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'Wild Things' explores conflict between human and animal

Barry McNamara
03/07/2019
MONMOUTH, Ill. – Where the wild things are will be Monmouth College when a new art exhibit opens this month.

“Wild Things: Nature and the Social Imagination,” the works of University of Nebraska art professor Sandra Williams, will be on display March 11-April 5 in the Everett Gallery on the upper level of the College’s Hewes Library.

A reception for Williams will be held on the opening day of the exhibit at 3:45 p.m. She will give a gallery talk about the exhibit at 4:15 p.m. The exhibit, reception and talk are all free and open to the public.

Williams’s most recent creative research explores the way animal imagery has evolved parallel to human imagery since the beginning of representational art.

“The stories and fables I select are narratives that ultimately attempt to destabilize the modern notion of an unbridgeable boundary between ‘human’ and ‘animal,’” she said. “I continue to investigate and describe the conflict between human and animal, hoping to reveal what animals teach us about our humanity.”

Williams said her subject contains variations on the theme of “ecotone” – the area where two communities meet and integrate.

“Traditionally, the term refers to ecological communities, such as the zone where the plains and desert meet the rainforest and the biodiversity that occurs there,” she said. “Yet it can also refer to the zone where ‘nature’ and ‘culture’ intersect – where city meets the preexisting natural environment and the tension resulting from this intersection.”

Williams received a bachelor of fine arts degree from The Cleveland Institute of Art and a master of fine arts degree from The Ohio State University. Her mixed media drawings have been exhibited at SOFA New York, Ann Nathan Gallery in Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art in St. Louis and National Amazon University in Puerto Maldonado, Peru. Her work is included in the Howard Tullman Collection, The Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Ore., and several private collections.

Williams has been an artist-in-residence at The Contemporary Crafts Museum in Portland and with the Amazon Conservation Association in Madre de Dios, Peru. Recognition for her work in community arts includes a Mayor’s Art Award and a Hixson-Lied Award for Outreach, Engagement and Service.

The Everett Gallery is open during library hours: 7:30 a.m.-midnight, Monday-Thursday; 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday; and noon-midnight, Sunday.