April 15, 5–7pm
Student Artist & Scholar Talks: May 4, noon–1:15pm. Free and open to the public. For ASL interpretation and/or other accommodations, please email email@example.com by April 27.
Exhibition description by the artists: The Living Room showcases each artist's journey of their time at St. Kate’s. The artwork on view includes themes of family, emotions, identity, and connections. The exhibition title reflects a desire for the artwork to be shared in an inviting and comfortable environment. A living room is a space for conversations, playfulness, and rest. Come in and stay awhile.
Press: M Yeager, The Living Room: Senior Art Exhibition, The Wheel. April 23, 2023.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Fired ceramics are fairly immortal objects, as long as I don’t drop them. Ceramic houseware upwards of 20,000 years old has been recovered worldwide, preserving some of history’s best kept secrets. What people ate and drank, how they cooked, the stories they told, how they hosted, what games they played, and what lives they led are all bottled up in wine jars and game boxes. Hand-making space, objects, comfort, and joy is one of the oldest human traditions. That’s the real alchemy of ceramics, not turning dirt into stone.
One’s environment impacts their well-being. My body of work creates a space that feeds my soul and makes me laugh, a steady stream of conversation with handmade objects that take on lives of their own. Growing up, my family moved every 1-3 years, and as a child, I had little agency over what was or wasn’t kept. Space itself was transient. I never dared to fantasize about a place that speaks to me. The idea of home was untouchable and unmakeable.
My current body of work has given me a chance to curate a space with intention, where board games, warm beverages, light, music, and company are most welcome. It is scattered with my favorite things: fossils, animals, the ocean, even a swear word or two. During this exhibition, please make yourself at home.
Mathis Joubert Edwards is a queer French-American artist who will graduate from St. Catherine University with a BA in Studio Art in May of 2023. Throughout his undergraduate education he has snooped through many mediums: charcoal, ink, watercolor, wheel-thrown and hand-built ceramics, creative writing, multimedia sculpture, digital illustration, animation, and music. No, it does not narrow down further.
Having spent a cumulative decade in coastal California, the ocean and environmental conservation are themes at the forefront of his practice. He begins each piece with a deep dive into a new research topic, often natural science, human history, evolution, and marine biology. His subject matter is honored with faithful, realistic studies, followed by work that leans into more whimsical and grotesque imagery.
After graduation, he hopes to continue his pottery practice and pursue a further course of study in scientific illustration.
My artwork is influenced by the world around me, from music and visual media, to world events and other artists. I normally go with the flow of what inspires me at the moment to make something. Lately, I've been inspired by emotions, and I’m interested in representing them across media to communicate how I process those emotions. Emotions are complex, fickle things that are difficult to describe only using words. Visually representing emotions by a painting, photograph, or physically wearing an emotion can express so many finite words without ever having to say them out loud. Visually representing emotions is not a new concept in art; however, I have yet to see anyone actually “wearing” their emotions.
Along with actually wearing my emotions, I have a series of photos depicting a time in my life when I was feeling overwhelmed and isolated from everyone. I documented myself during this time, creating a series of photographs in my old apartment that I housed alone. I remember returning to my apartment one day, feeling numb, overwhelmed, and isolated. I decided to smear my makeup down my face before lying in the tub. I don’t know why I decided to take pictures during this time, but it was cathartic in a way. It gave me a release that I needed at the time, and still feel the release to this day when I look at them.
In addition to exploring emotions, my work also addresses experiences related to being a woman. These moments in time have stuck with me through the years: being told to sit like a lady, being told I have a muffin top, being told to express my natural beauty while at the same time being told that my natural self is flawed and needs to be covered. These messages have affected my mental health throughout my life, even if I haven’t always outwardly expressed it. They were always voices in the back of my mind, telling me I was not good enough. Expressing them through art for the first time helped me process my emotions in ways I didn’t expect.
Callie Korzeniowski grew up in Ramsey, Minnesota, and is an only child. She’s been doing art since she was three years old and hasn’t stopped since. Her main choice of medium is acrylic painting, but she calls herself a multimedia artist. Originally, Callie wanted to be a chemist when beginning college at St. Kates, but she changed her major to Art History, and she graduates with a B.A. this spring. She was awarded the St. Catherine of Alexandria Scholarship, and since 2021, she has worked as the Jury Lead for Ariston, St. Catherine University’s’ annual art and literary publication, where she has also published her work. After graduation, she hopes to work in a museum, either archiving art or preserving it.She’s been awarded the St. Catherine of Alexandria Scholarship through St. Kates.She has a chat label on Silvia Levenson’s Cinderella’s Shoes for the virtual exhibition at MIA for St. Catherine University’s Art and PowerHas had multiple artworks published in Ariston Would love to work in a museum archiving art or preserving it.
There is both beauty and pain in the ways we explore our nature. I love being a feminine person, because I get to choose. I love my attachment to sisterhood, I love my power in softness, and I love that there are rich stories passed down from generations of women in my family and throughout my community.
My artwork explores the period of time when we are transitioning into adulthood and discovering what our identities are, while grappling with the lessons learned in childhood. This body of work considers the beauty of growth and mistakes, and the complicated relationships we create with ourselves and others. It’s both an expression of self understanding and an invitation to others to share their connection with femininity. What does it mean to be or be seen as a “feminine person” and how does that affect how someone moves through the world?
Overall, I want my work to convey the complexity of the of feminine. In many of us, there are feminine, masculine and non-binary that are embraced differently by the individual. Sometimes we embrace parts of ourselves willingly and other times there are aspects we feel like we cannot accept. Though our worldviews and expectations are shaped by what side of the binary we are placed into.
Maya O’Reilly is a multimedia artist with an affinity for ceramics. Her art encompasses utilitarian and fine arts, and embraces the tradition of craft. Maya grew up in the South Metro area of the Twin Cities, and has found inspiration for her artwork in the nature and people of Minnesota. She will earn her B.A. in Studio Art and Art History from St. Catherine University in 2023.
During her time in college, Maya worked as an instructor for a community education program, working with school-age children and the ceramic studio assistant at St. Kate's. She also became a member of the Antonian Honors program and was the Clay Club president. Maya received the Presidential Scholarship and the Regina Nolan Connors Scholarship. Her artwork has been included in Ariston, S.t Catherine University’s annual student art and literary publication. After graduation, Maya plans on building a small business with her sister, Makenna O’Reilly. They will sell handmade artwork with a goal of expanding access to art in rural and small communities throughout Minnesota.
From a creative child to a fan artist in my teenage years, I took a chance when I decided to major in studio art. I was never one of the cool AP art students in high school, nor was I driven to pursue art as an occupation, but I did have an affinity for drawing and creative processes. How people convey the inner workings of their minds can differ significantly from person to person, but for me, it's always been art-making. It is an important outlet that enables me to capture and give shape to my thoughts, emotions, and the world as I experience it.
My work tends to be colorful and playful while also incorporating lines and shapes, much like my unfinished series The Little Book of Island Life, which showcases colorful digital illustrations in a simple and cute style that was inspired by childrens’ ABC books. Although it can be more formal and serious when need be. No matter the medium, whether digital or ink, what interests me the most is creating art that centers on visual storytelling. The theme of visual storytelling emerged when I began making artwork about my immigrant identity, such as Across the Ocean and The Little Book of Island Life. Making this work has empowered me to deepen my understanding of my own lived experiences and cultural roots, which I am removed from.
My art-making process involves organizing different elements to encapsulate a motif and finding creative avenues to illuminate abstract emotions and ideas. While the themes and subjects of my artwork are diverse, the unifying factor is that I’m creating pieces that bring me joy.
Dee Taropurua is a first-generation Solomon Islands immigrant who was raised and has lived in Minnesota since she was two years old. She will graduate from St. Catherine University in May 2023 with a BA in Studio Art (Graphic Design). She first exhibited her work at the Minnesota History Theatre, where her poster design, What Will You Pass Down?, was part of the 2021 Welcoming the Dear Neighbor? exhibition. Her artworks and literary pieces are also included in the 2023 edition of Ariston, St. Catherine University’s annual art and literature publication. In addition, Dee was an editor during the design process for Recipes for Care, a 2022 interactive, community-based exhibition by St. Paul artist, poet and educator Anh-Hoa Thi Nguyen.
Dee currently works in the St. Kate’s Art and Art History Department as a studio assistant. She also illustrates and designs promotional flyers for the St. Kate’s Empty Bowls Project, a fundraiser for Open Arms of Minnesota. After graduation, she hopes to find a job where she can combine her love for art-making and storytelling.
Theo Von Weiss
I am a very curious person by nature who enjoys exploring different materials and ways of creating artwork. I have a hard time understanding borders and where one medium or discipline stops and another begins. I am a painter, photographer, philosopher, and poet. However, to me these things are not separate: the lines between them are blurred and blended. Art gives me the means to convey myself without limits, labels, or concrete divides.
I learn through process. Creating is one of the only times in my daily life that I am able to stop thinking. My artwork is created through an intuitive process, where ideas develop as I go, with very little planning beforehand. When I’m in the darkroom and allowing the light to paint the image onto paper, I feel as if I’m just the guide, watching the image unfold on its own. Painting, as a process, is similar to me. It’s a way of allowing my innermost feelings to shine through into the world and out from my deep subconscious. Writing poetry continues in this vein, and I often realize that my poems have truths I didn’t know until they were out on the page. This is a spiritual experience and I feel like everyone is capable of having these experiences as well. I invite others to explore their intuition while they create.
Another part of my artistic process is being playful. My animated music video became a big act of play as I explored an idea, with no certainty that it would resolve the way I wanted it to.. Through the process of making this work, I played with the technology on my phone to create the movie. I played with different settings and different amounts of photos. Photography, and image-making, in general, is also very playful for me. I often find myself laughing as I take hundreds of shots, all in different ways. I use manual settings because I love the process of constant trial and error.
My dream is for each person to have a unique spiritual and philosophical experience with my artwork. My poems, photography, and paintings are only a starting point; hopefully they will stretch out further and further away from me and impact others. Ask questions. Explore it in your own way.
Theo von Weiss grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Wisconsin at age 14. They went to Youth Initiative High School in Viroqua, Wisconsin. There they became a part of the theater program and acted in four different plays. When they were a senior, they were the Assistant Director for the theater program’s musical. At the same time, they developed their artistic style and discovered a fascination for photography. Their first exhibition, titled Nothing in Their Eyes, was a photography show about sex trafficking in Wisconsin at a community and art center in Viroqua.
Theo is a fourth-year student at St. Kate's who will graduate next year with a degree in philosophy and studio art. They currently work in the Visual Resource Library at St. Kate's where they help maintain, organize, and digitize the fine art collection on campus. Through this role, they also lead the student research committee for the BIPOC Art Acquisition Project. They also works as an intern at Mary’s Pence, a nonprofit with a national grant-giving program that provides loans, resources, and community support to women in central and south America. Theo is co-president of OAKS, where they help organize and plan events, meetings, and various projects on campus related to the outdoors and sustainability. They are the exhibition lead for the Ariston student artwork exhibition going up in the library this Spring. Their dream is to be able to both make meaningful artwork for their community and support themselves financially through their artwork.
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