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2018 SPE Annual Conference: Uncertain Times: Borders, Refuge, Community, Nationhood / Hosted by The University of the Arts

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Relationship Show

The Relationship Show explores four artists’ viewpoints on the beginning, end, and isolation within current relationships. Each artist approaches the topic utilizing multiple approaches that meet us emotionally, visually, and with bittersweet laughter.

The most important role an artist plays is the way in which they reflect back to the world something intimate about themselves. Art has the power to demonstrate love, passion, and joy. Conversely, it reveals uncertainty, discomfort, pain, and breakdown. Making art about relationships can be the most honest way to work through feelings of turmoil and disconnection. The origin of the artwork is personal, but the experience is universal. The photographs of Laura Beth Reese are a conscious look back at her relationships that have ended, and an attempt at reconnection with an intimacy that has passed. Maureen Drennan photographs her husband with love and sensitivity in an attempt to reconnect and understand the turmoil in her marriage brought about by his depression.

Utilizing the language of popular culture adds universality to a project. Matthew Swarts takes our relationship with technology and amplifies the visual artifacts while simultaneously breaking our connection with the original image with two projects; each addressing the end of one relationship and the uncertainty that comes at the beginning of another. Allison Wade is borrowing the language of text messaging and the way that online dating relationships play out remotely with disastrous results. Her paintings of break-up texts demonstrate the frustrations, rising disregard for emotions, along with the desperation that has developed in a contemporary dating culture.

Exhibiting artists include Maureen Drennan, Laura Beth Reese, Matthew Swarts, and Allison L. Wade. The grand opening reception will take place on Friday, January 27, 2017, from 6:00 - 9:00pm, at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center’s new location (1070 Bannock St, Denver, CO 80204) in the Golden Triangle Museum District. This exhibition is on view beginning January 20 through February 25, 2017.

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