Catherine G. Murphy Gallery
College of St. Catherine
Juried Senior Exhibition
April 25 – May 18, 2003
has had a considerable influence on my work as an artist.
Like music, visual art has the ability to transform one's
mood, and change the way we perceive our surroundings as well
as ourselves. It is this altered state of mind that makes
me want to create.
At left: Sure
I began this journey at the College of St. Catherine, I had
no vision for what would be encountered along the way or even
that it would take me down the road of studio art. It is a
pleasure to recall the path taken, and also to rest in the
shelter of this journey's destination. What I see looking
back over the body of work created during my academic career
is a search to find my voice, a stronger identity. I now recognize
a presence in my work and, over time, a voice that has became
a little stronger, a little more confident. Initially this
voice was a delicate fragile thread, but as it was spun together
with each new thread, it has become a substantial cord. In
turn, this cord will provide strength to every new thing it
is woven into. I see my search for 'groundedness', which has
grown into an expression of my organic nature and universal
energy. This work now feels like it is a genuine statement
with a personal investment. It has become an expression and
revelation of my identity. I must remind myself frequently
to trust my instincts, not give up, and to take courage as
my voice continues to strengthen … and encounters the
At left: earth Prtraits
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Art became a podium for me to tackle diverse issues such as
nature, family, current and historical events, power and violence
to beauty and spirituality. Art emerged as a vehicle for my
voice, once long suppressed and oppressed, to finally find
its freedom and to invite others to join in the process of
seeing and exploring art as a way to tell our stories, explore
cultures and folklore, voice our opinions, mourn our losses
and celebrate life's victories.
I add abstract images to create a story through creative
interaction with the viewer. Placing paradoxical objects together
in an attempt to call attention to existing reality, historical
and whimsical figures and spiritual issues creates tension.
The weaving of these elements with the original image allows
me to make connections that create an enlivened composition
with active positive and negative space. I explore the use
of color to dramatize the mood I hope to invoke in the final
prints. This merging of the realistic with the abstract creates
a new paradigm where imagination and creativity meet and new
possibilities are allowed to emerge each time the work is
contemplated therefore never allowing the work to become stagnate.
Using this methodology allows me to express my vision while
opening and challenging viewers to discover their own.
At left: Indian Lore
is my sin, my sex before marriage. It is creating something
beautiful under moral disapproval. It is becoming woman. Like
sin, I make art because everyone I meet does not assume it
of me. I make art to fight against the saintliness of my dimpled
smile and to command the attention my soft voice is not able
to obtain. Art is my exploration of personal growth, leaving
youth and entering adulthood. There is a sense of play and
childhood whimsy in my work mixed with the sense of embraced
femininity. My work takes many forms. I create large metal
and wood sculptures to contradict the typecast of gender.
I make works of fabric and needle-work to do just the opposite.
I choose mediums that want me to challenge their customary
treatment. Strong steel that desires organic curves. Smooth
fabric pleads with me for tension. I give them what they want.
Art is my sin, my sex before marriage and I am a proud offender.
At left: Untitled
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work in this show is a representative sample of different
visual themes I have investigated in the past two years while
attending the College of St. Catherine. Some themes relate
directly to art history but always carry a deeply personal
theme of spiritual connection to the past and present. Other
themes, specifically related to my photography, relate to
moments of time that are unnoticed or just outside of action.
At left: Sacred Series: Quad
an artist, I experiment with work that is both tangible and
intangible, both physical and virtual - work that connects
both my real world and my spiritual world. I work with two-dimensional,
three-dimensional and digital art and with that attempt to
move the technological world closer to the natural /organic
world. I am currently pursuing the creation of artist books,
both three-dimensional and virtual that continue to grow and
morph into objects that have the intention of moving a viewer
through an organic and intuitive experience rather than a
jarring, unreal and industrial experience.
At left: Naturally
have always considered good artists to be those who question
both themselves and their work. The questions I ask and incorporate
in my work as a Native American artist have to deal with my
membership of a sovereign nation and the effect this has on
my relationships with others. I work specifically with my
friends and family as my subjects, and while I document their
lives I am simultaneously trying to make connections and explain
my own life. All of my work turns out to be self-portraiture
regardless of whom or what is in the photograph. Each series
I create divulges more information about my circumstances,
mainly being young and a part of an independent and wealthy
tribe. I want my art to be more than just appealing to the
eye, but to convey to the audience what it is like in both
my subjects' shoes and my own.
At left: Emily & Ja'Haan
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my work I explore my identity and make statements about the
world around me. As a woman I comment on body image. As a
bisexual woman I struggle with the pull to appear more butch
or more feminine. I make art that expresses my individuality
and tells narratives of my life experiences. I also pay attention
to the relationship between the elements of design, creating
work that is bold, sleek, and simple. Although I have something
very specific in mind when I make an artwork I leave the finished
product somewhat abstract so that the viewers can discover
their own meaning.
At left: Mask
Sarah "Rain" Lawrence
am a figurative painter working primarily in acrylics. I paint
portraits of the people around me -- my friends, and my family.
I try to show everyday people in a way that reflects who they
are and how I feel about them. It is an emotionally charged
style of painting. I look to the old masters for much of my
palette and figurative studies. I endeavor to make images
that people can relate to, images that reflect the personality
and emotions of the subject.
At left: Self Portrait: One in Three
portraits are a documentation of the friends and family I
encounter in my everyday life. The unremarkable subject matter
and conversational perspective cause this visual narrative
to be not only representative of my own experience; the images
are malleable and therefore recognizable to others as well.
I invite the audience to engage with the images, perhaps to
see themselves within the subjects' space. By displaying the
familiar, I ask the viewer to cross into the photographed
instance. In my attempt to create a conversation between viewer
and photograph, I hope to instill a realization that even
the mundane is worth looking at twice.
series "Five Blocks Apart" is a documentation of
the economic disparity that exists in St. Paul. Each pair
of photos depicts two houses within five blocks of one another.
It is worth noting that the very affluent live in such close
proximity to those living in abject poverty. This series asks
the question, "How can the wealthy and the underprivileged
occupy the same space, yet remain so disconnected from one
At left: House Series
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I work with abstracted forms that articulate motion. The mediums
that I utilize are generally wood, metal and ceramics. I concentrate
on what the experience of the motion is: how does it feel,
what does it sound like? The answer to these questions is
the visualization of the abstracted form. The form comes to
me like an epiphany – I work fast and rough –
this style adds to the illusion of motion within each piece.
At left: Water & Motion
art is about exploring. It is about seeing things a different
way and trying to express my interpretation of an experience,
a place, or a person. I strive to capture an emotion or create
a feeling in my art work. I think it is an amazing experience
to look at something you have seen a thousand times before,
like a tree or a person, and actually see it for the first
time. I used to think art was about making one thing look
like another, now I am more interested in revealing how things
feel when you interact with them. My art has become less of
a product of me and more a part of me. The experience of exploration
is what my art is about.
At left: Untitled
project began with the passing on of family artifacts, in
the form of old photos and table linens. The linens were a
gift from my mother, who had inherited them from both her
mother and grandmother. The photos capture moments in time
representing five generations of women who have been intimately
connected with fibers and textiles in one form or another.
As I learned more about the lives of these women, and sought
a way to honor them, it seemed appropriate that I use these
linens as a kind of canvas or form to work from.
At left: Untitled
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