Faith Damm & Alexis Sheets

April 21, 2017 – May 14, 2017

Photo credit: Tom Klare

Photo credit: Tom Klare

Faith Damm is an artist/curator from Frankfort, Illinois. She relocated to Arizona in December of 2015 seeking a warmer climate to ease a variety of severe chronic health problems. She is currently attending Mesa Community College where she is working towards an Associates Degree in Fine Arts with a focus in photography. Faith has worked as a freelance photographer for the past 8 years, and has worked as a gallery assistant at the Mesa Community College Art Gallery since its opening in February 2016. She hopes to combine her new found love of curatorial work and passion for photography into a life-long career in the arts.

Alexis is currently a student at Mesa Community College and plans on transferring to Arizona State University to pursue a degree in Art History in the fall of 2017. She is currently working as a gallery assistant at the Mesa Community College Art Gallery since its opening in February 2016. Art has always been a major part of her life and for her being able to meld history and art into one is the ultimate combination. Alexis hopes to continue to grow as a curator and to explore all aspects of the art world.

Merging two curatorial personalities and delving into the identities of the artists Unmasking Identity boldly examines and questions the fine line between the superficial and inner self.

Art has historically been used as a way to express emotions lurking beneath the surface; a sort of safe space to convey the divergence between our inner and outer selves. Almost every artist struggles with developing a boundary-pushing identity while also attempting to appear palatable to both intellectual and superficial scrutiny. Unmasking Identity features the work of artists Malena Barnhart, Constance McBride, and Karolina Sussland as well as the work of art students Christian Stewart and Kayla Wilbur. These artists offer a unique and varied perspective on identity from a direct interpretation of the inner-self by artist Kayla Wilbur to a more social context represented by Malena Barnhart. All artists featured display not only a strong personal artistic vision, but also create work that speaks on a larger note about identity in relation to the world around us.

First impressions are everything, yet they rarely match a person’s true identity. We are living in a superficially obsessed culture that is bombarded by over-saturation. People create artificial identities and images that are readily available for immediate and constant consumption. Almost everyone is desperately trying to establish a distinctive persona that fosters both individualism and some degree of cultural, political, and societal inclusiveness. How, then, does one wade through this overabundance of manufactured personalities and discover what truly lies beneath?