Emily Stokes will be the featured artist at Bing-Davis Memorial Gallery at Upper Iowa University’s Fayette Campus Thursday, November 8 – Friday, December 14. Stokes will lead an artist talk at 2:30 p.m., followed by a gallery reception on November 8.
“We are excited to host multi-media artist Emily Stokes in the Bing-Davis Memorial Gallery,” UIU Assistant Professor of Art Laura Gleissner said. “Emily combines multiple mediums, such as painting, printmaking, drawing and digital imaging into her work and explores a language of symbols derived from her experiences in northwest Iowa.”
As part of her exhibit, Stokes oftentimes mounts printed imagery onto organically shaped wood or interlocked wooden panels to form sculptural panoramas. Her imagery includes animals such as the lamb, a nod to agriculture and the animal’s loaded spiritual value, as well as jewel-like clusters of ice or silhouetted haystacks. The fragmented imagery arises from the artist’s personal encounters with beauty, generosity, humor, and conflict in a landscape that teaches keen observation.
“My visual work stems from an investigation into the ways in which Northern Renaissance and Romantic artists staged coded imagery to build plural meanings into their work,” Stokes said. “Casper David Friedrich, the German Romantic whose atmospheric landscapes reveal meticulous observation, and Jan Van Eyck, a Netherlandish painter who choreographed iconography to invite spiritual interpretation, serve as points of departure. Although my work is rooted in their covert approaches to visual communication, I use a language of symbols derived from seven years of being immersed in northwest Iowa, home to the nation’s most moneyed soil.”
An associate professor of art at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, Stokes holds a master’s degree from Arizona State University and a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College. Her recent achievements include a Purchase Award at the 29th Annual McNeese Works on Paper juried exhibition and an Alice C. Cole ’42 Alumnae Grant from Wellesley College. Stokes has showcased solo exhibitions at the MacRostie Art Center in Grand Rapids, Minnesota; Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph, Michigan; and Evanston Art Center in Evanston, Illinois.
Bing-Davis Memorial Gallery is located in Edgar Fine Arts Hall at Upper Iowa University’s Fayette Campus. The gallery is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.