Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124, [email protected]
CANYON, Texas — A student art exhibition exploring the interplay between crafting and fine art — as well as the friction in gendered expectations of art — will open Oct. 2 at West Texas A&M University.
Nicole Stewart, a Saltillo, Miss., native pursuing her master of fine arts degree, will open “Reconstruction of the Soul” in the Dord Fitz Formal Gallery in Mary Moody Northen Recital Hall.
The exhibition, which will feature 22 paintings and one installation, will be on view through Oct. 31.
Stewart uses a multi-pronged approach in her work. First, she creates a few abstract paintings, then cuts them into strips of varying widths and lengths, then weaves those into a tapestry. She seals the results, stretches it like a canvas, then cuts the excess off.
“With that process, they go from a painting to a woven object and back to a painting,” Stewart explained. “I’ve never seen anyone make a tapestry and stretch it onto another canvas to make a painting, and I really got interested in the act of turning craft practices into fine art practices.”
It’s more than technique on Stewart’s mind, too.
“I wanted to break down the definitions of men’s and women’s art, the masculine and the feminine,” Stewart said. “What does it mean to be a woman artist? Why can’t things like crocheting and quilting be considered art? I thought if I combined the two techniques, maybe we could find a neutral ground.”
“Watching Nicole’s work shift and grow over the last two years has been a fascinating process, and the result is a beautiful fusion of craft and painting,” said Jon Revett, associate professor of painting and drawing. Everyone should see this show.”
Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays
Engagement with the arts is a key precept to WT’s long-term plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.
About West Texas A&M University
WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. With enrollment of more than 10,000, WT offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 38 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 15 men’s and women’s athletics programs.