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Collage exhibit the work of art professor Stephanie Baugh

Barry McNamara
MONMOUTH, Ill. – “Objects & Experience,” a collection of 36 collage pieces by Monmouth College art professor Stephanie Baugh, is on display in the College’s Len G. Everett Gallery in Hewes Library through Nov. 2.

On the final day of the exhibit, there will be a reception for Baugh at 3 p.m. She will speak about her works at 3:30 p.m. The exhibit, reception and gallery talk are all free and open to the public.

“My collage panels are expressions of self – documenting, in a non-literal way, my reflections on experiences, memories and conditions of consciousness,” said Baugh, who began teaching at Monmouth in 2006. She was promoted to assistant professor two years ago.

“I rely on associative thinking and aesthetic cues when selecting and assembling imagery,” she said. “Despite recognizable imagery, I consider these works to be abstractions – their creation is motivated by very specific attitudes or questions, but the presentation is suggestive rather than representational.”

Baugh said the collages can be categorized primarily into three different styles – narrative, calligraphic and expanded-image.

Of the latter type, which features interlocking images and is seen on the largest and mid-sized panels in the exhibit, Baugh said, “These pieces are designed to be visually challenging to read. The style is an attempt to create works that require such a high level of attentiveness and effort to see that they necessitate that the viewers, including myself, be in the present – absorbed in the act of looking – rather than drawn into reverie, recollection or expectancy.”

While Baugh’s collages can be found on the walls of the Everett Gallery, a collection of chairs takes up the center of the space.

“The chairs are included in this exhibition as a signal to consider the gallery space as something other than a neutral box for displaying art,” said Baugh. “The chairs, along with the subdued lighting, are intended to encourage visitors to linger, to pause, to rest – rather than only to walk the perimeter of the room, view the works in a linear fashion, and then leave. Visitors are free to move chairs to a new location within the gallery if it makes time spent in this space more comfortable, peaceful or contemplative.”

Baugh, who also directs “Introduction to Liberal Arts,” the College’s first-year Integrated Studies course, completed her undergraduate education at the University of Montevallo in Alabama. She holds a master of education degree from the University of Georgia and a master of fine arts degree from Goddard College.