Art Department, acrylic and ink on paper, 60" x 80", 2009
Spectacle Spectacular: Art Department
I teach at a public university where I am an Associate
Professor and the Foundations Coordinator. My job allows
me to be continually in conversation about art with my
students and colleagues. Since my teaching is specifically
focused in the area of foundations (introductory classes
that address the elements and principles of 2-D and 3-D
design), I find that not only am I often preoccupied with the
signifying power of abstract or representational forms
within their given context, but also with the internal
mechanics of art and object creation.
The works on this page are biographically inspired by my
collegial life in the department in which I work. In my
experience, within an art department, one finds highly
creative and competitive individuals who attempt to function
as a productive collective. Everyday actions can be read
as political and posturing gestures. Sometimes there are
veiled jealousies. And often the agendas of each individual
are highly impassioned endeavors, which makes identifying
any central aim within the department “swamp” difficult.
Faculty retreats intended to define and create a mission
statement can feel like “herding cats.”
“Are we building something or tearing something down?” is
the question asked in my large orange painting Art
Department. The figures are composed as a group that is
not whole or together. Instead of straightforward portraiture,
the figures and their gestures function as symbolic forms
with regard to their identities and their meaning to me:
friend, foe, or bystander. The process of creating such
works has been cathartic, and they express my feelings as
these relate to the jealousy, competition, and power within a
group dynamic of artists who are also professors and
Art Department details from clockwise from top: 1. Detail of painting, 2. Detail of painting, and 3. Detail of
painting, 4. Detail of painting, and 5. Work in progress during a summer residency at the Vermont Studio
Center. Each image is a thumbnail, click on them to see the images in greater detail.
All of the images on this page are thumbnails, please click on the thumbnails of each work below to view a larger, full screen image.
Exhibition installation shot, Day Job exhibition, New York, NY.
recent studio work about Ramón y Cajal.
Visit dawnhunterart.blogspot to see the
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