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Art exhibit shines light on Mexican street peddlers

Award-winning professor Robert Bubp will be the next artist featured in Monmouth College’s Everett Gallery in Hewes Library.

An opening reception for his exhibit, “Los Ambulantes Vendedores Project,” will be held from 3-4:30 p.m. Feb. 17 in the gallery. At 3:30 p.m., Bubp will talk about the exhibit, which will be on display through March 24.

The reception, talk and exhibit are all free and open to the public.

“Los Ambulantes Vendedores” is Spanish for street peddlers, who are part of what French scholar Michel DeCerteau called the “urban fabric” that makes a city an “immense social experience.”

“I am continually interested in the fight for and realization of people’s spaces as an ‘immense social experience,” said Bubp, who had a residency at the Arquetopia Foundation in Puebla, Mexico, in 2015. “Public and community spaces are sites of play, invention, togetherness, economic survival, and political expression and resistance. They are important; they are who we are both collectively and individually. DeCerteau alludes to the inevitable politicization of spaces that stem from the transitions and movements of people confronted with economies, nationalities, governments and endless assertions.”

Bubp said his art strives “to find the intersections by investigating the less-known, the secretly historic, the problematic, the imagined and the contested in spaces and communities, searching for subtle and overt transgressions and transgressors. The art is in the search itself, involving myself as a participant – tourist, local, or pretend visionary/thinker – and exploring my role in relation to others.”

In 2015, Bubp received an Excellence in Teaching Award from Wichita State, as well as an Artist Grant Award from the Wichita Arts Council and a University Research Creative Award Grant from Wichita State. He joined the university’s faculty in 2002, the same year he received his MFA with a concentration in drawing, painting and printmaking from Georgia State University. For the past 12 years, he has served as foundation coordinator for Wichita State’s School of Art, Design & Creative Industries.

Bubp received his bachelor’s degree in art from the University of Georgia. In addition to his residency at Arquetopia Foundation, he has been an artist-in-residence in Indianapolis, Corpus Christi, Texas, and Joshua Tree, Calif.

Located on the upper floor of Hewes Library, the Everett Gallery is open during regular library hours: 7:30 a.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday; 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; noon-midnight Sunday.