The Cawein Gallery of Artwork is happy to unveil its initial exhibition for Slide 2021 — Break Your Pony by Dagny Walton. The showcase will operate through Oct. 7, and is accessible for viewing weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, or speak to Tyler Brumfield, Art & Design professor and gallery manager at [email protected] to agenda an appointment.
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Dagny Walton was born in Fort Collins, Colorado, a college or university city at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. They remaining Colorado to go after an undergraduate degree in Classical Scientific studies at the College of British Columbia in Vancouver. Their diploma mostly centered on mythology and religious tactics, an desire that they have carried into their operate on the American West. Given that leaving Vancouver they reside in Missoula, Montana where by they are pursuing their Masters in high-quality art. Although all of their parts begin off as computer information, they have not long ago taken up display screen-printing as a implies to give the electronic do the job daily life.
To appreciate the American West is to enjoy a profoundly unsightly best. The glorified historical past of westward growth is racist and blood-splattered. The land is stunning, but blighted for the sake of extractive industry or victimized by endless wildfires. The myth of the West is a fever aspiration. Irrespective of the chaos and occasional presence of violence in my parts, I frequently sense comforted by producing them, as though they’re providing the responses to one thing I must have generally acknowledged but experienced in no way read spoken out loud. The tradition and historical past of this area begs to be requested, for some perception to be made out of the wreck. I enjoy injecting remnants of ancient mythology into my items — creatures and symbols from millennia of collective unconscious. The existence of these remnants aids me to further make sense of the West by knowledge it in conditions significantly older than its personal miniscule but turbulent background.
I also use the use of new symbols in my do the job, building my individual form of modern pantheon for the West. The cowboy is the West’s hero-icon, a symbol of main American values — freedom, toughness, expansion. His presence is ubiquitous below. Western films parade the cowboy as the gun-toting embodiment of a leathery frontier existence. Painters like Charles Marion Russell imagined the West as Edenic, with the cowboy acting as an unofficial steward for the land and its creatures. Now cowboys provide us cigarettes and tough liquor in dusty highway gasoline stations.
I use the cowboy’s multi-faceted, multi-intent image as the cornerstone of a cultural critique of the American West. I also choose our mountains and deserts, and these become the backdrop for a earth of masculine fantastique. In my parts, I current cowboys that cross the line concerning toughness and brutality, that enact theatrical displays of violence, and that idly check out the continual, unstoppable destruction of the land we covet.
Nowhere else in the United States is there a idea of regionalism this concrete or this messy, nor is there another area which so completely encompasses the self-built construct of what the United States is. The cowboy, the West’s undying mythological hero, stands for toughness edging in direction of cruelty, expansion that spills into rapacity, and acquisitiveness that all but ensures whole destruction. With no the cowboy, The united states as we know it wouldn’t exist.