Artist Melissa Livermore will present “Deconstruction” at the Steckline Gallery for the September Final Friday show from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 28 at Newman University. The event is free and open to the public.
The show will be an interactive experience with mixed media elements including photography, videos and tangible art.
The idea for the show was created during Livermore’s experiences in the art studio. The art is inspired by a collection of threads that had fallen off the edges of canvas and onto the floor.
“I was fascinated by those threads, collected them, and then started to pull them off of pieces of scrap canvas,” said Livermore
“Deconstruction” began to have a deeper meaning for Livermore when she spent a month in New York at the Art Student’s League deconstructing a large piece of untreated canvas.
“It was one of the most frustrating experiences; learning what is necessary to remove the piece of thread, to keep it from breaking.”
During this long process of deconstruction, Livermore began to analyze aspects of spirituality.
“In that period of time, I was thinking through what it means to authentically pursue faith. Is it all growth and improvement? Is it more about acknowledging the ways that you do not measure up or the internal conflicts with what you believe and the nuances of daily experience? This slow and meditative action of removing thread after thread, the posture, perseverance and tension required, became a metaphor for my relationship to spiritual transformation,” she explained.
Livermore’s friends asked to deconstruct with her one day and during the process, they found a sense of peace. It opened them up for conversation and relieved anxieties.
Livermore had been trying to create a project that would bring participants closer together and create deep conversations but said, “Everything that I was making felt incredibly fabricated. This simple action of removing threads from a piece of untreated canvas was both accessible and opened up a depth of conversation that the long list of prior attempts did not.”
All are welcome to attend the show and participate in the deconstruction of small scraps of canvas.
Livermore said, “I hope this piece is a catalyst for contemplation and connectedness among the participants. Something that can provide a couple of minutes to slow down in the midst of back to school craziness. Something that creates space to listen to ourselves and others.”
An “Art for Lunch” presentation by the artist will be held noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, in the gallery. A light lunch will be served on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests are also welcome to bring their lunch. This event is also free and reservations are not required.
The Steckline Gallery is located inside the De Mattias Fine Arts Center on the Newman campus, 3100 McCormick. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by appointment. For more information, call 316-942-4291, ext. 2199.