“Two Perspectives, Two Journeys”
LCA March show opens Friday evening

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[March 09, 2017]   LINCOLN - Lincoln Art Institute and Logan County Arts are pleased to present a duo art exhibition by members Kira Jackson and Rob Swofford, entitled “Two Perspectives, Two Journeys”. The opening reception will be held on Friday, March 10 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Lincoln Art Institute, 112 S. Mclean St. Lincoln, IL. The show will include both retrospective and new artworks, representing the ongoing artistic journeys of these two young and dynamic artists.

Swofford and Jackson have much in common. Both are serious practitioners who have been doing art since childhood and who see this work not as a hobby but as an integral part of their activities. They have to balance their artmaking with other commitments such as work, family and study. They both keep abreast of the wider professional art world, following the work of contemporary artists they admire and looking to broaden their own repertoire of techniques and approaches. They both cite their families, Lincoln Art Institute and Logan County Arts as sources of encouragement and support for their efforts. Despite many similarities, however, their perspectives, as well as their approaches to curating the exhibits they are preparing, are very different.

Rob Swofford, an ex-Marine, will organize his exhibit to showcase the wide variety of approaches and mediums he uses. He admits that he does not limit his choice of medium in any given piece ahead of time, but lets the piece itself determine what will be part of the final work. As he notes, “Sometimes I start with a sketch and it ends up being a collage.. or a painting might end up being garbage. Or vice versa.” The results of these encounters with materials can be small pictures or large sculptural works, and some can pack a lot of emotion. He does not back away from depicting a heavy-hearted theme, but may include a subtle glimpse of a silver lining to provide an element of hope in the work’s message. Though his work sells, his advice to anyone contemplating a career in art hoping just to make money is “Go home. A long term commitment to art is only possible if that’s what you enjoy doing, not just to pay the bills..” He sees his art in the next few years developing as he incorporates new materials and styles to vary his presentations.

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Kira Jackson will organize her exhibit to reflect the themes which inspire her art, such as cultural or political reflection, deciphering emotions, finding restorative pathways, or just celebrating something beautiful. She became seriously committed in college, when she realized the power of art to “bring about change” in herself and others. Her mediums include painting, drawing, digital art, and lately, ceramics. Though her work has received acclaim, she recognizes that one challenge for her has been self-confidence, because many of her colleagues have had more formal training and experience with different techniques and mediums.

 This will change later this year, as she has been accepted as a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. To other young people interested in an art career, she advises, “Don’t let the ‘starving artist’ cliché stop your passion. Art is a diverse umbrella. Without artists we wouldn’t have anyone to design clothes, make films, or make our communities beautiful. You are essential to our community and our culture.”

After the opening weekend, the Jackson/Swofford show will be available for viewing until April 8 by chance or appointment. For an appointment, people may call Pinkerton at 217-651-8355. Also available at the March 10 opening will be information on the April, 2017 exhibit, which will give LCA members carte blanche with an “Artist’s Choice” theme. Non-members can also show artworks in this exhibit by paying a small display fee. Anyone interested in doing this should contact Pinkerton or Mitch Douglas (630-890-1318) for more information.

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