A new exhibit, “Visual Vernacular, Icons and the Handcrafted Book,” is being showcased in MTSU’s Todd Art Gallery through Friday, March 22.
Billed as explorations of materials and book forms printed by hand, the exhibit features new Department of Art faculty members Andrew Kosten, Kathy O’Connell and Ashley Hairston representing the art areas of printmaking, book arts and graphic design, respectively.
Also included in the exhibit is the invited work of some of the trio’s contemporaries and associates, including Brandon Sanderson, Matt Hopson-Walker and Amos Kennedy.
“Throughout its all-too-often tragic history, humanity has turned to the comical, the bizarre and the extraordinary to maintain a sense of lightheartedness,” Kosten said of the new exhibit, noting that art has responded to the “human condition” with “the most challenging and engaging critiques of human behavior.”
O’Connell’s “Mixtura” represents the “Handcrafted Book” portion of the exhibit and is a food-inspired international book arts project that includes Taller 72, an independent arts studio in Lima, Peru, and a total of 16 artists through an MTSU Access and Diversity Grant.
The “Mixtura” artists represent a wide diversity of nations, including France, Japan, Romania and South Korea, in addition to Peru and the United States.
Hairston’s work from her Masters of Fine Arts thesis, “The Space Between,” will also be on display.
She noted that the piece “is a means of translating the personal into public for conceptual action and art. … My work concerns itself with the tension of a personal sense of identity that conflicts with cultural expectations and how that affects and limits personal and relational mobility.”
Sanderson, an assistant professor of art at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, teaches multiple levels of drawing and all levels of printmaking, including intaglio, lithography and woodcut.
He describes his “Denizens Series (Folly of Post-Literacy)” as etchings that explore human folly with characters that are “absurdly constructed of mechanical and organic elements. Just like many people, they are unaware of an awkward and ill-conceived nature.”
Hopson-Walker played in a band after receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Kansas City Art Institute, but completed his Masters of Fine Arts degree at the University of Iowa five years later and has since placed work in collections at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the University of North Dakota Art Collection in Grand Forks and the Tama Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan.
He currently teaches at the College of the Sequoias and California State University at Fresno.
Todd Art Gallery exhibitions are always free and open to the public. The gallery is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and is closed on state and university holidays.
For more information, including parking and directions, contact Eric Snyder, director of the Todd Art Gallery, at 615-898-5653 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.mtsu.edu/art.