Sam Houston University is holding an art exhibit named “Scarcity and Abundance” in the Dana G. Hoyt Fine Arts Building. This exhibit will host works with the theme of “identity” by Emma Balder, Matt Manalo, and Venessa Monokian. SHSU students will be able to view this exhibit from January 26 through March 4th, and it’s open every day except Sunday, with opening hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. These exhibitions are part of the effort the university makes to include art as constantly as possible. Frank Graham, the gallery coordinator, states, “The exhibition is part of our regular spring programming, where we invite two or more professional artists to exhibit and visit to give an artist talk. This exhibition was curated by two faculty members, Emily Peacock and Becky Finley. “
This exhibition was designed by two SHSU employees: Emily Peacock, an assistant professor, and Rebecca Finley, a photography professor. These two were in charge of creating the exhibit and bringing it to life. Finley states, “The exhibition Scarcity and Abundance was curated by my colleague, Professor Emily Peacock, and myself. We discussed a number of Houston-based artists who were working in a variety of media. We saw both a visual and conceptual connection in the work of Emma Balder, Matt Manalo, and Venessa Monokian. Professor Peacock and I were both excited about the way the work came together in the gallery.”
The works created by these artists very well reflect the theme of the exhibit “Identity,”, as they show works of art that give a sense of self-identity, and the artists selected for this exhibit specialize in these types of works; Balder, for example, is known for making hand-sewn pieces of art that showcase various colors that demonstrate different human emotions, such as rage, sadness, and joy. The exhibit showcases many of his art pieces, mostly sewn, that represent human psychology in various ways.
Matt Manalo is another one of the artists in the exhibit; his works of art often include using raw materials that are sometimes donated or collected in nature, which brings the idea of scarcity and abundance forward. Manalo specializes in many areas, such as sculpture, drawing, repurposing materials, and photography.
The last artist included in this exhibition, Venessa Monokian, is another artist whose art represents identity. Monokian art is based on photography, as she uses her photos to represent self-identity and personal experience. Her art also investigates the environment; she shows various pieces of art in the exhibit that present different plants.
Students who come into the exhibit and view the numerous works of art will hopefully be inspired to create their own art, as the exhibit inspires people in various ways. Finley stated “I was excited to show the work of these three artists on campus. We try to show a wide variety of professional artists in The University Art Gallery. I don’t like to speculate on how others might feel about art, but my hope is that students, faculty, and the community might feel inspired to see how artists are using recycled materials and talking about important topics in their work.” Students will have a few more opportunities to come visit an exhibit hosted by the university, such as the one hosted at the end of each semester to showcase art by graduating seniors.