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Upcoming NMSU Art Gallery exhibit questions everyday objects

What can art be made of? Can it be zippers or bobby pins? After you've checked out New Mexico State University Art Gallery's upcoming exhibit, your answer may surprise you. The new exhibit, titled "rematerialized," is a showcase of contemporary artists who push the envelope using everyday objects to depict social issues. It will open with a reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9. The art show will feature five separate gallery talks and run through Jan. 11, 2013.



Elizabeth Morisette's, 'Maze,' zippers and thread, 2011, will be on display at "rematerialized," Nov. 9 through Jan. 11, 2013 at the New Mexico State University Art Gallery. (Image copyright Elizabeth Morisette.)

Paho Mann's 'Everything in Our Apartment,' archival pigment print, 2007, will be on display at "rematerialized," Nov. 9 through Jan. 11, 2013 at the New Mexico State University Art Gallery. (Image courtesy of Paho Mann.)

"The idea of re-contextualizing, recombining and recasting our ideas about how materials can be used to discuss larger social and cultural issues, like politics or gender, is the main idea of the exhibit," said Stephanie Taylor, interim art gallery director and a co-curator of the exhibit. "Of course contemporary artists have been using found materials and unexpected materials since the beginning of the twentieth century. But these artists are taking it a bit further. I think they are really questioning the concept of how materials can signify and what they signify in our contemporary world."

The nine artists from the U.S. and Canada focus on a broad range of concepts using unexpected materials such as bobby pins, zippers, venetian blinds, polyurethane foam and crimping ribbon.

Taylor will present gallery talks about the artists and their work from 1-2 p.m. Dec. 1, Dec. 15 and Jan. 5, 2013. Additionally, two of the participating artists will present talks about their work on two separate occasions.

Io Palmer is an assistant professor from Washington State University. She explores complex issues of class, race and identity, in particular the impact of society on the individual. Trained originally as a ceramicist, Palmer uses a variety of processes and materials including fabric, steel and sound. She holds a BFA from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, and an MFA from the University of Arizona in Tucson. Palmer will present a talk about her work at 4 p.m. Nov. 9 in the auditorium of the College of Health and Social Services.

Paho Mann's work investigates the physical manifestation of individuality, using both traditional photographic practices and contemporary digital technology. He received a BFA from the University of New Mexico, and his MFA from Arizona State University. He is an assistant professor of photography at the University of North Texas in Denton.

An associate professor from the Oregon College of Art and Craft, Heidi Schwegler explores a wide range of materials in the service of very depressing subject matter. Schwegler constructs artifacts and objects from resin, metal, wood, wax, found objects and digital media. She earned her MFA from the University of Oregon.

Joe Casey Doyle's art combines interests in craft, sculpture, metals and jewelry, video, gender and the concept of play. He is an assistant professor of art and design at the University of Idaho. He received his MFA with an emphasis in sculpture from The Ohio State University, and holds a BFA with emphasis in sculpture and metals and jewelry from NMSU.

Angela Ellsworth received her MFA form the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers State University, and her B.A. from Hampshire College in Massachusetts. She is an associate professor in the School of Art, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University in Tempe.

Elizabeth Morisette uses items that are whimsical in nature such as such as jar lids, curlers and combs. She received a Master's in Community Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Tim Liddy, an associate professor of art at Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Missouri, creates authentic-looking lids of game boards using enamel and oil on copper. His works will fool your eye--you won't believe they are painted replicas. He may also fool your memory--are all of his board games real? He received a BFA from the Center For Creative Studies in Detroit, and an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis.

Canadian sculpture Kuh Del Rosario and video artist Frances Adair Mckenzie's will be featured together via their video collaboration "Honey on my Laptop." Rosario's creations include found and salvaged objects, and McKenzie works in video and graphic design using both digital and hands-on media. Rosario, who will also have three sculptures on view in the exhibition, will talk about her work at 5:30 p.m. in the gallery on Nov. 30.

"This group of artists challenges conventions about what art can be, what it can be made from and how one operates as an artist," said Craig Cully, co-curator of the exhibit who is an assistant professor in the art department. "Their work is conceptually driven, at times humorous, political and even subversive."

The gallery is open from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with evening hours Wednesdays from 6-8 p.m. The gallery is closed on Sundays, Monday and observed holidays, as well as the NMSU winter holiday break, which is scheduled for Dec 24 - Jan 1, 2013. All events at the gallery are free and open to the public. For more information contact the NMSU Art Gallery at 575-646-2545.