Curated by Indra K. Lacis, PhD
Addressing the search for personal and artistic identity by way of Oscar Wilde’s witty claim, “Only the shallow know themselves,” this exhibition features the work of three recent Gwen Frostic School of Art graduates. Working in sculpture and ceramics, painting, and video installation respectively, Kaylon Khorsheed, Sophie Lane Dennis, and Audrey Mills investigate the search for self and how objects, images, and spaces merge, fall apart, or splinter unexpectedly. For this exhibition, Kaylon Khorsheed will debut a new installation composed of ceramics and wood; Sophie Lane Dennis will premiere a new body of paintings; and Audrey Mills will screen her most recent video project as an installation in the Richmond Center’s black box. Elemental questions with which many young artists grapple unifies the work of these three recent School of Art graduates, i.e. does art-making parallel the quest to “know thyself,” the Greek phrase upon which Wilde’s prophecy plays, and in what ways might the quest for stable identity—individual, creative, and otherwise—remain futile?
AUDREY MILLS is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Kalamazoo, MI. She graduated from the Gwen Frostic School of Art in 2018, earning a BFA with an emphasis in printmedia. Her work revolves around blackness and the African Diaspora, which she investigates through the lens of language, history and social power structures. Auto-ethnographic in nature, her studio practice is heavily dependent on various research processes that lead toward works that are as much an analysis of information as they are expressions of identity. Formally trained as a printmaker, Audrey understands print as a media that speaks about concepts of projection and transfer. Through print, an image is captured, reproduced and disseminated; and for the purposes of critique, ideas are scattered and take root like seeds or diaspore.
Mills is currently Post-Baccalaureate Artist-in-Residence at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art. Her work has been featured in various group exhibitions, including most recently in Text(ure) at Artlink gallery in Fort Wayne, Indiana; ArtPrize 10 in Grand Rapids, MI; and do it at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art. In 2016, Mills earned the prestigious Presidential Scholar award and Best in Show during the Gwen Frostic School of Art’s Annual Student Exhibition in 2016.
KAYLON KHORSHEED works primarily in clay and sculpture, frequently incorporating painting, found objects, and negative space as part of her installations. Driven by curiosity concerning the elemental components of life, Korsheed investigates the “whys” and “hows” of the natural world’s complexity; the links that bind our common humanity, and the origin of a soul—what exactly a soul is, and how might the birth of soul appear visually. Kaylon’s process frequently involves impulse, intuition, and the abstracted physicality of energy, honest mark-making, and the human unconscious.
Kaylon’s honors and awards include the first-place juried prize in After the Pedestal at The Sculpture Center in Cleveland, OH, in 2017; and the Walter F. Enz Award and the Kerr Award at Western Michigan University in 2015-2016. In 2016-17, Korsheed was Post-Baccalaureate Artist in Residence at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art, and in 2018 she earned the Shelton Gorlick Scholarship to attend the prestigious Penland School of Crafts Summer Workshop. She graduated from the Frostic School of Art in 2016, where she was president of the Ceramics Guild between 2014 and 2016. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions in Michigan, including the Southwest Michigan Area Show at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art in 2018; the Michigan Ceramics Exhibition at Valade Family Gallery in Detroit in 2017; and ArtPrize 8 in Grand Rapids in 2016.
SOPHIE LANE DENNIS: Originally from Chicago, Sophie Lane Dennis currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina where she works at a local art gallery and paints in her apartment studio surrounded by loads of natural light. Sophie’s work redefines the traditional term of texture, as she incorporates various forms of coffee, herbs and organic particles to create ambiguous, rigorously worked surfaces.
Sophie graduated with a BFA in painting from Western Michigan University’s Gwen Frostic School of Art in 2018. Her awards include the Director’s Choice Award (2018) and the Art Star Award (2017) at the Frostic School of Art, and Great Promise Award from IHSSAE in Chicago in 2013. Her work has been featured in various group exhibitions at such venues as Anne Neilson Fine Art in Charlotte, NC (2018); ArtHop in Kalamazoo, MI (2018); in Lansing, MI, at the Michigan State Capitol via the Art-in-the-House program (2017-18); in the exhibition Final Showing at the School of the Alternative, Black Mountain, NC; at the School of Art Institute of Chicago as part of the Continuing Studies Program (2013-14); and at the University of Illinois in Chicago during the Spiral Student Show (2012-13).
Opening reception & preview for lenders, exhibition partners, Richmond Center members and Frostic School of Art students: Wednesday, January 16, 2019, 5:00 – 7:00pm MyWMU.com/FriendsofRCVA