Winona State University, Winona MN
Please join us for the Opening Reception and Artist's Talk
Artist's talk: February 10, 4-5pm in Science Lab Center 120
(corner of Winona and 7th Streets, northwest side of campus)
Reception with the artists: February 10, 5-6pm at the Watkins Gallery
(two blocks into campus across from 9th street in Watkins Hall)
Anthropocene in the Watkins Gallery: February 8 – March 3
Artist Kathleen Hawkes presents artworks exploring emotional responses to the precarious future of our planet
Hawkes’ photographs comment on a precarious environmental future
One of the strengths of visual arts is the way it can communicate complexity, says Kate Hawkes, UWL assistant professor of art.
Hawkes latest series of 12, large-scale photographic works captures the complex, overwhelming and disabling emotions that arise as people ponder the planet’s precarious environmental future.
Her series of works, “Anthropocene,” literally means the present era during which humans are actively altering the global ecosystem. The art will be on display Feb. 8 – March 2 at the Paul Watkins Gallery at Winona State University. An opening reception will be from 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb 10. The series was also featured in an exhibit Oct. 16-Nov. 24, 2015, at Gallery 19 in Chicago.
The series was inspired by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report released in 2014, which Hawkes felt changed the public dialogue surrounding climate change from prevention to adaptation or mitigation.
“I wonder, how do we reconcile this fact?” she says. “Our future on this planet is dire and I wanted to make artwork about what this unique moment feels like.”
The works combine layers of photographed, massed-produced, disposable goods such as candy and cheap trinkets. The images create an alternate sense of space, depth and reality. Some items are clear and others are blurred. Some things resemble other things. This visual confusion is a metaphor for the emotional, conceptual and ethical confusion and turmoil surrounding climate change, she says.
“I think we are looking at an inevitable ending and we know it on some level, and that breeds a very complex anxiety,” she says.
Hawkes received a CLS small grant Spring 2015 for materials for “Anthropocene.” She also received a Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) 2015 Individual Artist Grant to exhibit in Winona.
Some of the works from “Anthropocene” are loose metaphors and others are very direct. Hawkes’ piece “Shade Reservoir” is based on Los Angeles reservoirs being covered with small black balls to prevent water from evaporating. You can see the black balls from space.
Hawkes says maintaining a professional exhibition practice directly informs her teaching because the goal for students is to become professional artists who exhibit their works publicly. “Each body of work and each exhibition presents its own set of unique challenges — no two are the same,” she says. “So, the more experiences I have, the more I am able to share and help my students think through their own exhibitions and studio practice.”
Another UWL faculty exhibit in Winona
An exhibition “Thousands of Poppies” will also be on display in the Weber Gallery (in the same building as the Watkins Gallery) from Feb 8 – 16, with an opening reception also on Feb 10. This exhibition includes a collaborative installation of thousands of tissue paper poppies made by UWL faculty: Misha Bolstad, Art; Kathleen Hawkes, Art; and an animation of poppies by Karl Kattchee, Math. The two Winona exhibits have similar themes of excess, obsession, envisioning possible futures — possibly even science fiction, says Hawkes.
-Kjerstin Lang 1/28/201
In The Mean Time
October 16th through November 24th
Exhibition Reception October 16th 6-9pm
Artist Panel Discussion moderated by Anne Harris 7pm
Participating Artists: Melissa Ann Pinney, Corinna Button, Christine Forni, Kathleen Hawkes
The Mean Time is now. Post-civility, pre-re-awakening. Painter Anne Harris (SAIC), moderates a panel of accomplished artists including Corinna Button, Christine Forni, Kathleen Hawkes, and Melissa Ann Pinney, as they examine this contagious meanness and its corrosive effects. We are a population insearch of a common language to facilitate progress, yet victim of the apathy and self-absorption which divorces the individual from the commonweal. In the Mean Time, it will be artists, through their submissions of cultural exploration, self and gender consciousness, and the revelation of beauty, who will offer us a manner of seeing beyond what is merely apparent to that which is necessary to move us from fractured to full. Painting, print, and photography will inform the viewer in ways subtle and strong as to the artists' own reactions at being part of the creative force of a city, one among those called upon to deliver an alternate language for conjuring the one-ness we never really had, yet, consciously or unconsciously, continue longing for. The four participating artists are at different stages of their careers, thus, our exhibition and conversation span a continuum of what it means to live the creative life in the confrontational, avaricious, often crude, sometimes kind, city we know as Chicago. Anne Harris is known for her direct appraisal of the flawed condition of today's artistic marketplace, so we expect nothing less of her as she moderates our dynamic panel.