In Practice: AUM Fine Arts Faculty Exhibition

Goodwyn Gallery is pleased to present the group exhibition, “In Practice,” highlighting art and scholarship by faculty from the Fine Arts Department at Auburn University at Montgomery. The exhibition is open from October 14 through November 15, 2019.


The Gallery displays artwork by Andrew Hairstans, Associate Professor of Drawing and Painting; Sue Jensen, Associate Professor in Sculpture; Will Fenn, Chair of Department of Fine Arts & Associate Professor in Photography; Breuna Baine, Associate Professor in Graphic Design; Nikhil Ghodke, Assistant Professor in Graphic Design; Marguerite Gilbertson, Visiting Lecturer of Sculpture & Spatial Studies; Tony Veronese, Lecturer in Foundations and Core. Also on view are an original composition by Mark Benson, Honors Associate Professor of Music, and scholarship by Laura Whatley, Associate Professor of Art History and Naomi Slipp, Assistant Professor of Art History.

Will Fenn, Ring My Bell, 2019, LAMBDA Print, and Untitled, Collodion on Aluminum; Andrew Hairstans, Clinic (A Model for Asylum), 2019, Charcoal on paper, and Development Arena (Recreation Area), 2014, Graphite, acrylic gesso, latex paint, illustration board, balsa wood and Xerox transfer on gesso board.

The artworks on view reveal a variety of studio and professional practices in the visual arts. This includes both figurative and abstract ceramic arts, metal sculpture, painting, photography, mixed media, and scholarship. They cover a range of topics and exemplify the output and range of work produced by the Department of Fine Arts faculty.

Sue Jensen, Castles and Rainbow Finches, undated, Black clay fired to cone 4 with under glazes; Raku Vase, undated; Miriam (with Klee), undated, Stoneware clay with under glazes fired to cone 1, wood with gold leaf, and glass. 

For example, Andrew Hairstan’s explains how works on view from the series “A Modern for Asylum” deal with ” … three sociological concerns. The first is the impact of brutalist European modernist architecture that was developed within the early 1960s and continued into the 1970s. The second of these concerns is the migratory path of asylum seekers or refugees who form part of the current population of residents within these housing estates (project developments or “projects”). Many of these refugees are currently from Kosovo (the former Yugoslavia), Africa, Asia, Russia, Eastern Europe and Afghanistan. The third deals with surveillance. This body of work has been created by layering the following imagery: researching original archived architectural plans of Red Road, Glasgow, Scotland, UK. … This splicing of imagery and media (form) also alludes to the content (idea) of the project. The borrowed, layered and fused form of the works reflects the splicing together of a socio-political landscape within A Model for Asylum.”

Nikhil Ghodke, Tasveer Film festival theme video, 2017.

Nikhil Ghodke – in writing about his video works – notes a productive tension between creative practice and commercial design. He explains how, “The videos … show two facets of me, industry experience and artistic expression. ‘Shifts’ comes from having lived in three continents and a lifelong interest in cultural nuances, and richness of our diversity as a human race. Most of the shots were filmed by me in NYC, Barcelona, Athens, Paris, Cairo and Mumbai. The music is an original score in collaboration with Ales Shishlo, a independent music composer. The Charles Hunter video was commissioned by UK based social health care company, the video explains the benefits of working with the company and uses principles of design and motion graphics to bring the message to life.”

From left, works by A. Hairstans; B. Baine; M. Gilbertson; and T. Veronese.
Breuna Baine, Janus 2, undated, mixed media.

Likewise, Breuna Baine describes in her artist statement how, “As a graphic designer by trade, I usually work to solve visual communication issues for clients. At one point, my mixed-media pieces were an attempt at finding new ways to approach graphic design ideas for book jackets and editorial illustrations. Now they are ‘calculated experiments’ that explore personal connection, lineage, and relationships with family members. Symbolism is a technique that I frequently use in graphic design, and it is essential in my experiments. I have built a small cache of symbols like plant roots, hands, circles, CB dials, men’s shirts, and stitches that I change depending on whom or what I want to represent.

Finally, Mark Benson submitted the sheet music for his original composition of the AUM Fight Song, while Naomi Slipp and Laura Whatley contributed recent art historical scholarship to the exhibition. Dr. Whatley’s publications include her two edited volumes: A Companion to Seals in the Middle Ages, Reading Medieval Sources 2 (Leiden: Brill, 2019), and The Crusades and Visual Culture (Burlington: Ashgate; Abingdon: Routledge, 2015), and the essays “Romance, Crusade and the Orient in King Henry III of England’s Royal Chambers,” Viator: UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies 44:30 (Fall, 2013), 175–198; “Shifting Paradigms of Place and Ritual on Crusader Seals Before and After the Fall of Acre in 1291,” in Paradigm Shifts, edited by Albrecht Classen (Turnhout: Brepols, 2019), 43–64; “Experiencing the Holy Land and Crusade in Matthew Paris’ Maps of Palestine,” in Visual Constructs of Jerusalem, edited by Bianca Kühnel … [et al.] (Turnhout: Brepols, 2014), 295–305; “Crusading for (Heavenly) Jerusalem: A Noble Woman, Devotion, and the Trinity Apocalypse,” in Devotional Interaction in Medieval England and its Afterlives (Leiden: Brill, 2018), 49-79; and “Visual Self-Fashioning and the Seals of the Knights Hospitallers in England,” in Remembering the Crusades: Myth, Image, and Identity, edited by Suzanne M. Yeager and Nick Paul (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012), 252–269. 

Scholarship by Dr. Naomi Slipp, Dr. Mark Benson, and Dr. Laura Whatley.


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