Published on February 14, 2024 by Liza Coffin, Journalism Student  
man appreciating artwork

Samford University’s on-campus art gallery kicked off the new year with its first exhibition, Deeply Placed. Three women worked together to create this multimedia display, showcasing many forms of art. All pieces discuss the theme of the physical and digital universe. An opening reception was held Thursday, Jan. 25, to showcase the work.

Karen Brummund, from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was initially inspired to get together with two fellow artists, Jessica Henderson, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Elisabeth Pellathy, of Birmingham, Alabama, to curate the show around the implications of digital media on the physical world.

The exhibit displays many distinct styles of art from each artist.

artist with minimalist artBrummund added an architectural element with installations hanging from the walls. She also created a sand and light exhibit, open to touch and play by viewers.

Brummund says over the last 10 years, she has been researching ways of seeing and how to use play as a mode of interpreting aesthetic experiences.

“Sometimes when we go to art, we think that our eyes need to do all of the work or that the artist has done all of the work for you, and you just need to stand there, and you’ll get it,” said Brummund. “Some of the best, most important experiences I’ve had with art are less about what the art says, and more about how the art changes my relationship with people who are looking at it with me.”

two students discussing artHenderson’s contribution explored the role of cellular phones in human life. She says she lived a life with a foot in both worlds, growing up when advanced phones were first becoming popular.

Henderson describes her work as “thinking about the role that technology plays in shaping us and the ways it helps us be more human… and maybe the ways it helps us be less human.”

artist with resin flowerPellathy touches on the ecological side of the question with resin-based flower sculptures and a 3D rendering of a flower in motion as a projection on the wall.

Gallery coordinator and Samford art professor Lauren Evans is delighted to have the privilege of displaying this exhibit.

Because the artists are Christians and Samford is a Christian institution, Evans is excited to “talk about artwork through a theological lens.”

Samford will be hosting Christian scholars to present lectures about the theme of the exhibit.

art flowerThe next lecture will take place on Feb. 15 at 1 p.m. in the Samford Art Gallery featuring sociologist, Felicia Wu Song. Song, a cultural sociologist, studies the place of digital technologies in contemporary life.

The gallery is open weekdays from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. The display will be free and open to visitors until Feb. 29.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.