Indirect Objects: Captured Identities

Monday, November 30 – Saturday, February 6, 2010

  • Reception: December 3, 6-8 p.m.; Gallery Talk at 7 p.m.
  • Music by the Valentine All-Stars

Artists include: Stafford Hiroshi Smith, Judith Sol-Dyess, Liz Murphy Thomas, and Vaughn Wascovich, Judith Sol-Dyess, "Christopher", digital photograph, 9" x 14" 2008
“Indirect Objects: Captured Identities” will be on display from Monday, November 30 through Saturday, February 6 at the Parkland Art Gallery. An artists’ reception on Thursday, December 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the gallery lounge will feature a gallery talk at 7 p.m. by Springfield artist Liz Murphy Thomas and music by the Valentine All-Stars. Refreshments will be provided.

“Indirect Objects: Captured Identities” includes four artists from around the country: Stafford Hiroshi Smith (Lewisburg, Penn.), Judith Sol-Dyess (Chicago), Liz Murphy Thomas (Springfield, Ill.), and Vaughn Wascovich (Commerce, Tex.). Inherent in their works is the process of documenting how we choose to identify ourselves through clothes, environment, and the architecture that we inhabit. These photographers seem linked both by an interest in using the camera to capture ‘constructed identities’ we attribute to our character and by being able to interpret social culture in a variety of environments.

Artists in this exhibit also take a contemporary approach to photography, working with issues in their own time frame to engage the world in which they live. Smith’s photos depict interpersonal relationships within a family; his latest work reveals an examination of American families and seeks to redefine the family portrait. Wascovich focuses on the physical landscape of higher education. The academic environment is a place for searching for knowledge unhampered by commercial responsibility and full of opportunity. His photographing of these locations without the students and faculty gives the viewer pause: The emptiness and captured light augment a subtle beauty and hopefulness.

Thomas’s photos document Alzheimer’s patients and their shadowboxes; their artwork allows the viewer to understand the impact of this disease more than any clinical diagnosis ever could. In another series, Thomas explores how the objects we buy make statements about us. She visually records the backs of cars covered with bumper stickers as portraits of their prospective owners. Judith Sol-Dyess takes into account the residents of the Lawson House YMCA in Chicago, which houses primarily low-income and formerly homeless individuals.

The exhibit’s coordinating artist lecture series continues this semester, with three separate lectures:
Liz Murphy Thomas will provide an in-depth discussion about her work and experience as an artist on Thursday, December 3 at 1 p.m. in the gallery. Thomas, an assistant professor of Graphic Design/Digital Media at the University of Illinois at Springfield, received her MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2003 and has exhibited her work at numerous art venues including the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art; Fox Gallery in Baltimore, Maryland; and Lush Gallery in Gainesville, Florida.

Judith Sol-Dyess will provide an in-depth lecture about her work and experience as an artist on Monday, January 11 at 3:30p.m. Sol-Dyess received her B. F. A. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL. In 1997. She has received several awards for her book covers and has exhibited her work in Spain, Chicago and St Louis.

Lisa Costello, director of the Parkland Art Gallery, will also give an informal lecture to discuss various aspects of the exhibition, on Wednesday, January 27 at 3 p.m. in the gallery.