This winter, the work of two Milligan professors will be on display in the William King Museum of Art, the region’s premier visual art facility in Abingdon, Virginia.
From December 2019 through January 2020, Art Brown, assistant professor of communications and graphic design, will present a solo art exhibit, titled “Undercurrent,” in the Panoramic Gallery.
“Undercurrent” will be Brown’s first solo exhibit at William King and is a collection of work meant to critique leadership, or to take note of its absence, in politics and other areas of our society.
“In this exhibit, I use images of dark sci-fi creatures as visual metaphors to ask questions and to express various ways we can feel when events and actions in the world seem to be going awry,” shared Brown. “The title of this exhibit not only represents these primary images of creatures, but the background of each piece also creates a current of visual noise and chaos.”
The exhibit is comprised of varied relief prints, and all of the work was created, carved and pressed by hand. Each piece involves two levels of relief printing, a primary image and a background. Brown carved the primary images backwards into linoleum, rolled ink onto the images and used a glass baren to press the images onto the paper. The backgrounds include overlapping layers of words and phrases from handset antique wood type.
“Unlike digital work, there are no undos when cutting linoleum,” said Brown. “Each cut has to be thought out before executing it.”
The work was also time consuming. Backgrounds with layers of printed words can take two to three weeks to complete, and then Brown factors 10 to 14 days of drying time for oil-based ink before he can print the primary image onto the background.
William Major, adjunct professor of photography, will display two pieces in the 14th biennial juried show, “From these Hills: Contemporary Art in the Southern Highlands,” on display through February 2020. Major is one of 24 regional artists selected.
Major submitted two photographs for this exhibit. “Honest Abe, Pikeville, KY, 2017” depicts the second largest Abraham Lincoln monument in the United States. Major’s title alludes to the statue’s installation by a local lawyer who defrauded the U.S. government of millions of dollars. The second piece is titled “Open Arms, Hartwell, GA, 2017,” and it depicts a mural of Jesus that is both dignified and forlorn, as Jesus appears to minister to a patch of weeds.
For more information about the two exhibits and for museum hours, visit williamkingmuseum.org.