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Visitors look through the exhibits at the Barrick Museum (Photo/Javon Isaac).
Visitors look through the exhibits at the Barrick Museum (Photo/Javon Isaac).

UNLV Visiting Artist Lecture Series Offers Diverse Outlook

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The visiting artist lecture series at the Barrick Museum features several recognized artists, art educators, curators and historians from around the country.

Every Monday at 7 p.m., lecturers speak of the work within their selected fields. The lectures are open to the public and give students the opportunity to see contemporary art practices.

Even though the series has only featured a few speakers, it has already attracted an extensive audience.

Llyn Foulkes, known for his politically charged collages, delivered an in-depth exposition of his work that included the chronological order of how the context of his art emerged.

Foulkes traced his work back to the 1960s, a period when he began experimenting with wood, paper, paint and cloth in art form. Post-war American culture, pop-art, landscape, writing and Dada were some of the themes he explored during his presentation.

“I began to question the impact of media in people’s unconscious and that is how the decision to displace American vernacular icons in order to subvert their meaning came about,” Foulkes said.

Roy R. Behrens, a professor of Art at the University of Northern Iowa, spoke about his recent study called Closure and Disclosure: The dance of form and function in art and camouflage. His research explored various discoveries in the field of optics and psychology that reveal the relationships between form, color and perception.

“These relationships can be found in nature,” he explained. “It’s in animals’ and plants’ methods of defense.”

Behrens said it is precisely within the blurred lines of art, science and technology that the use of camouflage in military technology developed. His multidisciplinary approach to art practices offers a different view on how the vocabulary of art can have multiple uses and functions within society.

Christina Linden discussed her more recent projects that are primarily invested with art as a social practice. Linden said that art must be thought of as a participatory experience occurring outside museums and galleries.

The young curator and environmentalist assured that any attempt to cloister this social practice within terms such as object making, social activism, performance or theater would limit its scope.

“This practice creates a direct dialogue between artists and the communities where they work,” Linden said. “And they both benefit from that interaction.”

The latest speaker in the series was San Francisco artist Gay Outlaw, who presented the work of various contemporary conceptual artists while working with different materials in media.

Outlaw is mostly interested in the texture and process of materials. Many of her pieces are made of baked goods which she is familiar with because of her experience in culinary arts.

Her glass pieces imitate the motion of the waves in the ocean. The irregular texture of the glass’ surface, which looks like caramel, adds a sense of movement and material to the piece.

For more information about the visiting lecture series at the Barrick Museum, go to www.unlvvisitingartistseries.com

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