Multimedia exhibit ‘Mnemonic Devices: Brother/Sister Art’ Opens April 1 at Idaho State University Transition Gallery
Posted March 22, 2013
The Transition Gallery is located on the lower level of the ISU Pond Student Union.
From preschool years through high school in Blackfoot, Merkley and Hamilton became known as the "artistic team," not only for their visual art but also for writing in student publications and performing in plays. Ultimately they produced soundtracks together on a Webcor reel-to-reel tape recorder, and, along with getting Bachelor of Art and Master of Fine Art degrees in art at ISU, made 8mm experimental movies.
This retrospective show compiles a lifetime of artwork, much of it derived from sources of ancestral, childhood and family memories. Merkley views painting from life also as a means of archiving an earth that is vanishing before our very eyes.
The creative process, she says, is a form of triumph over death in our yearning for immortality. It allows us to record what we have experienced, and has been for millennia a way of stopping time, slowing change, making something permanent as we move closer to our own demise.
Merkley said she believes that art connects us to the cosmic source of all being through the symbolic gesture of co-creating with God. With fresh, unique, and original inventions, she says that we balance our inevitable return to the elements with the opposing energy of life force. Ironically, through this process, she says that we also seek order out of chaos and that has lasting spiritual value.
Finally, Merkley says that art stands sentinel in the quest to find our way through the void, back to the heart of the universe from which we came. The energy of memory creates thought forms and archetypes, allowing us to take our brief existence on this planet with us when we go.
"Mnemonic Devices" is an installation of drawings, paintings, sculpture, photographs, found objects and relics of human and natural worlds in a blend that is both terrible and beautiful.
The Transition Gallery is open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. For more information, call Student Involvement at (208) 282-3451. Merkley can be reached at (208) 251-6715 or firstname.lastname@example.org.