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Yale assistant director of Graduate School of Art and Science to display work at Campbellsville University

By KayCee Wilhelm
Special to KyForward

Howard El-Yasin, assistant director at Yale University Graduate School of Art and Science, will exhibit “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?” at Campbellsville University’s Pence-Chowning Art Gallery through Nov. 16.

The exhibit is open to the public.

“My art practice investigates everyday perceptions and ways of encountering the world we live in, and ways of knowing that question dominant meanings of valuation and marginality. I collect and employ mundane, and sometimes abject, fragments of detritus in my art-making; and aim to heighten their materiality through installation and sculptural forms,” El-Yasin said.

Howard El-Yasin (Photo from Campbellsville University)

He said the rawness of his materials gesture toward the primitivist art movement, and the title of the exhibition is borrowed from the primitivism painter, Paul Gauguin’s seminal painting: “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going” (1897-1898).

“Yet, whereas the primitivists fetishized and sought aesthetic inspiration from African and other non-Western (so-called uncivilized) cultures, my work engages social participation and detritus –by way of time-based accumulations, as a reflection of contemporary, post-industrial material culture,” El-Yasin said. “The multitude of colors, debris, and fragmented information found in dryer lint to the diversity of voices in my sonic hair narratives evince residues of our identities and collective selves.”

El-Yasin welcomes participation in the exhibition by bringing domestic dryer lint for the “Campbellsville Collection” which will be placed in a designated location in the gallery.

The exhibit is curated by Azucena Trejo Williams, assistant professor of art and design.

El-Yasin received his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from New England College, Master of Arts in Liberal Studies in Visual Arts from Wesleyan University and Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art from Maryland Institute College of Art.

He has also served in various positions at Yale since 1986 including program coordinator of the Graduate Student Center, museum store manager of the Yale University Art Gallery and assistant store manager at the Yale Center for British Art.

He is affiliated with quite a few community service projects such as Dine Out for Life Ambassador with the Aids Project New Haven, Community Action Agency of New Haven as a board member and Ethnic Heritage Center as a board member.

El-Yasin is also a visiting critic who will visit with a graduating senior who is taking Trejo Williams’ installation course.

For more information contact the Art and Design Department at (270) 789-5268 or Azucena Trejo Williams at aetwilliams@campbellsville.edu.

KayCee Wilhelm is a student news writer for Campbellsville University

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