RAPID CITY, S.D. (Oct. 8, 2013) - The Apex Gallery at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology will hold a reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, for artist David Bower, whose exhibition "Revival" will run through Oct. 30. The artist's talk will be held at 6 p.m. in the gallery.
Professor emeritus at Northern Illinois University, School of Art, DeKalb, and a Fulbright Scholar to Akademie der Bildenden Kunste, Germany, Bower's exhibit reflects three distinct ideas he's explored over the last 12 years.
"Ideas for my work come to me in many different ways. In the case of the "Lower 48" it was the fascination with the arrangement of the counties of each state which I found in an old geography book and what they suggested to me. Most are very regular and geometric, which implied formal abstract interpretation, while others more organic in nature suggested human figures," Bower said. "It was a playful exercise, and I could not stop until I had completed all 48 states."
This enchantment with geometric forms drew Bower to an unorthodox purchase - a box of old, used cigar bands. "The colors were bright with gilded edges, and the shapes were interesting."
He would later incorporate the bands into his art, not only for their "exquisite embossing" but the subtle reminder of "our visual culture of merchandising."
Bower's gravitation towards the idea of collage and found objects stems from his childhood in Chicago. Throughout his grade school years, the Field Museum had a lending program through which schools could borrow portable display boxes of various topics, such as a bird's habitat, cotton growing and coal mining.
"I really was fascinated by these portable museums. Inspired by these displays and the artist, Joseph Cornell, I began a lifetime pursuit of combining visual materials in box or box-like structures."
Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,640 students from 45 states and 37 countries, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The average starting salary for graduates is $62,400 with a 98 percent placement rate. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sdsmt and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sdsmt.