“Layers IV” Opening at the Loading Dock

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“Layers IV” is a show featuring UNCC Painting I students under the direction of Professor Michael Simpson. Prompted by topics that include self-exploration and interconnectedness to the outside world the works will be displayed inside the Loading Dock Gallery of the Getty’s Art Center in Rock Hill, SC. Explorations include windows to the soul, sound in relation to image, and the figure as a representation of the human experience. The featured artists use oil as their main medium; however, students do venture into experimental mixed media and acrylic, thereby displaying their inventiveness and originality. These works also display a marked progression of technique and style in the variety of methods used to apply paint.

Katelyn Sullivan and Kaitlin Wadell were inspired by the concept of synesthesia – the process in which sound induces the visualization of color and image. Exploring the metaphorical meaning of gaze, the viewpoint is transformed from the real to the imagined. The canvas acts as a window to the soul or a passageway into other aspects of life. Ayanna Devaughn and Emily Braswell showcase their strengths and potential with renderings imbued with imaginative interpretation of inanimate objects. Laura Allen, Elle Kozloff, Kaitlin Wadell, Sapun Ngoensritong, Brandon Henrie, and Merrie Tarillion explored the human form, seeking to capture the poetry of a gesture or the intricacy of a fleeting psychological state by painting from life with a model. Each uses the figure as a symbol of the human experience, allowing for emotional and allegorical interpretation. Works by Mallory Ballard and Zack Thomkins explore the boundaries of the medium by employing experimental combinations of additives into the paint body. By exploring surface, meaning is derived from process and texture rather than reliance on a recognizable form.

Equipped with the same toolbox as many artists before them, these students explore painting as a means to criticize, celebrate, or observe the world around them. There are several different meanings attached to the concept of “layers.” A layer can be a physical deposit — a stratum of what was once covered and can be uncovered, be it a layer of stone, ash, artifact, or other trace of culture. More abstractly, it can describe the different levels of perception and understanding, attaching meaning to the material. Or it can describe development or decay in progressive stages. We offer these artworks as a testament to the practice and discipline of painting, thereby opening visual pathways for viewers to follow us through successive strata of human perception and experience.

Loading Dock Gallery of the Getty’s Art Center is located at 201 East Main Street, Rock Hill, SC 29730 from September 30th, 2014 until October 12th, 2014. Meet and mingle with the artists during an evening reception to be held October 9th, 2014 from 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm.

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