Fieldwork Projects, 420 S. Gay Street, Auburn, AL
March 10 – April 1, 2016.
Pivotal: Environments showcases works from advanced art students pursuing degrees from the Auburn University’s Department of Art & Art History. As young artists, each student struggles to find their voice and direction in a myriad of inputs and assignments. Our works echo our shared environments – our community of studios and streets. Works chosen for this exhibition successfully respond to our environment, serving as pivotal points of understanding and development of the artists’ craft or theme. Jurors for this show were Elliot Knight, Visual Arts Program Manager at the Alabama State Council on the Arts and Zdenko Krtić, artist and Associate Professor of Studio Art at Auburn University. Pivotal: Environments, as diverse as the artists themselves, highlights the works initiating the direction of the young artists’ careers.
Shannon Bewley’s artist statement:
The common consideration of the exhibition space across my art historical research and artistic practice drives my interest in the ways in which the environment affects individuals and perception. Since the eighteenth-century, scientists have accepted the combination of environmental and genetic influences on our development. Later, Erving Goffman, influential sociologist of the twentieth-century, argued for the inclusion of man-made components of human infrastructure in to our consideration of the environment; any external stimuli, from architecture to next-door neighbors, contributes to individuals’ development. The works included in this exhibition initiated my interest in manipulating exhibition environments to highlight audiences’ perception of their surroundings as part of the contextual relationship between viewer, place, and work of art. Self-Contained (2015) represents the individual’s struggle against their defining environment, while Crazy Animal Attack Human (2015) explores the imbalanced relationship between humans and animals, questioning the treatment and perceived ownership of wild animals in public park spaces.