WMU News

Sangren exhibit features Owen-Murakami and Schmidt

Jan. 16, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- The Department of Art at Western Michigan University is featuring a two-person show in Gallery II of Sangren Hall through Wednesday, Jan. 29. Photographs by Ginger Owen-Murakami of Marshall, Mich., and paintings by Patrick Schmidt of Washington, Pa., are featured in the exhibit, which opened Jan. 7.

Owen-Murakami teaches part time in the Department of Art. Schmidt also taught art at WMU before accepting a position at Washington and Jefferson College in 2002.

Ginger Owen-Murakami has a B.F.A. degree in photography from the University of Central Florida and a M.F.A. degree in photography from Louisiana State University. She also has studied at the Instituto Michelangelo in Florence, Italy, and at New York University in New York City. "History and tradition are staples of human life," she says. "These links bond our community. I use personal images that represent ideas about the traditional home, family, enclosures (boundaries/barriers), the individual and the community. The work explores cognitive memories, catharsis, and individual and communal histories."

Owen-Murakami has been a Visiting Artist at the University of Indiana and New York University. She has received the Atlantic Center for the Arts Fellowship Award and the American Photography Institute Fellowship Award at New York University.

Patrick Schmidt appropriates image patterns from wallpaper books, mixing and layering dissonant colors and images, and creating adjacent environments. These appear to have no relationship to each other, while contrasting in a style suggestive of the Pop/Op art of the 1960s. His paintings draw upon samples from all over the world. However, his primary interest is in the effects that these patterns have when enlarged, layered, loaded with intense color, and juxtaposed in the visual field. What interests him is the "latent image" which he feels exists where the juxtaposed patterns intersect and thereby create a plane of consistency. He says, "I want the viewer to spend time with my work, to stand there for a while, because it takes time to let the conceptual aspect of my images creep in."

Schmidt received two degrees from Central Michigan University, a B.F.A. in painting in 1995 and a M.F.A. in 2000. He has exhibited his work broadly, including solo shows in 2002 at Firelands College, Huron, Ohio; Kansas City Artists Coalition, Kansas City, Mo.; Marian College, Indianapolis; and Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, Mich.

Gallery II hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The gallery is closed Monday, Jan. 20, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. For additional information, contact the Department of Art Exhibitions Office at 269 387-2455.

Media contact: Jackie Ruttinger, 269 387-2455, jacquelyn.ruttinger@wmich.edu

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