Ouachita Baptist University will host Michael Connell and Adam Oakes’ senior exhibit, “Back,” in Mabee Fine Arts Center’s Hammons Gallery from April 14 to 24. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
In this avant-garde exhibit, the artists express urban deconstructivism through a display of their works in design and digital art. The show will be a culmination of the students’ work while at Ouachita.
A reception will be held April 17 at 6 p.m. in Hammons Gallery to give Connell and Oakes the opportunity to interact with the public about their art and the creative process behind it.
Connell and Oakes said they seek to explore the subliminal side of graphic design by re-contextualizing design in different mediums, including sculpture, multimedia pieces and live performance art.
“I plan to take this show to the outer limits of what constitutes graphic design,” said Michael Connell, a senior graphic design and computer science major from Little Rock, Ark. “I like exploring the bizarre and gauging the reaction of my audience. That, to me, is the enjoyment of art. Though many view art as a way to inspire, instill or instruct, I see art as a conduit of emotion – an amplifier of an idea, perhaps.”
“I have always had a love of motion, attitude and humor in art and have aimed to reflect that in my own work,” explained Adam Oakes, a senior graphic design and computer science double major from Campbell, Texas. “All of my pieces, though static, were designed with motion in mind.”
Oakes reminisced on one of his earliest memories standing under stained glass dome ceilings and explained, “I felt this breathtaking feeling of being immersed in something inconceivably vast. Oftentimes in my work I aim to replicate that immersive feeling with my viewers, which is sometimes directly expressed in the relationship between man and God.
“Connell and I have been like-minded in our creative direction, seeking to redefine what an art show is,” Oakes noted, “so we have had good cooperation to make the show as engaging to our audience as possible.”
“Showing with Adam Oakes is an honor, and I feel that together our show is a great taste of what kind of quality is expected by the visual arts department,” said Connell.
Regular gallery hours for the exhibit are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, contact the School of Fine Arts at (870) 245-5129.
By Chelsea Whelpley
Artwork featured above is “Heracles and the Hydra,” a digital illustration by Adam Oakes.