Tacoma artist Matt Johnson, a visiting instructor in the Department of Art & Design, explores the details of everyday life in his upcoming exhibition. Join SOAC and the University Gallery for the opening reception of “Matt Johnson” with light refreshments Wednesday, October 12 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The exhibition, which will remain open until November 9, 2011, focuses on the relationships we take for granted because of the convenience of cell phones. The exhibition revolves around Johnson’s dependence on his cell phone as a communication device and as a link to personal memories.
“I feel this represents my reliance on my phone to stay connected,” Johnson says. “I am more likely to call/text/email someone than to actually visit with them face to face.“
The drawings and paintings of towers are portraits of friends in his phone book; he substitutes the cell phone towers for their visual likenesses. The portrait paintings come from the theft of Johnson’s phone this summer when he realized he still has a very strong connection to these visual likenesses and tried to reclaim the stolen images on the phone as his.
“I am trying to reconnect with family and friends on a more personal level again,” Johnson says. “This body of work has helped me to realize this need.”
Johnson will showcase approximately 18 works. The exhibition will combine drawing, painting and small sculpture. Most drawings are done in charcoal with some in graphite and watercolor; paintings are oil on canvas and board while sculptures are created using greenware (unfired clay).
Johnson’s work will be displayed and open for public viewing Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from October 12 to November 9 in PLU’s University Gallery; cost is free.