DENOUEMENT by DAVID BABOILA

February 5 – 15, 2018

Christensen Center Student Art Gallery

Artist Talk: Thursday, Feb. 15, 5:30 – 7 p.m. Christensen Center Student Art Gallery

Denouement combines photography and installation to ask questions about the notions of home and our relationship to it. Baboila depicts change in the physical context of home, moving beyond the physical space into one of emotion as he as he explores and poses questions about our memories and experiences of home.

Bio

David Baboila is an artist based out of Saint Paul Minnesota. He primarily makes photographs exploring themes of transition and vacancy. His practice stems from his formal training at Augsburg University and artistic engagement within his community of artists.

Statement

Denouement refers to the point in a literary work where the chain of events come together and the end result of the plot is made clear. This body of work started as the result of my parents marriage ending and impending sale of my childhood home. As the floors were refinished, the furniture moved out, walls repainted, carpets reinstalled, and as sentimental objects were placed into storage, I began to examine my own relationship to the physicality of home as it relates to the memories of the past.

Static, void, and sometimes violent, my images explore the physical home and why it holds emotional significance. The longing for the comfort and familiarity of a home we had or always wanted can be found in the now exposed and deconstructed spaces these images depict. As I confront this experience through this installation, the images move from the context of an objective study to a subjective reflection on our personal memories as they relate to the home.

Denouement calls into question the relationship between the physical space of home and our own emotions, memories and experiences with it. Is our memory or history defined through our experience our objects and spaces? What is the nature of our connection between memory and emotions and these physical elements of home?


Images from Exhibit

CULTURAL IDENTITY by TOU XIONG

JANUARY 22 – FEBRUARY 1, 2018

Christensen Center Student Art Gallery

Artist Talk: Thursday, Feb. 1, 5:30 – 7 p.m. Christensen Center Student Art Gallery

Cultural Roots is a series of digital portraits that explore the ways in which culture affects our upbringing and our everyday life.

Bio

Tou Xiong creates digital portraiture through the layering of photography, exposure of images, making photomontages and collaging photos. Xiong explores art through the lens of a first generation Hmong American, exploring both the Hmong culture and the American culture. Prominent themes of his works include self-identity through cultural exploration. Xiong is a Graphic Designer who will receive his BA at Augsburg University in 2018. He currently lives and works in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Statement

Cultural Identity is a series of digital portraits that explores the ways in which culture affects our upbringing and everyday life. Culture is everywhere, whether it is the language we use in our everyday life, the way we dress, the way we think and act, our religious belief, and many more. As a Hmong American, I represented a part of the Hmong culture along with six other individuals.

Adobe Photoshop is the tool used to manipulate these portraits. They consist of blending effects, photomontages, and collages. This method is used to express the characteristics of these people, showcasing different aspects of the Hmong culture. The connection digital art have with culture is a change of generation from traditional art to digital. How I relate this generation gap to the Hmong culture is the idea Hmong Americans have both agreements and disagreements with the current customs and traditions. Growing up as a Hmong American, there are morals and values we learned from the culture of American society which conflicts with some of the Hmong customs and traditions and vice versa.

My artwork is inspired by Marumiyan, a Japanese graphic artist, and Minjae Lee, a Korean artist. These artists work with portraits and incorporates nature into their portraits. Their style really intrigues me as I would recreate it with my current artstyle. All of these ties back to culture as culture is always changing. The influence of another person’s work changes one’s own work. I have experienced several forms of art which includes drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, and digital art. My style of artwork has changed throughout the years working with art, from traditional drawing to digital art. Change is necessary for one to learn and grow from throughout their journey of finding oneself.

Throughout my experience here at Augsburg University, I have discovered more about my own self-identity. I have grown interest in learning more about my own cultural background and why it is important to learn about one’s own culture. As people look around the gallery, I want people to think about their own cultural identity when they see my work.


Images from Exhibit

BUILDING BLOCKS by GLEN GARDNER

JANUARY 22 – February 1, 2018

Christensen Center Student Art Gallery

Artist Talk: Thursday, Feb. 1, 5:30 – 7 p.m. Christensen Center Student Art Gallery

Using stacked stone structures, Gardner’s work strives to show a connection that exists between the human world and the natural world while incorporating his submersion into adulthood.

Bio

Glen Gardner is a multi-media artist who is currently finishing up his last year in Augsburg Studio Art Program. He has taken up a focus on how humans interact with the environment, while expressing this with 3D media. His art focuses on bringing the audience to have an emotional connection to the natural and human world.

Statement

Growing up, I did a lot of hiking. A common character on these hikes were cairns, human-made structures of short, deliberately stacked rocks, and I was fascinated with them. Since then, I have come to believe that they are much more than just piles of rocks. On a functional level, these cairns of my early life served the purpose of marking a pathway where a trail didn’t exist. The instructions were simple: play a game of connect-the-dots with the stone piles. But they did something more. They showed me that I could be an architect in a human world. The simplicity of the forms, along with the abundance of material, encouraged these natural sculptures. I also began to realize that, because these stones had been exposed to the natural world, the materials gained a very intricate but consistent aesthetic. The processes of erosion effectively put thousands of years of work into these rocks, and the fact that similar rocks will be in the same place creates the ingredients for an interesting sculpture. By combining these natural processes with a human architect, and then performing this in a location that has been developed by nature for years and years and years, a cairn becomes a piece of art. Upon moving to Minneapolis, I noticed that the cairns I was seeing were taking a much different form. Before, they were used to mark a path, but in the Twin Cities this was much less needed. Instead, cairns here seem to mark a space for people, showing that a destination had been reached. They also spoke to the human compulsion to create and build. There have been several times at Hidden Beach when people just stacked rocks for whatever reason.

For my art, I wanted to recreate a feeling of entering a natural space in an unnatural setting while evoking childlike wonder among the participants. As I began this journey, I started to realize that these forms need to allow the natural world in. Unfortunately, I was lacking the time to erode materials for years and years, so I decided to leave a lot of forms up to chance. This meant that I would try to manipulate the form’s aspects as minimally as possible and allow the material to speak for itself. I began to see each stone that I made as a building block used to create a larger form. The results were these large and heavy spinal forms that could not be self-supported. The results were not jovial; they speak to me as a visual representation of me drifting away from the child inside, but still keeping those experiences in my heart.


Images from Exhibit

Structures of Support by Katie Hargrave

Structures of Support

Structures of Support

August 18 – October 3, 2015

Gage Family Art Gallery & Christensen Center Gallery

 

Take the survey here: http://www.wearethethinktank.org/structures-of-support-survey/

Artist statement:

The Think Tank that has yet to be named is a social practice and artistic research studio. We initiate research, conversations, and actions that explore contemporary sociopolitical issues in the places where we encounter them. Whether physical sites, institutional structures, or social systems, we address these contexts as manifestations of models and metaphors that inescapably impact our lives. We draw on our experience with direct action, participatory design, action research, and community organizing to create generative spaces where strategic questions are invitations to others to consider their relationship to the places, structures, and systems which shape our individual and collective experiences of the world.

Continue reading “Structures of Support by Katie Hargrave”