Thursday, May 29, 2014

Dordt College summer art exhibit features Behrens/Versluis Iowa insects

Dordt College Campus Center Art Gallery (entrance)

Dordt College is hosting a series of 10 large-scale (40" x 60") digital images of the “Iowa Insect Series,” a collection of collaborative work by artists and graphic designers, Roy R. Behrens and David M. Versluis. The exhibit, subtitled, “Attention to Detail,” will be displayed in the gallery until the end of August.

The idea to produce large scale images came from designer Joseph Michael Essex who suggested that the images would have greater impact if presented in a larger format. Essex was in the audience when Versluis presented the project at the Society of Typographic Arts winter retreat in Chicago in 2013.

Dordt College Art Professor Versluis and University of Northern Iowa Graphic Design Professor Behrens combine rich imagery as they juxtapose representational imagery with graphic elements to create a strong visual dynamic, says Larry Bradshaw, art professor at the University of Nebraska Omaha. In addition, Jonathan Neal an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects writes this about the show, “Behrens has an interest in camouflage and how people perceive broken images. The works can be appreciated both for overall effect, for the multitude of details embedded in the work and the prominent use of insects.”

“The process began in 2012 with David sending me scanned images of insects from his personal collection. One image at a time, we challenged each other to respond to each image, building a digital montage, using Adobe Photoshop,” said Behrens. “We would then pass the image back and forth, responding to each other’s move.”

The image was built with about five or six back and forth turns, until the two mutually decided that the work was finished. Here’s a link to a fuller description of the collaborative process in a piece published in Behrens’s blog, The Poetry of Sight.

This is one of the first times that the collection will be shown all together. Various images from the collection have been exhibited in group shows at the Washington Pavilion Visual Art Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Northwestern College DeWitt Theatre Arts Center in Orange City, Iowa; Nemeth Art Center in Park Rapids, Minnesota; University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art in Cedar Falls, Iowa; and the 27th McNeese National Works on Paper Exhibition at McNeese State University Grand Gallery in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Several pieces have been included in Dordt College’s annual arts issue of Pro Rege.

Gallery East Wall

Gallery West Wall

Exhibition graphics

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