Developed by Greg Shelnutt, former Chair of the Art Department, Clemson University.
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Sunday, November 30, 2014
Ayako Abe-Miller, Clemson University MFA in Art (sculpture) Candidate, to Exhibit in Sugar Rush at EN EM Art Space
Preserving Your Essence by Ayako Abe-Milller
The presence of sugar in our lives is nearly inescapable. From Candy Land to Candy Crush Saga, visions of sugary wonderlands populate some of our culture’s favorite pastimes. And if the inviting images of sweets in bright, saturated colors aren’t enough to tingle our taste buds, the actual sweets we consume are brimming with enough sugar to light up the pleasure centers of our brain, and to make us return for more.
Preserving Your Essence [detail] by Ayako Abe-Milller
Why are we so obsessed with all things sweet, especially when we know that it’s also responsible for many of our modern health problems? Studies have shown that our brain responds to sugar the same way that it would to an addictive substance such as cocaine. Sugar’s addictive quality may help explain why Americans, on average, consume about 150 pounds of sugar a year! But our obsession for all things sweet also spills over into our indulgence for culturally sweet (borderline saccharine) experiences such as child pageants, home décor, pets in sweaters.
Formerly known as “white gold” by British colonists, sugar’s status has evolved from being an exotic sweet spice only enjoyed by society’s elites to its ubiquitous, highly processed forms available to the masses today. Artists such as Kara Walker and Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons have addressed the history of sugar and its reliance on slave labor. “Sugar Rush” will focus on artworks that address the topic from multiple perspectives. Works can celebrate sweetness, or criticize it, or simply reference it in technique; works may mimic the saturated, rainbow colors of candy or the thick swirls of cake frosting.
Exhibition Dates – December 13, 2014 – January 17
Opening Reception – December 13, 2014 6pm - 9pm
EN EM ART SPACE
Guest juror and co-curator for this exhibition, Rhonda Coleman
Rhonda Coleman is a nationally-recognized arts professional and business entrepreneur with over twenty years of experience in the art and design field. Ms. Coleman holds a BS in Business Administration, BA in Art History, and MA in Art History and Museum Studies. As a former art museum curator, Coleman has held important positions at the Henry Art Gallery (Seattle’s contemporary art museum), the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., and the University of Southern California's Fisher Gallery and was co-director of the Red Arrow Gallery in Joshua Tree, CA. She has taught art history, painting seminars, business, and professional development classes at the UW, USC and Artist Trust. Today, Coleman functions as an art adviser traveling between Palm Springs, Seattle and Nashville, to guide a handful of non-profits, as well as individual clients, and professional artists.