Sharpening a Screw

April 12 - May 9

Sharpening a Screw resists easy resolutions. The works on view signal the value of iteration, returning to a thought, a question, or a method to look for the unexpected. Each of the nine MFA students from the Lamar Dodd School of Art use materials as fasteners, presenting a constellation of themes from which to step back and look anew.

Taken together, the artists offer both a gentle sincerity and tongue-in-cheek bite. Where Lindsey Kennedy drills into the pictorial doom of climate dread, Martin Chamberlain and Alejandro Ramirez pull back with a wry grin, presenting witty objects that are convincing yet playful. Kit Rutter illustrates a story of perseverance and care that breaks through paper pulp thickets, while Dylan Lewis crafts a narrative in which sewing and alchemy meet. Yoon Hwang’s drawn and pinched marks imbue clay with all the history that hands collect, as Katie Ford and Ashley Wingo’s sculptural assemblages magnetize traces of memory and identity into form. Lastly, Meredith Emery plays with text in her fantastic and extended examination of the American burying beetle.

The exhibition nods towards the compulsion that often drives these creative processes. The artists are as much compelled by the cultural relevance of their subject matter as they are by the desire to scratch an insatiable itch—to wade through the fog of making until meaning emerges. Viewers are invited to consider the works in the exhibition as meditations in which the artists refine the poetry of their materials, in which the screw is sharpened time and again to see what holds.