minimal ink drawings impart just enough visual information to illuminate the viewer.
Muller explains his approach by saying, “Looking at my work you might suspect that I suffer from a case of heliotropism. And you would be correct. Light, and most notably the absence of light, has been at the core of my artistic raison d’être for the past 30 years.” He continues, “I dismiss feature in favor of form. Shadows and silhouettes define the beauty, grace and balance of my observed world.”
Nashville artist Schmitt-Matzen will exhibit dramatic neon drawings in Stella Boyle Smith Gallery. The artist explains, “Several years ago, I began translating the drawings made by my two young sons into larger wall sculptures. The sustained process of deciphering my children’s innate language of marks allows me to discover shared aspects of the human condition and fosters a deeper understanding of what they think and feel.”
Sullivan, who lives and works in New Orleans, is represented by his animation titled "Editor." This commanding video projection is accompanied by audio composed by Chris Owen. Their collaboration is at once dramatic and compelling.
Sullivan enigmatically discusses his work by stating, “From nothing, comes something. Things arise, evolve and reach out. Often, they are cut down, squelched or distorted. But constantly they come back, changed and different, striving to be called into existence.”
BAM hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, noon to 7 p.m. on Thursday, noon to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, and by appointment. The museum is closed on Monday and when the university is not in session. Fowler Center is at 201 Olympic Dr.
The exhibition and the reception are admission-free and open to the public. For additional information about the exhibition and upcoming events and workshops one may visit BradburyArtMuseum.org or contact the museum at (870) 972-3471.
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