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Artist brings unique collection to Georgia Southern Statesboro Campus

Multimedia artist Lily Kuonen’s work has never been described as conventional. Her playntings, a combination of a play and a painting, are an end-result of her varied and playful approaches to contradiction, opposition, integration and connection. Some of Kuonen’s playntings will be on view at the Center for Art and Theatre’s Contemporary Gallery on the Georgia Southern University Statesboro Campus starting Jan. 14.

Kuonen’s work aims to redirect the viewers’ focus from the material object itself to the importance of the relations it embodies. Her most recent exhibition, “Playntings: —> —>,” shows the latest results of her explorations into artistic synthesis and repurposing.

“I’ve been aware of Kuonen’s work for close to a decade now, and it never ceases to amaze and intrigue me,” Gallery Director Jason Hoelscher said. “Lily has a great ability to take elements and objects we’ve all seen before and arrange, combine or layer them into weird new combinations that simultaneously seem perfectly logical yet strangely absurd and weird. Her playntings evoke a response that’s part ‘what a weird idea!’ and part ‘that’s so obvious, why didn’t I think of that?’”

Kuonen received her Master of Fine Arts in painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design and her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the University of Central Arkansas. She is currently foundations coordinator and associate professor of art at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida. She serves as SECAC affiliate representative for the board of Foundations in Art: Theory and Education, and she is president of the Integrative Teaching International board. Kuonen also regularly contributes exhibition reviews and interviews for BURNAWAY Magazine in Atlanta. She has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally.

The exhibition will be on view from Jan. 14 to Feb. 8. A gallery talk with the artist and a closing reception will be held at the Contemporary Gallery on Feb. 7 from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research institution founded in 1906, offers 141 degree programs serving nearly 26,500 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu.

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