Emerging Artist in Residence
2013: Jason Gorcoff
I grew up on popular culture: films, video games and comic books. The illustrations for movie posters and game cartridges were often very realistic as were the special effects in the various horror and science fiction films. I was inspired by their realism and dramatic subject matter. This is the visual language from my youth and also the language that I emulate in my work. The themes of my paintings are often personal and the ideas are not all that complicated. I am drawn towards stories of good and evil, or human conflict in general. With my images I hope to be able to express a simple dynamic of struggle and longing that exists in life. And above all else, I try to create an image of physical beauty.
I consider my roots to be in the commercial art world and that popular culture’s standards of craft introduced me to realism. But, recently my work has begun to heavily reference 17th century Dutch and Italian painting. There is a “quiet” that exists among the religious drama of the Tenebrists that I greatly admire: a sense of something deeply spiritual. The act of painting has become part of my spirituality. A necessity. I am spending long hours with myself each day, meditating. Time spent in the studio is time spent battling--- battling your own will within your own mind.
Formally, representational work is an illusion: an illusion of form and space on a two-dimensional surface. In short, it is a lie. But it can do many things to a viewer. The world of stories- the world of heros, monsters, horror and fiction -are all illusions. They show us a place that does not exist. But this is a world that says many things about the world we inhabit. It is a world that uses metaphor to illustrate how life feels, but not how it actually is. It is a world that can freeze a moment and meditate on its fleeting content. As Stephen King puts it: “Fiction is the truth inside the lie.”
With my paintings I do not offer the viewer any concrete moral about our world. I do not tell them what to distrust or critique, or what social or political demons to be wary of. On the contrary, I attempt to offer them escape…a look into a world, where hopefully they will find a place of strange beauty and mystery.
2012: Jodi Lightner
In every moment, we find ourselves in relative relationship to architecture. Structures or buildings find their way into our everyday life and provide a sense of order we submissively adhere to. We live in and around them, move up and down stairs, and walk around walls. We also skirt around the outside and climb over fences. The order structures provide is the foundation for our experiences within them.
I see my work as journal entries depicting the metaphors of relationship through the use of structures and architecture. I gather my structures and experiences from places of importance. They come from travels, times with family and friends, and memories of my childhood. I typically utilize public places in my work and ask the viewer to consider the relevance and power of structure within life experiences, a kind of lived pathway through either experience or memory.
A Kansas native, Lightner completed her MFA degree at Wichita State University in 2010. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, including juried and invitational shows. Her work has been seen in Angle Gallery, Seattle, the AIR Gallery, New York City, and the Cocoon Gallery, Kansas City as well as other locations through out the United States. She has also participated in artist residencies focused on studio practice at the International School of Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture in Montecastello diVibio, Italy, and the Vermont Student Center in Johnson, Vermont.
2011: Susan Marie Brundage
A fascination with how we construct the reality around us, the power of signs and symbols, social politics, and our relationship with the natural world are all things that have been at the heart of my artistic practice since a very early age.
My current paintings depict various environments from the American landscape which have their own specific set of signifiers (and baggage) that I desire to play off of in the work. To support my intentions, I create a magical space for these deadpan subjects using color, scale and detail to entice the viewer into looking and spending time in these locales. They are places in stark contrast to the mediated images we are bombarded with every day on television and in print. Ultimately, the intent of the work is to make the viewer more sensitive in a small way to the social realities that exist around them, even though they represent something most Americans would rather ignore.
2010: Holly Tingley
Psychology has played a substantial role in my development as an artist and I am especially interested in trying to express my experience as an identical twin. A shared appearance, sometimes inferred as a shared identity, has made me very conscious of individuality and others perceptions of it. Much of who we are is determined by the way people react to us. We are the result of our environment as much as we are a product of nature. Twin studies are often subject to this debate of nurture vs nature. In my work this question of what it is, exactly, that makes each of us unique, is addressed in the doubling or twinning of my subject’s image. Within my painting, this is sometimes done by physically folding the canvas in half, creating a mirrored print of the original portrait. Whether in the womb or on the canvas, a division or fold takes place and like identical twins, two separate entities emerge within one perceived identity. The folded image not only makes reference to twinning, but it is directly linked to psychology because of its resemblance to the Rorschach ink blot.
Issues related to the fields of human genetics, concepts of otherness, the uncanny and the copy, also influence the nature of my work. Increased births and the lingering threat of human cloning, make us question further who we are physically as well as psychologically. I see this as similar to how continuous reproduction of our own image, through the immediacy of digital photography, plays an important role in how we see ourselves. My work is an ongoing investigation of this state of constant individual redefinition.
2009: Lauren Scanlon
Lauren earned an MFA in printmaking from The Ohio State University (2007) and a BA in anthropology from the University of Memphis (1999). Her work is narrative and combines drawing, painting, printmaking and textiles. Recent and upcoming exhibitions include Paper Narratives Denver, CO (2009), Liminal Spaces Cohasset, MA (2010) and solo exhibition at the Flood Gallery in Asheville, NC (2010). She has been an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center and Penland School of Craft.
Contact:Ms. Rebecca Strzelec
Professor of Visual Arts
Arts and Humanities
Office: 131 Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts