George Caleb Bingham Gallery holds MU faculty art exhibit

The exhibit, which showcases work from School of Visual Art faculty, is open through the month of September.


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It can be hard for people to take a load off these days, especially with the harsh realities of COVID-19 and the subsequent quarantine feeling endless. However, events at MU and in Columbia have been open with social distancing guidelines, providing students and locals alike with entertainment during these trying times. One of these is MU’s George Caleb Bingham Gallery’s faculty art exhibit from Aug. 31 to Sept. 24. This exhibit showcases the artistic ability of MU’s faculty. From animated and experimental short films, abstract sculptures and even patterned quilts, the variety on display will keep Columbia art lovers occupied. The faculty art exhibit provides a new perspective on the connection between students and directors, gallery director Catherine Armbrust said. “Fall is usually dedicated to non-student based art,”Armbrust said. “Students will sit in a class and have this one view about who their instructors are as humans. But really, as artists, [faculty] oftentimes have very different things we are doing.” One of the artists on display in this exhibit is Lynn Kim, a first-year faculty member and a visual artist since her junior year of high school. Currently, Kim is working with many forms of projection art. “I am an experimental filmmaker,” Kim said. “For me that involves moving between both animation and video techniques, and my work is some sort of hybrid mix of the two.” Kim also has three short films on display currently at the exhibit that range from various themes and content, in particular, themes such as sexuality and gender. “They are all quite different in their content, but thematically they are all connected to questions I have about the human body,” Kim said. ” Another artist who will be on display is Travis Shaffer, a School of Visual Studies assistant professor. Though an artist at heart, he also sees himself as something more than a traditional artist. “For me, the exciting act in art making is born in the space between the artist and viewer/reader, and so my focus is on transmission and dissemination,” Shaffer said in an email. “As a result, my artistic activity more closely resembles that of a publisher/editor than the more conventionally understood model of artist as maker.” In the exhibit, Shaffer showcases a test print of one of his larger works that goes by the title “Nemesis.” The main idea of this piece is to dive deep into Pennsylvania, the place where Shaffer grew up.
“My contribution to the faculty show is a 26” x 40” risograph test print that comes from that ongoing project,” Shaffer said in an email. Whether it brings students closer to their instructors, students closer to other students or just provides someone with a release from everyday anxieties, art can achieve great things. Despite COVID-19 and social distancing regulations on campus, MU faculty have provided students and faculty an artistic experience. “This show is a reminder of the importance of the arts and the importance of arts education,” Armbrust said. “We as arts educators are valid in this world … the arts are one of the most important parts of our society.” Edited by Sophie Stephens |

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