FEBRUARY 19 – MARCH 1, 2018

Christensen Center Student Art Gallery

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

Beyond The Eyes is a series of photographs documenting three uniquely different African-American women. Inspired by the strong women that surrounded her as she grew up and the cultural intersection of Somali-American, the artist explores the identities that we create and their perspectives on the world around them.


Hani Mire is a digital illustrator and photographer based in Minneapolis inspired her projects that focus on community. She is currently working on her Beyond the Eyes senior show. She is anticipating her BA in Studio Art from Augsburg University.


My inspiration comes from my own personal background,especially growing up around strong women and as well as being young a Somali-American who grew up at the intersection of two different cultural viewpoints. Growing up with polar opposite cultures, I’m always finding a way to balance these two different worlds. My identity is an important role that shaped me into who I am as a person today.

Throughout my work, I focus on documenting three uniquely African-American women. I go along on their journey, and I explore my subjects through the lens of a Somali-American woman with a series of portraits and smaller images of each person’s viewpoint. My first subject sees her surroundings, including possessions, to be the most important to her. She brings a glimmer of her artistic upbringing everywhere she calls home. She sees the world through a creative mindset which has always led her to be aware of the world. My second subject uses her makeup sets of foundations and brushes to bring joy into her life. She is motivated to find new ways to be creative but also keep her natural features intact. My third subject finds her faith to be the most important thing in her life. She balances a world of influence with always keeping in mind where she wants to head in life. These three individuals demonstrate not only identity but a statement of being.

I am motivated to continue capturing individuals with complex backgrounds within overlooked communities. I want to show the world not only what they are dealing with in cultures very different from their own but that they are mixing the best of both worlds to make an identity of their own. Each individual uses what they find important to shape their own reality to depict their own understanding of their identity. I’ve followed my three subjects on their journey of finding their own identity, and my goal for this project was to discover how our identity plays a role in our perspective of the world.

images from exhibit



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.


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.


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



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.


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.


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