Two artist exhibitions, Brigham Dimick's "At Home and Beyond" and Justin Sorensen's "In Which I Clear My Throat" will open at the Crary Art Gallery on Saturday, April 5 fro 6 to 9 p.m. Both artists will be at the opening reception.
Brigham Dimick was born in Oak Park, Illinois and grew up in Allentown, Pa., where he studied at Barnstone Studios as a teenager. He developed a portfolio there which won him a four-year scholarship to Tyler School of Art at Temple University where he went on to receive a BFA in painting and an MFA in painting from Indiana University in Bloomington.
He teaches art and design at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and said "I love teaching, it's very stimulating and it's doing what I love for a living. I feel lucky."
Dimick's works start with a photograph of one of his children at a moment when they are growing up that "allows me to kind of reflect on its meaning" and the juxtaposition of domestic life with "something more global," he said.
"My paintings are a very elaborate frame for the photograph," he said. "I explore representations of my children as a means to examine the rifts between their innocent musings about the natural world and the larger environmental concerns about the same subject. By beginning with photographs of them from a bird's eye view, I create painted illusions of maps that fluidly extend the private environments of these children into larger geographic regions. These larger regions represent the migration routes of the whale species represented by the girls' toys."
Visitors at the Crary will see Dimick's oil paintings, many of them a fairly large scale, he said.
He has received Individual Artist Fellowships from the states of Georgia and Pennsylvania and a professional development grant from Illinois, and also many other grants through the Graduate School of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Some of his drawings are in the corporate collections of Morgan Stanley and Fische & Richardson, and in the university collections of Emporia State, and St. Ambrose University. He resides in Edwardsville, Illinois with his wife and two daughters.
He will return to the area in September to lecture at Edinboro University on his work over the last 15 years.
Sorensen, a Warren native, pursued photography as a student at Eisenhower High School who said "I didn't know what I was going to do in terms of college" after graduating in 2004.
He ultimately ended up leaving the area for college and graduate school, but not before taking drawing classes at Jamestown Community College.
"It was there that I really started to take an interest in art," he said. "I had some really good instructors that really walked along besides me, mentored me and gave me some direction."
His experience in the darkroom developing photographs and interest in drawing led him to a BFA from Kutztown University in Kutztown, Pa., where he majored in print making, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pa. where he received a fellowship and most recently an MFA with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI.
The print making process allowed Sorensen to produce multiple images as compared to "painting or drawing that could only make one image, print making I could make 10 images," he said.
While Sorensen said he continues to pursue photography, both black and white film and and digital, and has also been exploring sculpting "I kind of move between a whole bunch of different mediums, if I had to pick one it would probably be drawing."
His exhibition "In Which I Clear My Throat" will feature a bit of everything, from his drawings, video works, and sculptures that represents a "kind of collection of works made over the past three to four years or so," he said.
Soresen has been featured in many exhibitions, most recently "Drawing Discourse" at the S. Tucker Cooke Gallery at the University of North Carolina; and "Spring Chickens: Free Range", David Krut Projects, New York, NY.
He was most recently given the Award of Distinction in Drawing from the University of North Carolina, Asheville and will teach drawing and foundation courses at Luther College in Iowa.