GOING DOWN SOUTH by MAX BRAY

Going Down South:
Music and Cultural Production on the Mississippi River

SEPTEMBER 10 – 27, 2018

Christensen Center – Gallery 720

Artist Talk: Thursday, September 27, 5:30 – 7 p.m. Christensen Center – Gallery 720

We often think of water as a resource, and the river as a tool that aids us in production and industry––barges loaded with cargo traveling from the Great Lakes region to the Delta. But the Mississippi River has also proven to be one of our most potent sources of cultural production. Along its banks, through each state it touches, artists influenced by the river have created some of America’s most powerful and timeless music.

THE ILLUSION OF LIFE by KOLE STILLWELL

APRIl 9 – 19, 2018

Christensen Center Student Art Gallery

Artist Talk: Thursday, April 19, 5:30 – 7 p.m. Christensen Center Student Art Gallery

The Illusion of life mixes acrylic paint with digital art, analyzing how storytelling can be the means to better understanding the human condition.

Statement

Famed director, illustrator, animator Hayao Miyazaki suggests ( in the article The idea-the origin of everything) that a story doesn’t truly start with a story being made, it begins with the experiences we have stored up in our lives. “ The stories and original work- even initial project planning-are only triggers.Inspired by that trigger, what rushes forth from inside you is the world you have already drawn inside yourself, the many landscapes you have stored up, the thoughts and feelings that seek expression.”

Kohba merges digital illustration and design to express the emotions that defined the estrangement from my father. The story follows Kohba, A young wolf cub, who in the midst of being deserted by his father, must decide if he will fall into anger or accept the reality of what has come to be. Dealing with themes of abandonment, anger and regret, this body of work uses, color, landscape and character to explore the flaws of the human condition while also showing storytellings significance as a form of expression and communication in society.


DESIRE TO EXPLORE by KEEYONNA FOX

MARCH 26 – APRIL 5, 2018

Christensen Center Student Art Gallery

Artist Talk: Thursday, April 5, 5:30 – 7 p.m. Christensen Center Student Art Gallery

Desire to Explore is a series of digital collages that invite the viewer to examine daily busyness. By exploring regular routine, Fox asks if there is more to life than the schedules we create.

Statement

Through reflection and making these pieces, I began to see the routine of life that can put restrictions on new experiences. Exploration starts a journey one may take to an unfamiliar place or a familiar place they have been but didn’t explore and learn from those experiences. The range of ideas flows naturally based on past and present events. These events are created by cultural knowledge of what is going on in today’s society or what has happen in the past.  As I began preparing for this show, I came up with so many ideas that they could not all be expressed in one show. I didn’t know what I would do or how it was going to happen, but suddenly it hit me like a burst of water hitting my face as I got ready for the day. Everyone has a routine in the morning to start the day. This routine of work, school, social media, and entertainment are what I think of as busywork or distractions for today’s society; it is something we consume regularly. You may not know whom to blame, but it has been regularly becoming more ingrained for decades and will be an ongoing practice that frankly will be hard to break. As I look at my work, I notice my pieces reflect what is happening or what happened in my life whether it was with my own experience or listening and learning from others. This time around, I wanted to change; I wanted to look at what could be possible, to see what we as humanity could do without an institutionalizing society. I desire to explore more.

I have been drawing for as long I can remember. I would even draw my favorite cartoon characters with my little brother. Throughout my life, I have wondered. My wonders became daydreams and my daydreams became reflections. As I get older, these became my art pieces. DESIRE TO EXPLORE has been my favorite wondering. I wondered what life would be like if no one had to work or attend school; what would society look like? What kind of person will I be? Although I know I am hardworking and I do love school and work, I question if there is more? One day knowing I could leave and walk without a location in mind would be a dream come true. As I walk, I would begin an authentic journey learning about today’s society. I would not only learn something new about myself but also about the environment, the human condition, and how everything connects. I feel I would begin a journey connecting with the earth using my senses to explore the universe. I remember as a kid looking at the lines in the blinds. They appeared to be moving or lying on the ground, and, as I looked up into the sky, I began to feel as if I was floating. DESIRE TO EXPLORE is a series of digital collages that reflect my longing to capture my senses and walk into the universe using photography and drawings. However, DESIRE TO EXPLORE isn’t just for me. It questions the sense of reality and if there are multiple realities to explore.  A reality where people might find their true selves and connect to the universe.