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Becker’s senior exhibit explores family ties and lifelines

November 24, 2015
By cnp
Posted in Art

In her Senior Art Exhibit, "Family Ties and Lifelines ? The String," Chelsey Becker explores the ever-changing family connections and perspectives that affect and impact people throughout their lives.

Becker, a general business and art major from Claremore, Okla., is scheduled to graduate from Ozarks during the Dec. 19 Fall Commencement ceremony. Her senior exhibit will be on display in the Stephens Gallery from Dec. 1-5. There will be a reception to meet the artist from 5-6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5, in the gallery.

Becker said that her exhibit focuses on "a string" that is "attached to everyone, following them throughout life, becoming knotted and snarled as the length of the string increases."

"The longer the string, the more memories, events, and baggage weigh the body down that pulls them," Becker said. "My art installation portrays the string length I have pulled thus far in my life, not knowing what the next unfurl will bring.  The majority of my string is wrapped up in my changing views on the people closest to me like my mother, brother, father, and even myself.  Time, distance, and knowledge can erode your perspective until it looks unrecognizable, which is what I hope the viewers will realize after seeing my installation."

Becker said the media used to relate this experience of trailing back down her own string consisted of mixed-media paintings on plywood or paper, figurative clay sculptures, mixed prints, and dyed yarn strung between the works that culminate in the center of the gallery as a suspended sculpture. 

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Senior Chelsey Becker’s Senior Art Exhibit will be on display in the Stephens Gallery from Dec. 1-5.

"The media coalesces in the space due to the dyed yarn connected the pieces, making it seem that there is little separation between the pieces," she said. "While all of the pieces will represent altering views of myself and the people closest to me, the mixed media paintings will communicate the stories encoded within them by having the objects, text, and size be more telling of its significance.  For example, the triptych self-portraits of myself that stands prominently in the center wall, sets the stage for how I have changed over time, leading to a corresponding change in my outlook.  On the other hand, the sculptures are more emotive and meant to represent the emotions that realizing your string has dragged multiples of yourself and the people around you."

In a portrait of her mother with her past and present selves next to each other, Becker said the images implicate the time passing between the figures and leads one to wonder what her story is. 

"How did she get from there to there?" Becker said. "What both the mixed media paintings and sculpture have in common is the layering technique I apply to them that represents how there many layers embedded in people that become more visible the older you get.  Lastly, the collage of printed faces in differing sizes and colors embodies the muted themes felt in the other works by exhibiting the faces of all the people included in my show intertwined with broken and connected lines, showing how they’re all connected, growing and changing as I continue to carry them all with me as I too develop."

Becker’s influences include artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Janine Antoni, and street artists like Banksy, Blek le Rat, and Sheppard Fairey. 

"The layering technique Rauschenberg applies to his work has inspired me to see the impact layering can have," she said. "Antoni’s messages in her work that revolve around her differing views of herself and her environment have really pushed me to examine my own views.  As for the street artists, the way they use stencils and spray paint in urban settings, and how other street artists and the environment will eventually cover up the work are representative of how bold life can be and how it becomes layered over time."

Becker said her exhibit pieces, as a whole, "have a similar color scheme of jewel tones, figurative core, and material foundation that cause each piece to reflect off one another, uniting the story my string has carried."

"Each string that we carry has different and unique perspectives and people attached to them, but there are relatable aspects within in them that should resonate within all of us."