School of Art brings exhibitions of photographs, paintings

Sep 11, 2013 | General News, Liberal Arts

These exhibitions are images of life.
Louisiana Tech’s School of Art will feature two artists, Lupita Murillo Tinnen and Gregory Martin, this month whose work depicts various aspects of life.
Tinnen's "Age 3, Culinary Arts/ASL" photograph was taken in 2009.

Tinnen’s “Age 3, Culinary Arts/ASL” photograph was taken in 2009.

First, Tinnen, a professor of photography at Collin College in Texas, will show photographs from her “American DREAM” series.
“Throughout my photographic career, the subject of my work has been the Mexican immigrant and undocumented community,” Tinnen said. “It is special to me because my parents are Mexican immigrants. The focus of my current body of work is on undocumented college students.”
Tinnen said she is very passionate about the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act and uses her photography to give these undocumented students an identity. The DREAM Act would create a pathway to citizenship for thousands of students who were brought to the United States years ago and are undocumented.
“I show how they are American in every sense except unlike the average American student, once these undocumented students graduate from college, they will be unable to obtain a job,” she said. “I have chosen not to show their faces so as not to disclose their true identity, yet I want to show their existence.”
Tinnen added that photography allows her to bring attention to the political issue.
“Most opponents of the DREAM Act argue that every undocumented person is an ‘illegal immigrant’ and lump them into the same category,” she said. “However, these young people who were brought to the US by their parents had no say in the matter and are caught in the middle of a failed immigration system.”
The second artist, Martin, is an assistant professor of art at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Miss. He has illustrated for publishers, ad agencies and corporate clients including The New York Times, “Newsweek,” Omni, Dell, Intel, AT&T, Disney, McDonalds, Nabisco and 3M Company. His work focuses on the existence of landscapes.
“Although my paintings are most easily categorized as landscapes, I think of them as contemplative spaces in which to experience dualities and polarities within human nature, the natural world and the practice of painting,” Martin said. “For instance; growth and decay, the illusion of depth and flatness, the ‘truth’ of photography and the ‘fiction’ of painting, the differences between our ideals and our actions.”
Martin's "Spiral" is an oil on linen creation.

Martin’s “Spiral” is an oil on linen creation.

He said that cycles of growth and decay are evident in nature and in the artifacts of human activity present in the scenes he paints.
“I like to think of the scenes I depict as getting at a sort of collective unconscious as they are the spaces in between our destinations, in between nature and civilization, a view of the sordid artifacts of our backyard activities, before we’ve had a chance to pick up and present a crafted image of ourselves to our guests, revealing things about ourselves that we might not be comfortable with,” he said.
Tinnen’s photographs will be on display in the F. Elizabeth Bethea Gallery, and Martin’s paintings will be in the Mary Wilfred Moffett Gallery in Louisiana Tech’s School of Art. Both artists will discuss their work in the Taylor Visual Arts Center, Room 103. Tinnen will speak at 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, and Martin will speak at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22.
The exhibits will be on display from Sept. 23 through Oct. 22.