Former Viz prof exhibits 'ironic monuments of the ordinary'

Karen Hillier



"Unforgotten, grandmother's vanity, grandfather's toilette"
Wright Gallery
March 5–31
5–7 p.m. March 5


Images of everyday, personal objects and drawings of oversized handkerchiefs, representing memory and observation, were featured in a March 5-31, 2014 exhibit of work by Karen Hillier, professor emerita of visualization, at Texas A&M’s Wright Gallery.

Patrons delighted in what Hillier called “ironic monuments of the ordinary” in her exhibit, “Unforgotten, grandmother’s vanity, grandfather’s toilette.”

Hillier created images of everyday objects used for grooming and hygiene, similar to those she saw during frequent childhood trips to her grandparents’ home.

“I was very relaxed during my visits to their home,” said Hillier. “I was free to stare and soak up their daily rituals.”

The exhibit included Hillier’s two-sided drawings of oversized, vintage-style handkerchiefs. “It’s like viewing a stained-glass window,” said Hillier of the drawings, which range from realism to the abstract.

“The experience of each side is very different,” she said. “Color, pattern and texture beckon the viewer to imagine the handkerchief’s owners.”

The exhibit also included a soundscape by composer Stephen Dunning and a video of a series of Hillier photographs of shadows composed by Ganesh Rao, who earned a Master of Fine Arts in Visualization degree at Texas A&M in 2013.

The exhibit was sponsored by the College of Architecture, Department of Visualization, Department of Architecture and the Glasscock Working Group in the History of Art, Architecture and Visual Culture.

Hillier also had artwork on display in two Chicago exhibits, “The Best of Women’s Caucus for Art 2014,” a collection of work by female artists across the United States, at the ARC Gallery, and “Equilibrium: Art for a Changing World” exhibited at the Woman Made Gallery.

Her work is also includes in “Drawing Discourse” recently shown at the University of Asheville’s S. Tucker Cooke Gallery.

Hillier, who retired from Texas A&M’s visualization faculty in 2011, helped establish the Department of Visualization and its degree programs and is a recipient of The Association of Former Students’ Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award in Teaching.

posted February 19, 2014