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Installation explores societal norms of consumption and voyeurism

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

TULSA — The sacred and the profane intersect in a series of ceramic installations inspired by Islamic architectural ornamentation in “To Be Seen,” a solo show by ceramics artist Sarah Gross opening Jan. 5, 2018, at Living Arts of Tulsa.

Through ceramic art objects and installations, Gross has created a space that speaks of status, consumption, vulnerability and power by integrating traditional tilework and geometry into a spectacle of self-promotion.

“‘To Be Seen’ is the summation of the complex feelings I have about conspicuous consumption and social media,” Gross said.

Gross examines the spectacle of the art opening and the art event taking up more and more space in the online realm, becoming a way to declare “I was there” and making the gallery even more of a space to “see and be seen” than ever.

The show consists of five large-scale installations made up of more than 1,000 handmade tiles creating an emotional and visceral response that both entices through color and pattern and repulses when viewed up close.

Viewers are encouraged to participate in the extravagance and voyeurism by sharing selfies with the tags: #sarahgrossceramics #tobeseen #vipceramics.

“To Be Seen” runs through Feb. 15, 2018. Visit www.livingarts.org for gallery hours and additional information.

Gross is assistant professor of visual art at the University of Kansas. She received an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and a bachelor's degree from Carleton College, Minnesota. She has completed artist residencies at Greenwich House Pottery, Grand Valley State University and the Lawrence Arts Center. In 2010 Gross was named an Emerging Artist by Ceramics Monthly, and she has work featured in numerous collections, including the U.S. Department of State, the University of Costa Rica and the Shiwan Ceramics Museum in Foshan, China.