Night Vision brings 1980s party vibe to Georgia Southern’s Contemporary Gallery

Claire Ashley
Chicago-based artist Claire Ashley’s large-scale inflatable paintings/sculptures combine humor, acidic color, and pop culture references in rebellion to art world tradition.

STATESBORO, Ga. – Inspired by Grace Jones’ iconic 1981 album “Nightclubbing,” Chicago-based artist Claire Ashley’s “Night Vision” uses humor, acidic color and absurd pop culture references to create large-scale inflatable painting/sculpture-hybrid work that rejects longstanding art world traditions. The exhibition will be presented at Georgia Southern University’s Contemporary Gallery at the Center for Art and Theatre from Feb. 15 – March 17. A lecture and reception will be Feb. 15. The Artist Talk will begin at 5 p.m. in Art Building, room 2071, with the reception to follow immediately after, from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at the Center for Art & Theatre.

“I wanted to bring Claire’s work here because it’s got a good combination of being challenging, while at the same time being fun and engaging. Art that poses big questions like what is art? or why is this art? Can sometimes be dull or stuffy, but Ashley’s work is anything but,” said Gallery Director Jason Hoelscher. “The notion of a painting as an inflatable surface (rather than a flat plane) is an interesting one from a theoretical point of view, but is also just plain fun to engage: who doesn’t feel a bit like a kid again when surrounded by big, weird, inflatable objects?”

Ashley’s work is deeply feminist, and is particularly invested in exploding the structural possibilities of abstract painting, expanding kinetic possibilities for monumental sculpture and enlivening the dialogue around contemporary art by utilizing a deliberately egalitarian collection of humorous and formal entry points for multiple communities to engage with her work. “Night Vision” will transform the gallery into a nightclub-like setting using projections and internally lit inflating/deflating “breathing” painted sculptures.

“Claire Ashley’s work combines large scale–often considered, or at least intended to be read as, a sign of big, serious art–with a sense of fun and engaged interaction. The objects are painterly in ways that light up an art critic’s brain with interesting questions and problems, while also lighting up the pleasure or fun center of the brain. Much fun art is shallow, much ‘deep’ art isn’t necessarily fun or viscerally interesting, but Ashley’s work manages to bridge these divides,” said Hoelscher. “For that matter, as more and more of our cultural objects dissolve into the immateriality of screen space, there’s a real, visceral pleasure in being around objects and tangible things. With Ashley’s work the fun becomes serious, the serious becomes fun, and the two combine to pose important questions about, and challenges to, what we have come to expect from art experiences in this second decade of the 21st century.”

All events are free and the public is invited to attend. Read more…

Student wins photo competition, has work featured by Photo Vogue Italia

Henriette Ebbesen

Henriette Ebbesen, “Kaleidoscopic Still Life”

Henriette Sabroe Ebbesen, was a winner in Life Framer’s monthly photography competition “Still Life.” The work from her series “Kaleidoscope Still Life” received an honorable mention in the competition judged by internationally celebrated photographer Lorenzo Vitturi. Additionally, Ebbesen’s portfolio is currently featured on the Photo Vogue Italia website. “Water Lilies,” a photocollage from her series “Feminine Development,” was selected Photo Vogue Italia’s Pic of the Day on January 2. Ebbesen currently is studying medicine at University of Copenhagen, Denmark. She attended Georgia Southern University through the Georgia Rotary Student Program and studied art from 2015-2016. Here she found her passion for fine art photography. Her work has been featured in exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe.

Bielski shows work at Valdosta State, receives award for work in Texas exhibition

Sarah Bielski currently has work on display in the Valdosta National 2017 show at Valdosta State University’s Dedo Marannville Fine Arts Gallery in Valdosta, Georgia. In December, Bielski received an Award of Excellence for her work in featured in the Texas Visual Art Association National Exhibit at the Mesquite Art Center in Mesquite, Texas.

Center for Sustainability seeks Graphic Design interns

Georgia Southern’s Center for Sustainability is seeking two paid student interns to assist with communications and outreach. Graphic design and writing skills would be especially useful. Please see posting for information or to apply. Application deadline is Monday, January 30, 2017, at 5 p.m.

If you have questions, email Cami Sockow at

CURIO Symposium Call For Submissions

The CLASS Office for Undergraduate Research & Intellectual Opportunities (or CURIO) will host an evening highlighting the best research and creative endeavors of the college’s students at the CURIO Symposium on April 11, 2017. Submissions from currently enrolled undergraduate students from all major and minor areas of study in CLASS will be accepted. Projects completed during the Spring 2016, Summer 2016, Fall 2016, and Spring 2017 semesters are welcome. Interdisciplinary projects from those semesters may also be submitted.

Apply for the Symposium

Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art • PO Box 8032 • Statesboro, GA 30460 • (912) 478-5358 • • (map)