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New SDSU faculty putting on diverse art show


Brookings, S.D. (KELO AM) - New visual arts faculty members at South Dakota State University are displaying works as unique as their backgrounds in the annual faculty exhibit at Ritz Gallery in Grove Hall on campus.

The exhibit opened Jan. 13 and closes Feb. 7 with a Jan. 23 public reception from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The artists' talk is 5 p.m.  Exhibitors are Shannon McCarthy, Kristyn Weaver, Lei Zhang and Tony Carton.

Shannon McCarthy, an instructor in graphic design and foundations, comes to SDSU from Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where she received her Master of Fine Arts in 2013 in visual communications and also did work in sustainable design. McCarthy also worked as a freelance graphic designer.

Her Bachelor of Fine Arts was from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated cum laude in 2009 with an emphasis in applied media art and graphic design with a minor in printmaking. 

Her exhibit is 18 large format posters featuring the NO AWAY: An Awareness Campaign about Plastic Consumption. 

McCarthy said the purpose of her exhibit is "to show the SDSU and surrounding community that plastic consumption and pollution is not only a world issue but also a community issue."

The exhibit fits her background. In 2012, while a student at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, her work was selected by NextByDesign.org, whose mission is to engage societal challenges through graphic design.

In 2011, she received the OutPut Award and had her work published in OutPut 15, the international yearbook of student works in design and architecture.

Kristyn Weaver, in her second year at SDSU, holds fine arts degrees from the University of Texas (bachelor's) and Washington State (master's). Before coming to Brookings, she was art and culture specialist at the Dougherty Arts Center in Austin, Texas.

At SDSU, she instructs drawing 1 & 2, art appreciation, 2D design and color theory.

Her exhibit entries are a selection of drawings and sculpture from the last 10 years, including "Soft Seat," a chair made from urethane rubber and roofing nails.

"With this work, I wanted to explore how the denial of a forms function alters its existence. So, with 'Soft Seat,' I created a chair whose shape and space remained unchanged, but I altered its material from wood to soft rubber," Weaver said.

The soft rubber couldn't even support its own weight, causing its function to be denied, she noted.

Weaver also plans to exhibit "Mainstream," a graphite-on-paper work that is the first of an in-progress series of drawings depicting cat images from the Internet with rap lyric captions.

Another Weaver exhibit piece is "ASAP," a larger-than-life Post-It note created by using pastels on paper.

Lei Zhang, an instructor in design functions, computer graphics and drawing, comes to SDSU from Iowa State, where he received two master's degrees — one in graphic design in 2013 and one in applied linguistics in 2009.

His SDSU exhibit is nine posters and 15 matted black-and-white photographs based on his study-abroad experience as an international student and his graphic design work experience with the Study Abroad Center at Iowa State University.

The posters are computer-generated using a retro style. The photographs capture daily life in the places where Zhang has travelled in the past three years.

Tony Carton, an assistant professor in graphic and interaction design, comes to SDSU from the University of Minnesota, where he received a Master of Fine Arts degree in graphic design.

He will exhibit an interactive eye-tracking installation that explores the act of looking and digital decay.

For more information on the exhibit or directions to Ritz Gallery, contact the Department of Visual Arts at 605-688-4103 or Beverly.French@sdstate.edu.