“America Selfie” by Laura Elkins
Join us in the Great Room of the SMBHC on the following dates:
Tuesday, Aug. 22
Oxford Art Crawl
Tuesday, Aug. 22
Tuesday, Sept. 26
ABOUT THE WORK
“America Selfie,” a site-specific painting installation for the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College at the University of Mississippi, is a portrait of America now, and then–in essence a contemporary take on history painting–and uses current events, American history, national symbols, and contemporary and art historical imagery to explore and develop a portrait of America.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Laura Elkins began painting as a child, taking lessons from several painters in her hometown, Oxford, Mississippi, including Saturday morning classes at the Mary Buie Museum and the University of Mississippi Department of Art. After college Elkins returned to Oxford to begin painting full-time. Visionary painter Theora Hamblett was a local presence and Elkins enjoyed visits with her at her home and studio, where Hamblett shared in-depth descriptions of her work. Later, the artist would share Hamblett’s earlier patronage by Betty Parsons, who exhibited Elkins’s work in 1980.
After living, essentially, a peripatetic life, Elkins, for the past decade and a half, has made her home in Washington, DC, a milieu that informs her current work. The artist has a degree in architecture from the University of Virginia, where she studied life drawing and painting, and has worked in all phases of architectural practice. She also studied at the Polytechnic Central London and Sweet Briar College.
Elkins received a grant funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Rockefeller Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in 1993 to create Why There Are No Great Women Artists: The Children’s Room that translated her series of paintings, The Birth of Housework, into architecture. Elkins was the Forsyth Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in 2008 and joined the Santa Fe Art Institute’s Immigration/Emigration Residency in September 2015.
Recent exhibitions in New York include First, She’s a Lady! a solo show at Tikhonova&Wintner; Fabrications: Constructing Female Identity, curated by Yulia Tikhonova, at Dixon Place; and a site-specific installation at Ground Floor Workshop. Sue Scott chose Elkins’s work for Studio Montclair Viewpoints 2014 at Aljira Contemporary Art Center in Newark, NJ. Curator and photographer (and fellow Mississippian) Allen Frame has included the artist’s work in many shows, including in Budapest, New York, and Memphis. Recent exhibitions in DC include United in Passion and Pride, curated by John Paradiso; Portrait of the Self as Other, curated by Thomas Drymon; and three solo shows at The Fridge.
A monograph of the artist’s paintings Summer in the City was published by Enlightening Press in 2015. Upshur Street Books in DC and Square Books in Oxford hosted signings and exhibitions in 2016.
See her work on her website http://lauraelkinsartist.com/, and her Instagram pages https://www.instagram.com/lauraelkins/, and https://www.instagram.com/aliasart//. Friend her and follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lauraelkinsartist and https://www.facebook.com/LauraElkinsArt/.
The exhibit will run August 12 through September 29, 2017.