Tuesday, March 15, 2016

TIGERS CREATE! Student Art on Display at MU Student Center

Mizzou students excel in many areas: sports, academics, citizenship and the arts. Two recent exhibitions highlight the creative talents of MU's students in the area of visual arts, sponsored by the MU Student Unions Public Arts Collection.

A Multi-Media 2-D Exhibition

Selections submitted by students in response to the Public Arts Collection's open "Call for Artists" populate a case in the Lower Lounge of the MU Student Center until April 1, 2016.  The call was issued at the beginning of the school year and submissions are accepted from students in any major.

The MU Student Unions Public Arts Collection accepts submissions from student artists for regular exhibitions in our public spaces. The project aims to highlight the creative abilities of the MU community and provide a forum for the public display of the results of those abilities. Submissions are requested in order to create a pool of student artists from which future temporary exhibitions can be drawn. Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis with no set deadline. Suggested themes include student life, the diversity of the MU community, interpersonal expressions of creativity, or social justice matters. Other subjects may be considered as appropriate for our viewing audience.

Students interested in submitting work for consideration should contact the Curator of Public Arts at muunionsart@missouri.edu

Mizzou Student Art, Lower Lounge of the MU Student Center until April 1
The current exhibition in the Lower Lounge case features six student artists working in a variety of forms: drawing, photography, printmaking and watercolors. Each artist provided a statement about their work addressing the subject matter and their process of making. 

Exhibition List
Karesse Wilkey, Senior, Art - Emphasis in Drawing
Untitled from Classical Trash Series
Pen and ink, watercolor on paper

John Schneider, MFA student
MU Physics Building

Darrell Cruse, Senior, Fine Arts
Soular System
Oil Pastel

Jeremy Johnson, Freshman, Business/Undeclared
Sending Rainbows
Digital Photography

Brianna Veal, Sophomore, Film Studies
Micron ink on sketch paper

Thomas B. Officer, Freshman, Business Administration
Echoes and Whispers (366 Days Series)
Digital Photography

Simon Tatum: Walking Into Town

Simon Tatum, a Mizzou junior majoring in art, is a native of the Cayman Islands. This work and two others from the same series were recently featured in the inaugural Undergraduate Visual Art and Design Showcase. Tatum based the subjects of the series on photographs he found in Cayman National Archives.  His profile has recently been featured in the Columbia Tribune and MIZZOU Magazine. His recent work was included in the Undergraduate Visual Art and Design Showcase at Jesse Hall.
In Walking Into Town, a lone woman leans on her staff for support while walking away from her secluded home. Her body seems hunched and worn from labor. Is she dressed for a market day with a kerchief covering her head in deference to the sun and a bag slung over her shoulder?  The artist’s loose, painterly style creates pockets of deep contrast between the ink and the creamy ground, suggesting the dusty textures and heat of the scene.

Simon Tatum, Walking Into Town, Collection of the Artist, Lower Lounge, MU Student Center
 Artist’s Statement 
As a young man from the Cayman Islands, my artwork focuses on the personal exploration of my people and the important elements of our history, such as migration, maritime culture, slavery, segregation and religion. My recent projects revisit old photographs from the collection of the Cayman National Archive.  I create gestural representations from these photographs by finger painting with ink media onto a frosted acetate surface. I find the photographs in the Cayman Archive collection to be a source of buried truth, indicating and supporting towards the racial dignity of the Caymanian people. I also understand that these photographs no longer contain their original authority in modern Caymanian social politics. This is why I hope to employ the episodes of Cayman history that are represented in these photographs and find a new meaning from them that can be relevant towards the country’s current sociopolitical condition. 
Furthermore, these paintings signify my ambition to create artworks that will educate both Caymanian people and others from outside cultures on the relevance of Cayman history. One of the influences for these paintings stems from essays written by John Berger and Walter Benjamin (The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction). Their essays spoke about the evolving purpose of artwork during the age of mechanical reproduction and helped me recognize the importance of the visual media when interpreting and reinterpreting the history of the Cayman Islands. My method of creating finger paintings on frosted acetate is related to the process of early film cameras which captured exposures on cellulose acetate film. Unlike the camera, I am able to make more biased decisions when interpreting the subjects of the original archive photographs. My physical, gestural marks and my research of Cayman history form a unique, personal inflection that transcends the documentary format of the photographs. My own inflection is necessary because it expresses my desire to reconnect with my history and situate it into the broader historical dialogue. - Simon Tatum, Fall 2015

The MU Student Unions Public Arts Collection supports our students in their creative endeavors. Please join us for more exhibitions in the future.

Blog post by Sarah S. Jones, Curator of Public Arts and PhD Candidate, Art History