Date of Award

5-1-2020

Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Art and Design

First Advisor

Woody Shepherd

Second Advisor

Chris Terry

Third Advisor

Raymond Veon

Abstract

"Second Chances"

"Making the most out of whatever Life gives you".

For decades I have been making art out of things that other people have abandoned, discarded, sent to thrift stores or sold in garage sales. Since my youth I have possessed the ability to find value, usefulness and even see beauty in objects that most others would label as trash.

This is both a curse and a blessing. It requires patience and space to save, appreciate and tolerate the chaos accompanying objects that have not yet found their useful place in the world. Most of the art, including my displays are constructed from unwanted underappreciated items. Many of which have been collected long ago, patiently waiting for their second chance.

At this time in history, the Corona 19 pandemic has certainly given us all massive challenges to overcome. With graduate art exhibitions all being canceled, I decided to “Make the most” of the situation and do what I always try to do when something unexpected, even devastating ruins well formed plans. Situations like the one we are currently in change everything, forcing us to act and think in new and different ways.

Rather than feel bad, get angry, sad, disappointed, or even give up, saying "oh well" there's nothing I could have done. Instead, I became grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate the same resourceful resilience that I utilize in the creation of art from unwanted materials.

I located and set up my graduate exhibition in an unused auto body repair space with a large garage door creating what I believe to be the world's first “Drive-In” Art exhibition. Families and groups who have been sequestered together were allowed to drive their vehicles one at a time right into the middle of the exhibition essentially becoming part of it. Once in the space and with face masks in place, attendees could get out and view the actual art. (this in contrast to the “virtual” Art exhibitions that are now becoming the norm.)

The time spent at Utah State creating this work has been a truly rewarding exploration of ideas and new methods. I feel an increased connection to the innovative souls who came before us. People who overcame nearly insurmountable obstacles to tame the wilderness and make the most out of what life gave them.

Comments

Because of COVID-19 Pandemic, the final exhibition was presented in a large Auto Body Repair space as a Drive-in Art Experience

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Car in Drive-in Art Exhibition

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Car in Drive-in Art Exhibition

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Drive-in Art Exhibition in vacant Auto body shop behind 553 North Main Street. in Logan Utah

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Visitors

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Social Distancing

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Visitor

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Visitors exploring

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Up Close

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Engaged Visitor

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Visiting Family Group

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"In the Beginning" 4 panels representing the creation of the earth, the creation of us as individuals and finding our purpose in life

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"Eatrh Clock" "Earth" "Life" "Eternity"

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"Earth Clock" detail with light made from discarded Chemistry lab equipment

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"Earth" 70" tall 46" wide assemblage of discarded objects perminatly mounted on 8'x8' artificial wood panel

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"Life" 65" tall 44" wide assemblage of discarded objects perminatly mounted on 8'x8' artificial wood panel

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"Eternity" 70" tall 46" wide assemblage of discarded objects perminatly mounted on 8'x8' artificial wood panel

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"Second Chance" or "29,800,745 Min" 64"x164 Mixed media painted on drop clothe that slid outr from under my ladder and caused an accident that broke my neck in 7 places and almost took my life

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"Gravity" 76"x25" Acrylic painted with "Y" Pendulum

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"Space and Time" 24"x10" Melted pens and markers

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"Forever Family Island" 8'x4' cube made from discarded plywood

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"Temple" assemblage made from discarded items. 19"wide x 62" tall (Artist born in 1962)

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"Train up a Child" mixed media on panel 62"x 72"

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"Family Feeder" Mixed media assemblage

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"Family Circle Squared" 12" x 12" prints representing each family member, made from discarded insulation pieces blown from construction sight

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"Garden" A variety of random images given as gifts to important people in my life, mostly made from discarded materials like plastic food wrappers

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"Roundabout" 12' tall circle, 52 personally meaningful works of art that I have created over the past 39 years

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"Roundabout" Visitors for scale

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"Creative Journey" 8'x 8' mixed media, dimensional found object assemblage painted by gravity with pendulum. (Unfinished)

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"Someday over the rainbow" Instillation with ladder, end table, flowers, carved stone heart, soap, plastic trash and film strip projector lens

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"Someday over the rainbow" Detail 1

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"Someday over the rainbow" Detail 2

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"Someday over the rainbow" Detail 3

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"Stairway to Heaven" 82" tall x 54 wide Mixed media with found objects

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Artist Michael J Bingham April 2020 at Drive-in Art Exhibition during Covid 19 pandemic

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