Seven artists from the Escalette Collection of Art have been featured in a digital international exhibition of art made during quarantine. This exhibition was organized and curated by Seann Brackin, an Escalette Collection artist who has been living in Spain during the Covid-19 pandemic and quarantine. Brackin states that his intention with this exhibition was to “gather and share perspectives in order to facilitate unity and healing as we mourn the lives that are being lost, process the change, and move on to the new world waiting for us. This exhibition was also created to provide hope and encouragement to artists and to generate the joy, anticipation and pride of exhibiting.”
This show features work made by 115 artists – ranging from highly trained to self-taught – from around the globe, including the United States, Canada, Spain, Italy, Russia, Hong Kong, Estonia, Taiwan, Mexico, Denmark, France, Australia, Argentina, England, Venezuela, Columbia, and South Korea. As the curator of this show, Brackin describes how he feels “humbled by the power and multitude of perspectives, thoughts and emotions carried in this art. I am truly honored by the trust these 115 artists have shown in sending their work to me.”
“In this exhibition the artists are united by the effects of COVID-19. Our world perspective has changed. This is an exhibition to share that experience.”
Brackin writes that “this exhibition is dedicated to the healthcare workers on the front lines who are working to save our lives. Your kindness and dedication to helping, at great risk to your own health, is the foundation of the world I love. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Here’s a sneak peek at the work submitted by artists in the Escalette Collection:
Kellan Shanahan aims to create artworks that are beautiful but not naive, critical but not ironic, and that bring metaphysics and aesthetic contemplation back into the fold of contemporary art. Drawing from a broad field of philosophy, abstract mathematics, logic, science, and myth, his work explores the underlying patterns and recursions in reality that scale throughout time and space.
Paul Valadez is a professor and artist whose work is influenced by his bi-cultural identity, childhood memories, geographic region, daily life, and modern social issues. Much of his work uses satire and social commentary to engage the viewer and spread messages. Many of his pieces highlight the problem of discrimination towards minorities. He specifically uses text in much of his art, making us second guess the meanings of Spanish and English words, challenging the concept of language. Valadez is best known for his series The Great Mexican-American Songbook. This book included pieces of sheet music and cover art merged with “Spanglish” text and iconography.
Tom Kiefer is a contemporary artist and photographer whose work focuses on the contrast of urban and rural landscapes, and the cultural infrastructure of the United States. His current project uses found objects confiscated from migrants at the U.S./Mexico border, where Kiefer worked part-time as a janitor.
Seann Brackin is the organizer and curator of this exhibition. He was born in Rock Springs, Wyoming in 1976. Raised by artists, he lived in Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico until, at seventeen he launched his life and has spent it traveling tireless around the world. He ended up in Gunnison Colorado, Portland Oregon, Los Angeles, and the St Louis area for stints before moving to Madrid, Spain where he met his Spanish wife with whom he moved to Sydney, Australia. He has an MFA from Claremont Graduate University in painting and sculpture and a BFA from The Pacific Northwest College Of Art in painting with emphases in sculpture and contemporary art.
Virginia Katz describes how her “approach to painting and drawing is conceptually-driven and process-based. Using systems and materials that are closely related to the content of the work, [she] investigates a variety of natural phenomena underpinned with an awareness of the laws of physics and philosophical inquiries.”
Richard Turner is an artist/curator and Professor Emeritus at Chapman University where he taught contemporary Asian art history and studio art. As Director of Chapman University’s Guggenheim Gallery, he curated over seventy exhibitions. His current studio work is sculptures and drawings based on Chinese scholars’ rocks and Japanese viewing stones.
David Michael Lee is an Orange County-based artist, curator, professor, and arts advocate. Equal parts collage, painting, and spatial construction, Lee’s canvases often begin as fabric scraps sewn together on his grandmother’s sewing machine: a heavy-duty 1968 Singer. Driven by large blocks of color, Lee constructs challenging perspectives between patchwork canvas and vivid acrylic paint. Although his recent work is more abstract and simplified, most of Lee’s earlier work—found across Chapman’s campus—establishes a narrative through recognizable imagery, silhouettes or outlines.
We invite you to explore all the works in the Escalette Collection by visiting our eMuseum.
Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences is the proud home of the Phyllis and Ross Escalette Permanent Collection of Art. The Escalette Collection exists to inspire critical thinking, foster interdisciplinary discovery, and strengthen bonds with the community. Beyond its role in curating art in public spaces, the Escalette is a learning laboratory that offers diverse opportunities for student and engagement and research, and involvement with the wider community. The collection is free and open to the public to view.