The annual UIUC Art and Design Faculty Exhibition at the Krannert Art Museum is an excellent way to start the school year off right. The exhibition is co-sponsored by the School of Art and Design and the Krannert Art Museum, a supportive creative collaboration within the College of Fine and Applied Arts. Artists on faculty at UIUC will showcase a wide range of work in new media, foundations, sculpture, graphic design, industrial design and metals.

In particular, the painting faculty has a very strong showing in the exhibition this time around. Exhibiting artists in painting include Laurie Hogin, Patrick Hammie, Chris Kienke, Glen Davies and Steven Hudson.

Patrick Hammie, displaying his paintings at the Krannert Art Museum, received his MFA from the University of Connecticut and is currently an assistant professor in the School of Art and Design. In 2008, he received an Alice C. Cole ’42 fellowship through Wellesley College, where he was in residence for one year and completed the project Equivalent Exchange. He has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the U.S., including Stewart Center Gallery at Purdue University, Porter Butts Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Painting Center and Drawing Center in New York. His work is also in several public collections, including the Kohler Company, the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University and the William Benton Museum of Art.

“When you consider the potential that paintings of the human figure have to reflect the values of the period in which they are produced, my work investigates the expectations built into this canonical genre, probing and dismantling the idealizing impulses that have historically shaped it,” Hammie said. “I focus specifically on constructions of gender and race, putting pressure on these categories as a means of expanding understandings of identity and reconfiguring inherited conceptions of ideal beauty and heroic nudity.”

“Contact (2014), one of two works on view in the Faculty Exhibition, is part of my recent project, Significant Other,” said Hammie. “The series presents a female and a male figure locked in a physical dialogue, hefting weight, and relocating the perceptions of ruined and objectified bodies that recall and carry on complex legacies of suffering and struggle.”

Chris Kienke, another of the artists showcased in the exhibit, has an ongoing project called Exit Six.

“I have been working with images photographed from the television screen to examine different ways that images from film and television inform the creation of an individual’s sense of identity,” Kienke said. “With the work A Lot Can Happen, on display in the Krannert Art Museum, I am building new narratives from film stills by placing them in a new sequence. The painting of these images allows me to slow them down. Removed from their original kinetic sequence of storytelling, they become objects that you can contemplate and revisit.”

Another featured artist, Glen Davies, began keeping a sketchbook in 1971 of diaries that translated daily activities into complex psycho-dramas.

“Over a period of time I learned how to transition my state of mind into a world filled with my own form of visual language,” Davies said. “This visual language has its roots in the choice of key connections that I use to relate experiences and emotions.”

“I try to find elements and objects that go beyond my personal experiences and offer an association, foundation or gut feeling to draw the viewer into the scenario.  Combinations of objects represent a visual text that links ideas, moods and emotions,” said Davies. “This method of reassembling experience into a personal visual scenario eventually made the transition into my paintings.”

Recently, Davies has began using collage elements as a way to reinvigorate his drawings, stating that he had used some of these elements before, but that they had usually been reserved for gift drawings and cards he made for friends and family.

“I have been teaching a course now for several years here that investigates collage techniques and explores the use of found objects and collage material in painting,” he said. “The more I demonstrated these techniques, the more I became interested in using them for my own work. I question the mysteries that I see in life and confront my fears by creating scenarios that visually explore this quest for answers. The act of creating helps me to overcome these fears by forging a relationship between the physical act of painting, the intellectual processes and the spiritual processes I utilize during the creation of a new work.”

The Art and Design Faculty Exhibition had a very strong turnout at its opening night on August 28, including a great number of students. Students are always engaged in the work displayed at this show, as it was often created by some of their favorite professors.

Similar to all of the galleries and exhibitions at the Krannert Art Museum, the Faculty Exhibition is open Monday through Saturday, 9 am – 5 pm. The exhibition runs through September 27.

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