Mental illness, architecture and Tarot cards combine in CSPS show, opening tonight

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Jen P. Harris
Jen P. Harris’ is “Untitled (Navigation)” — image courtesy of CSPS Hall

Art opening for Jen P. Harris, Kathy Schumacher and Halle Siepman

CSPS Hall — Thursday, June 4 from 5 – 7 p.m.

An exhibit showcasing the work of three distinctly different Iowa City area artists opens this Thursday, June 4 at CSPS in Cedar Rapids.

Kathy Schumacher’s work brings into conversation topics of mental illness. The Dubuque, Iowa native’s haunting charcoal drawings are inspired by images and stories of her grandmother, who was committed to an insane asylum in 1941, where she lived for 15 years. The grayscale drawings have a rawness that is accentuated by their unframed presentation.

In contrast to Schumacher’s stark drawings, Halle Siepman uses graphite and monochromatic enamel on large-scale wooden panels to create bright, fluid line drawings that allude to architecture. As a child, Siepman lived in a small space with seven siblings. She found her escape by creating her own imaginary architectural dwellings surrounded by vast space. In her Imaginings series, Siepman depicts her experience of architecture; ethereal drawings of what appear to be architectural elements are mixed with more fluid suggestions of space.

In Jen P. Harris’s Stack Overflow series, the word “stack” relates literally to the Tarot cards which were the starting point for Harris’s series; it also points to the layering present in each multi-media work, which incorporates detailed images with abstract painting. In addition to alluding to philosophy and science, the title of her series (“stack overflow” is a software programming term) and work explores the how technology and the sharing of information can impact identity.

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