Sager Braudis Gallery intern and University of Missouri student Alicia Jacobs curated Don’t Wait For Me in the gallery’s expansion as the culminating project of her internship. In addition to being involved in the full range of gallery operations including research, writing, and marketing, Jacobs has, during her internship, been able to apply a unique perspective to the gallery and develop her own curatorial voice, reflecting on what she has found most important, communicative, and effective in a collection of artwork. In the exhibit and in her blog post, Jacobs shares her thoughts and connecting thread between a diverse group of works by five artists: Alejandrina Herrera, Alexandra Levasseur, Andrea Wan, Sali Swalla, and Sofia Bonati.
Alejandrina Herrera blends expression and illustration in her work, focusing on bringing memory to the forefront as she asks her viewers to connect with the work and their experience of it. Alexandra Levasseur, too, brings a reflective psychology to her work, but takes a different route by exploring ideas of Surrealism. Levasseur melds the classical and statuesque with more naturalistic and active forms, creating multidimensional figures who embrace and interact with their environment. Rather than focusing on the natural environment and how that relates to experience, Andrea Wan uses her work as an expression of her personal experiences by tapping into her own subconscious and drawing inspiration from individuals around her seeming to tell stories that originate in her imagination. Finally, abstractionist Sali Swalla, unlike the previous artists who arrange their work in a more cerebral manner, expresses her inner thoughts and experiences with pure composition, color, and form. Swalla’s technique of layering and scraping away paint serves as a metaphor for personal growth and expresses a sense of longing and loss. The work of Sofia Bonati can be seen as a foil to Sali Swalla’s artwork as the themes of Bonati’s work are much more confident and confrontational. Her artwork uses a variety of media to create lively and decorative backgrounds that accentuate strong, complex characters.
Don’t Wait For Me is a collection of work that unites the concepts of assurance and uncertainty resulting in the acceptance and celebration of the personal journey. Drawing from personal experiences, Jacobs believes that surrounding oneself with individuals that exude confidence, assurance, and power can be great for motivational and positive influence. However, it is important to note that those individuals may not have started in that position. What may seem like a blissful and effortless course may have been a tumultuous and draining journey that led them to where they are now. Often times, one person’s success is seen as superior to another person’s journey that is still in progress. It is important to showcase all varieties and stages of growth and achievement because one’s process and approach can be just as important as ultimate success. If things do not go your way, that does not define you, it helps create you. Realize that wherever you fall, that placement is admissible. The artists in this exhibit vary in media, technique, and concept, yet when juxtaposed with equal standing, they dismantle the hierarchy between the celebration of the successful and the pitying of those still making progress, resulting in an environment that embraces all parts of the journey. This exhibit intends to celebrate the various perceptions of the personal journey by creating a space where each viewer can reflect on and accept their individual path and confidently say Don’t Wait For Me.
This exhibit will be on view in the expansion of Sager Braudis throughout May, and will be celebrated on First Friday, May 3rd, from 6-9pm, and Slow Art Saturday, May 4th, from 11-2pm.