Thoughts on the BA/BFA- Mark Monroe Performance
I just got back from the Baum Gallery opening of the 2012 BA/BFA show. Mark Monroe is one of the many talented graduating class featured in this show. He has been a great friend to me and I have always looked up to him as a personal mentor whether he is aware of it or not. His collection consists of installation works, functional pieces, video features, audio features, and so much more. He has put so much work into this show.
I helped install parts of the show myself, but it was so much more exciting to see people in the space reacting to his art for the first time. The audience observed the distorted video displays and listened to the sounds of melodic music created by students of the Arkansas Deaf and Blind School. One of my friends actually began to cry when she heard the beautiful melody created by braille recordings of text message conversations between Mark and his boyfriend. The scale of the show is so inviting. Mark’s message of the social networking craze are perfectly translated in the multiple features of the show including an installation of altered pictures from his own social networks that the audience is encouraged to take home with them. It is so symbolic that these pieces of documented moments in Mark’s life are being given away to the world echoing the way they are given to the public when posted on social networks; also it feels like he is letting go of the restraints of social networking by removing himself from these photos and giving them away as if they are no longer wanted.
Works from the other artists have also impressed me tonight. Sculptures by Howard Neal were beautiful in there raw form of rusted and shattered metal. Jordan Karpe has a painting unique in its focus on composition, something that most artists do not tend to express an emphasis on.
I always feel the importance of the shows at the Baum Gallery after the first opening when everyone first begins to interact with the art.
-Cathleen Brignac, intern of the Baum Gallery