2010 Library Art Award

Photo credit: Ross Mulhausen

worlds un(sung), heads un(hung), by Micah Phillinger. Photo by Ross Mulhausen.

Bold, provocative, memorable, and big. These are some of the words that describe worlds un(sung), heads un(hung). The large work is oil on benderboard and laminated poplar and will be displayed in the Library Link for one year. It was painted by senior  Micah Fillinger, the 2010 recipient of the Collins Library Art Award. For more information and images of his works, view Micah’s web site.

While at Puget Sound, Micah pursued dual majors in Studio Art and Business, earning his BFA  in May 2010. His work has been exhibited in juried shows, traveling print collections, the Smithsonian Zoo, and other venues. Micah was born in Oakland, California, and grew up in Eugene, Oregon. He plans to travel to Switzerland after graduation.

The jury members  were drawn to the work’s ideas about diversity, one of the University’s core values. The jury also felt it would complement  the National Race and Pedagogy Conference which will be held on campus in October. The Library is one of the venues  for the conference’s arts events and it is hoped this piece will stimulate  open discussions about race.

micah_fillingerArtist Statement

I have always been drawn to the communicative and incredibly universal potential of image. The exceedingly rich visual vocabulary developed over the history of painting, as well as the infinite control of image, render painting such a powerful means of conveyance. With this as my language, I hope to reach out and spark a reaction.

We live in a society so saturated by media that we are able to gather information on almost any happening we wish. In doing so, we inevitably come across the evidence of the suffering of many peoples. Most people are able to grasp this on an intellectual level. But even as we recognize this undeniable aspect of human existence, we veer away from reminders. We discard the articles and images of the less fortunate. The sound bites are limited to twenty seconds or less.

With my works I am trying to confront my audience with a respectful portrayal of the faces of the issues that we find so easy to forget, in such a way that demands a visceral emotional response. I paint in an attempt to spark an internalization/understanding of a persistent reality that goes beyond the intellectual. I paint as a way of honoring those who have had to bear the externalities and collateral damage of the human race.

-Post by Lori Ricigliano

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