Simpson College did not have to search far to find an artist to feature in Willis Gallery. Murphy Waggoner was already on campus.
Waggoner, professor of mathematics and department chair of mathematics, will exhibit her artwork in the Willis Gallery from Sept. 21 through Oct. 23. Willis Gallery is located on the second floor of the Kent Campus Center.
The exhibit is free, and the public is invited. An artist reception will be held from 4-5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22.
In her artist’s statement, Waggoner wrote, “In these days of technology, we have become accustomed to touchless contact. But physical distance is not a new concept for those of us who grew up in families where embraces were unknown. To compensate for that lack of first-hand physical contact, we use heirlooms, printed photos, and other objects to achieve closeness by touching things others have touched. This group of pieces allows me to experience touch through one or more degrees of separation.
“Objects used in these pieces were found, recovered, donated, or inherited, and hence touched and used by others before they reached this destination. Through assemblage, collage, mixed media, and textiles I have created biographical portraits of my family and myself or represented my view of social issues. Much like writing a biography, the process allows me to dig into and capture the actions, emotions and events of a life in a way that is more meaningful to me than photos are.”