Angie Seykora – Part to Part
Opening RECEPTION - APRIL 14, On View - April 14 – May 27
Part to Part
As rapidly as industry produces new technology, artists are quick to capitalize on its creative potential. Since the 1950s the relationship between art and industry has gained momentum, particularly surrounding plastics. Modern Art movements such as Minimalism and Process Art, and historical collaborations between artists and scientists including Experiments in Art and Technology (1967-2001), generated a discourse that embraced, investigated and critiqued the cultural impact of our new synthetic frontier. Plastics can be molded and shaped with seemingly limitless potential; because they are manufactured in vast quantities, at a low cost, for myriad uses, plastics have affected -- or infected -- every aspect of daily life.
More than half a century has passed since synthetic materials inundated our day-to-day. The future lauded by proponents of industrial investment in synthetic technologies is now. As plastic materials create the opportunity and flexibility to manufacture anything, they have also contributed to a breakdown of material differentiation. Everything becomes homogenous; we stop noticing the extent to which we manufacture and use plastics simply because we can. This legacy of early collaboration between the arts and industry continues to provoke material dialog in Angie Seykora's Part to Part exhibition.
Seykora is part of an evolving discourse of recognition and mitigation, questioning how we make sense of our plastic abundance. The Omaha-based artist builds her ongoing language through craft, labor, material, and engages the audience by drawing on collective sense memories. Through the process of disassembling and reassembling -- by hand and not by machine -- Seykora creates the opportunity for discovery and reflection that industry cannot afford. Part to Part erases boundaries between "art," "sculpture," and "craft," while finding variance between the uses and physical properties of common plastics. The artist's process brings clarity to the impact of industry on our collective culture; what may have once seemed like noise in the background comes into full view. By transforming ubiquitous products, Seykora challenges perception, the sustainability of cultural production, and how we place value on the things we keep or choose to part with.
The Union invites everyone to join us on April 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. to celebrate the opening of our latest exhibition featuring Omaha-based artist, Angie Seykora and her collection entitled Part to Part.
The artist will be present. Refreshments will be served.
Part to Part runs from April 14th through May 27th.
Omaha-based Angie Seykora received an MFA in Sculpture from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She is a 2016 recipient of the Nebraska Arts Council’s Distinguished Individual Artist Fellowship award. She earned an Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture award from the International Sculpture Center, from which she was selected for the fully funded Art-St-Urban Sculpture Residency in St. Urban, Switzerland. Seykora is currently an instructor of sculpture at Creighton University and participates as an artist mentor for Omaha youth through the Joslyn Art Museum’s Kent Bellows Mentoring Program. She exhibits her work nationally and internationally.
Paul and Annette Smith
Wanda D. Ewing Gallery
The Wanda D. Ewing Gallery is dedicated to the Omaha artist, educator, and founding Union for Contemporary Art partner who passed away in 2013. Ewing’s work ranged from traditional print media to painting, sculpture, and fiber arts, and was influenced by folk-art aesthetics and the depiction—and lack thereof—of African-American women in popular culture and the canon of art history. Throughout her career, she represented the connections between autobiography, community, and history, often with a biting, comical edge.
Born and raised in Omaha and educated around the United States, both the artist and her work traveled around the globe: she felt strongly about the fact that where one has been in the past—literally and figuratively—affects how one proceeds in the future. This often led her to historical representations of women in popular and folk expressions, such as pin-ups, beauty advertisements, “Mammy” dolls, and “exotic” figurines, all of which promote sometimes powerful, sometimes problematic ideals of womanhood into which she often projected herself. In sometimes-humorous, sometimes-serious appropriations of works by white, male artists from Western art history she similarly, meaningfully recast the figures in ethnic and gendered configurations that require viewers to rethink the originals. In so doing, Ewing encouraged dialogue around questions of who is allowed to make, see, and be seen in visual culture, and whether the arts look like the communities we live in, challenging her audiences to believe in the transformative power of art to conjure images where people might be themselves wherever they can see themselves.