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Wellborn’s Senior Exhibit depicts life with ADHD

May 2, 2016
By cnp
Posted in Art

University of the Ozarks art major Matt Wellborn will present his Senior Exhibit, "A. Deviant. Has. Disorders," from May 7-11 in the Stephens Gallery.

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Matt Wellborn’s self-portrait "Assumption vs. Reality," will be one of the artworks on display during his Senior Exhibit from May 7-11 in the Stephens Gallery.

There will be a reception to meet the artist from 7-8 p.m. on Sunday, May 8, in the gallery.

Wellborn’s exhibit is a way for him to convey his struggles with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

"For someone like myself who has ADHD, I sometimes have issues processing emotions, such as anxiety, depression, anger, and happiness," said Wellborn, from Green Forest, Ark. "Sometimes it is difficult to handle all these thoughts at once, because it is challenging to focus on one thing at a time. For many, however, ADHD can be seen as both a gift and a curse.  It is a gift because it motivates me to hurdle over my mental barriers, but, on the other hand, it is tough to maintain focus on what I am trying to achieve. My art illustrates the many sides of having ADHD by depicting my experiences and various mental states."

Wellborn said his artwork often uses realistic self-portraits combined with pattern, bright colors, and surprising imagery, such as reoccurring squirrels.

"The squirrel moves quickly, jumping from one thing to another, a metaphor for how my mind works," he said. "While looking at brain scans of people with ADHD, I noticed they consist of six colors: blue, orange, yellow, green, purple, and pink. These colors are not only vibrant, but are also distracting, because they grab my eyes’ attention and pull them into a tunnel vision. Many people with ADHD can relate to this idea of being easily distracted because they may also have a short attention span. In all of my works, I utilize mixed media such as digital drawing, acrylic paint, collaged paper, and charcoal to represent a fractured and distracted state of mind."