Associate Professor of Art Jym Davis opened an art show in the Fincher Visual Arts Center presenting art work centered around the theme of masking identity. The exhibit, called “False Faces,” features work completed by several artists, including William Haun, Talaina Fisher, Brett Mullinix, Katie Rita, Em Harris and Tyler Gill.
One of the contributing artists, Reinhardt alumnus and adjunct professor Tyler Gill, considered Davis as a close mentor. Davis has been familiar with Gill’s work since 2006.
“When he began working with his handmade masks about a year or two ago, I knew he and I shared very similar thread in our work; that being identity as a theme,” Gill said of Davis’ exhibit. “Since I began working at Reinhardt as an adjunct professor, he had been talking about a show to reveal his newest works and he invited me to be a part of it.”
Gill contributed several traditionally processed photographs to the exhibit and said his work provides a different way to question identity by asking “Why?” instead of a more traditional question such as “Who?”
“When I disguise my identity in my work, it relates to my deteriorating memories of who I am,” Gill said. “I have a great fear of dementia, and I am endlessly pursuing the creation of close, personal memories of things in my life. It’s the reason photography exists for me. When I look at my photographs, I see myself in a different light and I remember more about that moment than I ever would alone without my camera.”
Freshman Erin Laas visited the show and found the originality of the featured pieces interesting, especially with the variety of styles and mediums used.
“It was definitely a poignant show. The fact that the masks came from other cultures really resonates with the viewer because it reminds them that the false faces that you put on people, especially ones with different customs than you, aren’t really what they are,” Laas said. “They remind you that 90 percent of the time, the opinions we have of people are just preconceived notions that have been instilled in us by the type of material we’ve been given about that culture or practice — whether good or bad.”
The opening of the art exhibit “False Faces” was held Thursday, Oct. 27 at the Fincher Visual Arts Center. The exhibit closes Nov. 17. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., through Thursday.
Written By: Jordan Beach. Photos By: Jordan Beach. Video By: Matthew Gordon