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Department of Art opens Solo Exhibitions by Diana Baumbach and Shelby Shadwell


JONESBORO -- The Department of Art at Arkansas State University is announcing the opening of two solo exhibitions on Tuesday, Oct. 23, in the Fine Arts Center Gallery. 

“Whi tesp ace” by Diana Baumbach and “Auniversal Picture” by Shelby Shadwell continue on view through Nov. 16.

Shadwell will present a gallery talk in the Fine Arts Center Art Gallery on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 3 p.m. with a reception to follow.  The exhibition and talk are open to the public.

Both exhibitions present more than 30 works completed in the past two years, which includes large scale, hyper-realist charcoal drawings by Shadwell, and Baumbach’s rich array of abstract works on and of paper.

Shadwell’s showing presents works created from non-traditional still life subjects, trash bags and cockroaches.  He explains in his artist statement that “Formally, there is a palpable tension between representation and abstraction in the work, as the folds in the plastic / insect structures and the light and shadow shapes assume various ephemeral entities, sometimes portrait-like and otherwise primal, invoking Rorschach for the viewer.  For me, the work is a continuation of a metaphysical dialogue about the visible versus the hidden and the valuable versus the disposable in art and a broader cultural context.”

In Baumbach’s exhibition, the installation is much quieter, creating works that are vulnerable, tactile and often three-dimensional.  Through a number of layered paper and texture based works, she creates a sort of visual topography, reminiscent of her current surrounding landscape in Wyoming.  These flat constructions intermingle with showings of meticulous three dimensional paper structures evocative of high modernist design.  She explains this interest in her artist statement: “By largely omitting color, viewers are forced to slow down and pay attention to subtle handmade qualities of the work and the wide variation in what we term white…On the whole, my intention is to increase awareness of the aesthetics of everyday places and things.”

Diana Baumbach and Shelby Shadwell are married and expecting their first child soon.  They are visual artists and assistant professors at the University of Wyoming based in Laramie.

The gallery is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., in the Fine Arts Center, 2412 Quapaw Way.

For more details, please call the Department of Art (870) 972-3050.

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