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LA GRANDE, Ore. March 10, 2016 – Eastern Oregon University’s Nightingale Gallery presents a series of capstone exhibitions by graduating art majors beginning Friday, April 1 with “Residual Connections.”
An opening reception for the artists is from 6-8 p.m. in the gallery in Loso Hall on campus.
Fallon Craig of Enterprise, Denise Gravener of La Grande, Devon Galiszewski of Baker City, and Yana Schlafke of Dallas Center, Iowa, are the students showing work in the first exhibit.
Craig’s work deals with the connections between the church and its impact on how the world is viewed. Using mixed media, Craig replicates the style of gothic church windows and uses vivid, nature-based imagery from Ireland to create a distorted, exalted image in the viewer’s eyes. Craig’s images explore the properties of nature as “God’s creation” to find how the ideas of the exalted church and the raw, materialistic presence of nature coexist and mesh together.
Galiszewski is a 2013 graduate of Baker City High School and first found an interest in art as a student there. She is completing a bachelor’s degree in art with a minor in business. Her work consists of sculptural, abstract paintings on wood panels that create a sample of what the environment could look like if toxic chemicals were allowed to influence the surroundings.
Galiszewski is inspired by elements of the environment and nature including rusting metal, aging wood, water, decaying buildings and moss. Her work is often referred to as maps or views of landmass from space, and the idea of creating a view greater than reality is a major influence for her work.
Gravener is completing her bachelor’s degree in art with plans to pursue a master’s in teaching. Her work explores the connection between a self-awareness of lost personal identity and the creations people become. To explore this connection she plays with the use of multiple formats of photographic manipulation, etching and printmaking. She layers and manipulates images to allow the audience a chance to place themselves within the story of each one, like seeing themselves through another’s eyes, able to construct a new history.
As Gravener grew up, she realized that she, like many others, had lost much of her family history as older generations passed away, taking their stories with them. She feels that much personal identity comes from family history, and without that information or the knowledge of prior generations, people are sometimes left with an emptiness and a desire to create their own version of that history.
The concepts in Schlafke’s work arise from her yearning to bring forth the unseen phenomenal energy of life. As she questions the fabric of the universe within her own duality of being, she connects with the force of existence through the creation of her artwork. Her painted mixed media work allows for self-expression through an intuitively driven process that captures the abstract flow of energy during various treatments of acrylic paint on canvas with gauze and plaster. Her process of handling paint yields organic shapes layered and interacting within a variety of visionary compositions.
Schlafke focuses on the underlying structure with the use of opaque configurations, which unveil the stratum of intricate nonfigurative designs in a controlled space. Within the evolution of self and expression through art, she demonstrates the release of her need to manage and manipulate the existing moment. Discharge of that control is present within her body of work and serves as the complementary difference within this series of pieces.
The engaging work of these four seniors will be on display in Nightingale Gallery through April 15. Hours are 12 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
For more about the exhibition call 541-962-3667, visit www.eou.edu/art or connect with the gallery on Facebook.
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