Lux Art Institute has a different approach to the museum experience. They work to make art more personal for the people viewing it. They have a residency program, which brings all sorts of different artists to Lux where they not only show previous works of art, but also create new ones. Visitors leave with a greater appreciation of the artists as a whole and the process that they go through to create a work of art.
Lux’s newest artist in residence is Marcus Kenney, who reflects themes of poverty, social alienation and injustices in the pieces that he creates. He works predominantly with found objects that he collects from the areas that he works in.
“I think that as a visual artist I’m influenced by everything I see in my surroundings ad most of my work is based on materials and very little paint,” says Kenney. “One of the things I proposed to them was that I wanted to go to thrift stores and get items from the area.”
While at Lux Kenney will be creating an interpretation of “The Tower of Babel” by Brueghel. Kenney will be in residence for a month, while he completes the painting and then the gallery show will be open for another month as well. Visitors to the exhibit will be able to watch as Kenney creates his painting, which is something that he hasn’t done before.
“I think that’s the cool thing about being an artist, you get to do things like this and put yourself in situations that you’ve never been in before.”
The gallery also features a collection of his other works of art spanning from the year 2004 right up until some taxidermy sculptures that he created last year. In his past projects he has used found objects such as vintage grocery store stamps that he found in an old dresser, old checks, cigar labels and even pages out of children’s coloring books.
“I use paper as brush strokes. I do layering and creating patterns to create a story. I’m going to do that approach for the Tower of Babel, I’ll layer the whole back of it with checks.”
After Kenney leaves Lux and returns home to Savanna, his first project will be creating four life-sized horses. The project will take months to complete and will be the last time that he works with taxidermy sculptures. Some of his other sculptures can be viewed here.
Marcus Kenney’s gallery show will be at Lux until Feb. 8, but his exhibit will be on display until Mar 8. Visit Lux Thursdays and Fridays from 1 to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.