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Art department announces 2022-2023 Thompson Gallery exhibitions

Artist in Residence, Claire Whitehurst

Last updated October 6, 2022

By News administrator

The Furman University Department of Art has announced its Thompson Gallery exhibitions for the 2022-2023 academic year. Kicking off a series of five exhibitions is “safe unsafe” by Xia Zhang, whose work will be on display in the gallery through Oct. 17. Thompson Gallery is located in the Roe Art Building. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. All exhibitions and artist receptions are free and open to the public.

white woman in strange suite, yellow background

‘Yellow Fever Agitations’ by Xia Zhang

“safe unsafe”
Xia Zhang
Ongoing through Monday, Oct. 17
Reception and artist talk via Zoom: Monday, Oct. 17, 6-7 p.m.

Xia Zhang’s “safe unsafe” is a solo exhibition of video, photographs and sculpture. With the inclusion of large-scale videos, the exhibition showcases many of Zhang’s works as artifacts of belonging through the documentation of labor, performance, process and media through a lens of structural identities: female, Chinese.

“My practice is an unlearning of assimilation. It contemplates how the physical body is seen in the public sphere of whiteness and privately within itself. Working with processes of craft and documented actions allow for consideration of how ethnic and feminine identity is laboriously performed and endured for the sake of belonging. I strive to understand and dismantle the systems that have normalized subtle and overt hostilities that are inescapable based on the skins we inhabit.”—Xia Zhang

Additional exhibitions follow:

work by Todd McDonald

‘Threshold’ by Todd McDonald

Todd McDonald
Tuesday, Oct. 25-Monday, Dec. 12
Reception: Friday, Oct. 28, 6:30-7:30 p.m. (Furman homecoming weekend)

“Born out of wild and natural surroundings, our senses developed to pick up subtle and nuanced cues that were contingent for survival. We now divide our time between real, physical existence and the electronic space of media consumption. Distracted and mesmerized, we contend with highly sensitive receptors that are overloaded with amplified and distorted stimulation.

“As an image maker, I try to make sense of this situation where daily life is a constant negotiation of the quiet, dense sensuality of the real that is suffocated by the synthetic and constructed media sphere. Through painterly discourse, I use various conventions of painting, photography and digital outputs to generate imagery and syntax that display the entanglement of human biology and culture in both how we see and construct meaning.”—Todd McDonald

Matthew Baumgardner
Tuesday, Jan. 17-Friday, Feb. 17
Reception: Friday, Jan. 27, 6:30-7:30 p.m. (rescheduled from original date of Jan. 20)

a 12-inch cube on a stand with paintings, etchings and other designs.

‘Cube #10’ 12″ x 12″ x 12″, by Matthew Baumgardner

Twelve students from ART 274: Curatorial Issues and Practices present the work of the late Matthew Baumgardner. The show includes paintings, drawings and sculptural cubes. Baumgardner’s signature mud paintings will be shown in addition to his birch plywood series for which he received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.

Claire Whitehurst
Monday, Feb. 27-Friday, March 31
Reception: Friday, March 31, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

white woman with art, Claire Whitehurst

Artist in residence, Claire Whitehurst

“My work is about the creation of intimate spaces and how to find them. Growing up queer in the American South, my time was spent inventing places to escape. I relay that same task into my studio practice where I find overlap between mediums and use them as passageways to direct visual and poetic narrative. My formal choices reflect the biological world and hint towards the body and the landscape, while ultimately eluding any direct representation. My paintings, prints and sculptures also reference one another, while maintaining an ability to stand on their own. I use wall sculptures as stencils for paintings and those paintings as references for a print or book form. I use translation of mediums as a way of shape shifting, and I relate this to ideas of the self, and the negotiation of where and when to hide or to seek.” – Claire Whitehurst

Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Whitehurst earned her MFA at the University of Iowa (2020) after earning a BFA at the University of Mississippi (2015). She draws from the physical and emotional landscape of the deep South, exploring queer narrative, memory, time and identity through color, form, surface and composition.

She was a Stanley Fellow at the University of Iowa in 2018, where she traveled to southern France to study polychromatic cave paintings. Her research in France focused on the relationship between surface and image and was followed by a subsequent body of work and lecture series. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and a book of her drawings and writing was published in 2021 through Drum Machine Editions in Asheville, North Carolina. Her work has appeared in solo exhibitions in New Orleans, Iowa City and Oxford, Mississippi, as well as at Steve Turner, Los Angeles.

Senior Show
Friday, April 14-Saturday, May 6
Reception: Friday, April 14, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

For more information, contact the Furman Department of Art at 864-294-2950.

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