Blog

Current and Past Exhibitions

Goodwyn Gallery, AUM

We manage a robust rotating calendar of exhibitions, ranging from the work of local and national practicing artists, to student and faculty shows, and exhibitions organized by Museum Studies students and Art History faculty.

Take a peek at what’s coming next!

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Visiting Artist Erin Palmer: ‘Still Life’

The Fine Arts Department is pleased to present the special exhibition, ‘Still Life,’ featuring the work of Erin L. Palmer, M.F.A., Associate Professor of drawing and painting, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Organized by Andrew Hairstans, Associate Professor of Fine Arts at AUM, the exhibition runs from Monday, October 2  through Friday, October 27th in Goodwyn Gallery.
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 Erin L. Palmer’s exhibition ‘Still Life’ draws together twelve still life paintings, each  of which investigates seemingly mundane subject matter in mostly sparse, spare compositions. Palmer pays careful attention to detail, light, and the visual effects created by reflective surfaces. On occasion, the artist also inserts herself into the composition as a fragmented, captured reflection peering out at the viewer.

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Still life painting emerged as a distinctive genre in 16th-century Dutch art. A still life is a work of art that depicts either natural inanimate subjects, such as fruits and vegetables, flowers, dead animals, and shells, or man-made objects, such as vessels, books, and instruments. Many still life paintings also reference the vanitas or memento mori tradition, wherein arrangements of sumptuous objects that relate to the passage of time operate as symbolic reminders of life’s impermanence and man’s mortality. Artists from Pieter Claesz (Dutch, 1597-1661) to Paul Cezanne (French, 1839-1906) have used still life as a space for observational study, pictorial experimentation, and personal expression.

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Erin Palmer received her MFA from Yale School of Art in 1993. Her work is primarily figurative, drawn from direct observation, and is included in a number of private collections. For more information about Palmer, visit her SIU faculty page.

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Outdoor sculpture exhibit: Caroline Booth

Caroline Booth has installed 4ever Together, a sculptural grouping of four abstract figures, on the Auburn University at Montgomery campus in front of the Administration Building and Library Tower. Booth, a winter graduating senior and fine arts major, made the cement sculptures in Professor Sue Jensen’s summer 2017 sculpture course. Drawing from a wide-range of source materials, the modernist sculptures – which appear different as one walks around them – evoke both the abstract formalism of Brancusi and the energy and movement of Bernini. They will be on view until December 15th, 2017.

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As Caroline explains: “4ever Together is about a family with an inseparable bond and is inspired by Caroline’s family: her mom, dad, and sister. These four pieces are organic and geometric shapes placed together to create one grouping. The ‘mother’ is made up of more organic and circular shapes. The ‘father’ is composed of more geometric and triangular shapes. The two smaller pieces that are next to them are their two daughters, who are a blend of geometric and organic shapes.”

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Artist Statement

My artwork is about process: the process of taking an idea from drawing to final sculpture or painting, of purchasing rigid materials and manipulating them into curving forms, and of imagining an idea and creating an actual object. I created these pieces using recycled foam to form the shapes and combined them with wood glue and screws. The main medium I used was concrete/cement. I loved using this medium because it melds everything together and creates a stone-like look. I was inspired to keep a natural look and color to materials.

 

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Biography

Caroline Catherine Booth was born and raised in Palm Harbor, Florida. She always knew she was a little “different” and was diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age. She enjoyed art and is creative and thinks outside the box. Once she was introduced to soccer, however, it became her main focus. That love led her to become a great soccer player, as a college athlete and captain. While she was told all her life that she could never make it – high school graduation was never going to happen and attending college was not an option – proving people wrong is something she enjoys doing. After a number of college injuries, Caroline was forced to quit playing the game she loves. She returned to art, which gives her the thrill and excitement she once got from soccer. Caroline says, “Art saved my life!”

Faith and Fantasy: the German Expressionist Woodblock Prints of HANS GROHS (1892-1981)

The Fine Arts Department is pleased to present “Faith and Fantasy: the German Expressionist Woodblock Prints of HANS GROHS (1892-1981),” on view in Goodwyn Gallery from Monday, August 21 through Friday, September 29, 2017. The exhibition was curated by Dr. Naomi Slipp and features twenty-six original woodblock prints by artist Hans Grohs, drawn from the Department’s art collection.

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Born in Pahlen, Germany, on the North Sea, artist and printmaker Hans Grohs was influenced by his Lutheran faith, Nordic heritage, Germanic traditions, life experiences, including service during WWI and WWII, the coastal landscape of his home, and the modernist aesthetics of the German Expressionist art movement.

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The inspiration for the 12 work series “Storm Surge” or Der Sturmflut (1962; restrike by Frauken Grohs Collinson, 2000) was the “North Sea Flood,” a natural disaster that occurred on February 16, 1962 when a massive storm surge (19 feet above sea level) breached coastal and river dikes across Northern Germany. In the city of Hamburg, 315 people died and 60,000 homes were destroyed.

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Death makes frequent appearances in the art of Hans Grohs, as in his highly stylized series “The Small Dance of Death” or Kleiner Totentanz (1918; later restrike). These eleven woodblock prints were inspired by the late medieval iconography of the “Dance of Death,” a popular allegorical subject representing the universality of death. Widely depicted in Germanic poetry, music, and art, including in the works of Northern artists Hans Holbein (1497-1543) and Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), the moralizing subject encouraged viewers to spiritually prepare, as death comes for everyone.

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Spring senior show: Paige Crews

In the Spring 2017 semester, Goodwyn Gallery hosts two Department of Fine Arts senior exhibitions. The second, “Who Am I?,” showcases large, figurative metal sculptures by Paige Crews. The exhibition is up from May 1st through May 6th.

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As Crews explains in her artist statement:

“My artwork was designed to play with the viewer’s perception.  I purposely left these figures ambiguous, but with enough movement and character to demand the question, who are they?  Each piece has its own unique body language, which, by design, allows viewers to single out each piece and give it a unique soul with an individual tale to be told. I want each viewer to create their own story.  Who are they, how did they get into this condition, how do they relate to each other, and, lastly, what lies in their future?

I employed guidelines used in animated character design to give each figure its own distinctive silhouette; to make sure that each piece had a face, body, and pose that was unique unto itself. I drew inspiration for the poses and bodies from the pieces of interesting scrap metal I found, and over the course of its creation the design would evolve into a fully realized character. While the individualism of each piece is important, I took care to avoid giving any of them a set identity that would take away from the viewer’s subjective interpretation.”

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Spring senior show: Laura Parker

In the Spring 2017 semester, Goodwyn Gallery hosts two Department of Fine Arts senior exhibitions. The first, “Individual Imperfections,” showcases painted portraits by Laura Parker (formerly Perry). The exhibition is up from April 24th through April 28th.

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As Parker explains in her artist statement: “The first thing I notice about a person is their face. I find the slight variations in skin tone, hair texture, and facial features, along with their ‘imperfections’ to be a beautiful tapestry of individualism. When I was young, that interest was purely about physical appearances, but as I grew that interest shifted towards the genetics of a family tree and the ‘imperfections’ that told a story about the one who bore them. In this exhibition, it is my goal to showcase work that represents the person as a whole. In order to better achieve this, I have produced work from photographs of my friends and family exclusively.

For these portraits, I utilized the dramatic and atmospheric styles of the high Italian Renaissance and Baroque periods. The Baroque period influenced my works in ball-point pen, in which I played with the way contrasting light and shadow can change and dramatize the appearance of an individual’s face. The works in India Ink and Oil are influenced by the soft, representational, and fleshy style of the high Italian Renaissance. However, while both high Italian Renaissance and Baroque art idealized their subjects, I have chosen to depict my subjects as they are and celebrate their ‘imperfections.'”

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Exploding the Canon: An Exhibition of Works by Women Artists

During the Spring 2017 semester, students in VISU 3070 / 6070: Women and the Arts organized a special exhibition “Exploding the Canon: An Exhibition of Works by Women Artists.” The exhibition will be on view in Goodwyn Gallery from Monday, April 3 through Monday, April 10.

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Organized by Dr. Laura Whatley, it features 10 works of art by women artists from Auburn University Montgomery’s Fine Art Department collection as well as original reactionary works by 10 students from a range of disciplines at AUM: Courtney Baker, Chloe Brown, Rachel Davis, Chelsey Falcione, Adrienne Hames, Laura Parker (Perry), Brittany Roberson, Keri Tankersley, Julie Valdez, and Ashley Warren.

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The students produced educational materials to enrich the audience’s visit, including a catalogue with information about the featured women artists and individual artist statements offering insights into their own creative works. The goal of this exhibition: to explode the canon of art history!

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The Artist Response Team Exhibition

The Artist Response Team, the Department of Fine Art’s student art club, is pleased to announce its member exhibition, which will run from Monday, March 27 through Thursday, March 30, 2017. The show includes 13 works of art by 10 students and was organized by club advisor Prof. Will Fenn.

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Featured artists are as follows: Michelle Batson, Kayla Dempsey, Amelia Griffin, Alvontay Harris, Jared Harrison, Takeisha Jefferson, Megan Lofgren, Amanda Lowman, Laura Parker (Perry), and LyAnne Peacock. The Artist Response Team (A.R.T.) was launched in Fall 2016 and is open to all AUM majors. A.R.T. holds events such as movie nights, scavenger hunts, and art-related field trips to Atlanta, New Orleans, and this coming Fall 2017 – Nashville.

From Brayer to Brush: The Paper Quilts of Jim Sherraden

Each year, AUM organizes and hosts a Southern Studies Conference. This year’s conference, organized by six faculty, included academic panels focused on the literature of the South, Southern history and geography, and Southern culture, including music and art. A central element of the annual conference is a contemporary art exhibition and lecture. This year Andrew Hairstans, Associate Professor of Painting, organized a special exhibition of the prints of Jim Sherraden, Former Master Printer for Hatch Show Print in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Jim Sherraden’s “paper quilts” are rich collages compiled from the spent pieces of his woodblock printing material. As explained in a 2016 exhibition text, the compositions are inspired by family quilts, oriental rugs, Southwestern textiles, and Mediterranean tiles. Sherraden’s prints are richly colored, dynamic examples of the stylistic freedom a master printer can achieve through the medium of woodblock printing. The exhibition is on view in Goodwyn Gallery from January 30 – March 3, 2017.

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“Atmosphere,” by Cason McDermott

From January 11-20th, Goodwyn Gallery will be filled with a sculptural installation entitled “Atmosphere,” by AUM Fine Arts student Cason McDermott. Inspired by clouds, the romantic writings of Percy Bysshe Shelley, and themes of life, death, and rebirth, Cason’s installation creates atmospheric blooms of cloud-like forms using white balloons and LED lights.

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“Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb, I arise and unbuild it again.” Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Cloud” (83-84)

McDermott writes in her artist statement:

Clouds are a metaphor for life, death, and rebirth. They are also a visual representation of dreams. “Atmosphere,” started out as a project for my three-dimensional design class. We were presented with the challenge to create a common object out of a different texture.  For mine, I recreated clouds from balloons and LED lights.  The design is simple with a monochromatic design of clustered balloons and lights that give a hopeful and calm tone to the piece.  The size of it is meant to overwhelm and create a new ambiance to the environment.

The tone of the piece ties into the concept. As an artist, I am interested in the topics of grief and hope.  I am drawn to these topics by my own experiences.  The balloons symbolize broken dreams and hopes taking on a new life.  In this piece, I wanted to give you, the viewer, a chance to sit with the things that have caused you grief and let them come alive one more time.  All the things that you have lost in life, in this space, at this moment, are still yours.

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Winter senior show: Benjamin-Dieter Koch

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In winter 2016, the Department of Fine Arts graduates two senior photography majors: Trevette Brown and Benjamin-Dieter Koch. Both students installed their senior shows in Goodwyn Gallery between November-December. Benjamin-Dieter Koch’s senior show, Almost Human, is up through next week. His photographs highlight the seemingly mundane subject of food. Further examination, however, reveals that not all is what it seems, as the subjects of his images attempt to reconstruct familiar foods that have been cut, peeled, or used. His images leave the viewer with a lingering sense of unease and regret. Please stop by the gallery and visit the exhibition!

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Benjamin-Dieter Koch: Artist Statement

On the surface, the images reveal everyday foods ordinarily found in home pantries and cupboards. Through deconstruction and the attempted repair of these items the focus is then shifted to the futility of piecing back together these familiar household ingredients. One cannot help but be overcome by a sense of regret. This feeling is trivial and counter-productive to everyday life.

Humans are the sum of experiences. To regret a moment of one’s past is to reject a part of what constitutes identity. When a person feels remorse, such negative emotions create a sense of detachment from an individual’s essence and, as a result, one is left empty, feeling less-than-human and disconnected from reality.

Almost Human examines the concept of regret.

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