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Thompson Gallery exhibitions 2021-22

multi-colored art with Greek figure in foreground
Pan and His Pipes by Michael May

Furman University’s Department of Art has announced exhibitions for 2021-22. The exhibitions and receptions are free and open to the public and take place in the Thompson Gallery of the Roe Art Building. Thompson Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Face coverings are required.

Furman University Thompson Gallery Exhibitions 2021-2022

“Compatibility Test”
Molly Jo Burke and Nate Gorgen
Now through Monday, Sept. 27

Art by Burke and Gorgen
Art by Burke and Gorgen

Artist/designer couple Nathan and Molly Gorgen create semi-functional artwork centered on the complexity of modern life as they are forced to grapple with the blending boundaries of work, art and parenting. They use discarded art, found objects and sustainably sourced natural materials as well as objects they collect in their family life, such as unused or broken children’s items and leftover components from home improvement projects. The result is an imaginative repurposing of substances for roles that they do not normally fill, allowing the artists to create surprising, occasionally whimsical artwork, while also addressing their own waste stream, reflecting on consumer culture in general, and playing with the perception of a material’s purpose, quality and value.

“Roadside Attractions”
Raluca Iancu
Thursday, Sept. 30-Monday, Nov.1
Reception: Friday, Oct. 22, 6-8 p.m.

art depicting red car in collision
Work by Raluca Iancu

Iuncu’s work explores disaster, memory and vulnerability through different mediums, ranging from printmaking to performance, to edible art and printed objects. In her work, she questions the way we look at tragedy as well as the way we deal with its aftermath. “We depend on our technology (planes, trains, automobiles) and easily forget that it is just as fallible as our bodies. At the end of the day, all physical contact is a collision with permanent repercussions, whether visible or not. Most interactions we have with other people are just like these collisions: we are selfishly oblivious to our impact on others,” Iancu said.

“Komos”
Michael May
Friday, Nov. 5-Wednesday, Dec. 8
Reception: Thursday, Dec. 2, 6-7:30 p.m.

In Ancient Greece, groups of individuals would cover their faces, get drunk and parade around in celebration in what is known as a komos. This work is May’s masked, drunken procession of images which tell the story of the career of a powerful individual, who ultimately uses their authority for good. “Komos” uses cultural references, garden imagery and traditional narrative devices to share this story in an abstruse manner.

art depicting fruit overlaid with three-headed dog by Michael May
Cerberus Control by Michael May

“The details of the story are hidden,” said May, an assistant professor of art at Furman. “We don’t know things like the character’s name or ethnicity. Being vague with these details allows the concepts to be more ubiquitous. Specifics of the story are told metaphorically, for example, I use references like Persephone and Cerberus. It is assumed that these canonical stories are accessible to the viewer and suggest both the overpowering control of Cerberus and the anticipation of new life from Persephone,” May added.

May received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from Ball State University. Upon graduation he held several roles in a direct care capacity for children with special needs, young adults with criminal records and adults with mental illnesses. He received his Master of Fine Arts in painting from Miami University (Ohio) and has since been teaching painting, drawing, foundations and capstone classes while maintaining an active exhibition record.

“Secluded Microcosm”
Jave Gakumei Yoshimoto
Friday, Jan. 14-Tuesday, Feb. 15

Jave Yoshimoto is an artist and educator of multi-cultural background. He was born in Japan to Chinese parents and immigrated to United States at a young age. He has since traveled and lived in various parts of the country which influenced his artistic practice. He believes in creating art works that are socially conscious and true to his authentic self.

Similarly in his teaching philosophy, he encourages his students to explore their personal identity and experiences to put into their creative compositions while developing their technical skills.

Yoshimoto received his bachelor’s from University of California Santa Barbara in studio art, his Post-baccalaureate Certificate in painting and drawing and Master of Arts in art therapy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and his Master of Fine Arts in painting at Syracuse University.

He has experiences working as an art therapist/mental health professional in Chicago, Illinois, as well as being a painting instructor at Syracuse University and a teaching artist in Seattle, Washington. He has worked with various age groups and diverse ethnic populations in both rural and urban settings, and has served as an artist-in-residence at various artist colonies across the United States.

Artist-in-Residence Show
Azita Moradkhani
Wednesday, March 9-Wednesday, April 6

Azita Moradkhani was born in Tehran where she was exposed to Persian art, as well as Iranian politics, and that double exposure increased her sensitivity to the dynamics of vulnerability and violence that she now explores in her art-making.

Moradkhani’s work in drawing and sculpture has focused on the female body and its vulnerability to different social norms. It examines the experience of finding oneself insecure in one’s own body. In her drawings, unexpected images incorporated in intimate apparel intend to bring humor, surprise and a shock of recognition. Layers of shadowy images reveal stories, with the hope of leaving a mark on the audience.

Two worlds–birthplace and adopted home–live alongside each other in her work, joining intimately at a single point. Her drawings on paper and casts of her body represent non-Western aesthetics of pleasure and beauty. Working at the intersections of drawing and sculpture, she locates her work in a feminist response to Edward Said’s “Orientalism” – ideas of womanhood in the post-colonial world and the post-revolution generation in Iran intertwine with conflicts at the borders of tradition and (post-)modernity. Meanwhile, influenced by her cultural heritage, she pursues beauty and realism by deploying formality, virtuosity and delicacy in the context of contemporary art.

She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Tehran University of Art (2009) and both her Master of Arts in art education (2013) and her Master of Fine Arts in drawing, painting and sculpture (2015) from Boston’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts & Tufts University.

Senior Art Exhibition
Tuesday, April 12-Saturday, May 7
Reception: Tuesday, April 12, 6-8 p.m.

Art by members of the Class of 2022 will be on display.

For more information about Thompson Gallery exhibitions, contact the Furman Department of Art at 864-294-2400.

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