ARTISTS COMING TO THE CONRAD WEST GALLERY

Karen Hawkins

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As an artist my goal is to transform how a objects function outside of its uncompromising structure and reinterpret it as new and visually meaningful. The process of accreting, accumulating, gathering and re-contextualizing through installations allows a conceptual landscape to emerge. These sculptures are created from discarded and deaccessioned books, which the viewer will recognize for their utilitarian virtue, but which may otherwise have gone unnoticed in their customary setting. To push the viewer to visually engage with each form is my objective; beyond concept, above references, each piece seeks to explore the reciprocity between meaning and structure.

Bret Reilly

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I love to create snapshots of everyday life—reflections of recognizable moments. My art encourages the viewer to laugh at themselves and the world we live in. After spending the majority of the past year and a half secluded due to the pandemic, this body of work needed to be carefree and whimsical—to celebrate the return to normalcy, getting outside, feeling the breeze through your hair, hearing laughter again. And with masks finally coming off, seeing smiles again. There is a stage-presence energy that embodies my work—a quality that attracts the viewer’s eye like they are being entertained rather than just looking at a static piece of art. For figurative work to be successful, it must resonate life and breath through movement and energy. 

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