Seemann debuts first solo show “Between Spaces”

%22Self-Portrait+I%22+is+currently+on+display+in+Seeman%27s+%22Between+Spaces%22+exhibition.+

Image Courtesy of ArtHaus

"Self-Portrait I" is currently on display in Seeman's "Between Spaces" exhibition.

Morgan Seemann (‘20) won Best of Show at the ArtHaus Emerging Artist Exhibition in the spring of 2019. As part of her reward for winning, Seemann put on a solo show and reception entitled “Between Spaces” at Rubaiyat on Oct. 11. Seemann’s work will be on display in Rubaiyat from Oct. 11 to Nov. 24.

Seemann won Best of Show for two of her pieces in the ArtHaus Exhibition. One was a photograph taken outside of Farwell Hall that depicted footprints leading up to a pair of empty boots in the snow. The other was a self-portrait where the lower half of Seemann’s body was warped. 

Associate Professor of Art Ben Moore (‘02) works closely with Seemann, and says that she produces work that evokes a sense of timelessness.

“It’s called figurative painting, meaning it uses figures,” Moore said.“She puts them in fantastical spaces where she’ll edit out bits of the figures, or they feel like they’re from a bit of another time.”

The art on display at Rubaiyat is primarily comprised of Seemann’s figurative paintings and self-portraits, which are the primary focus of her work. 

“I end up doing a lot of self-portraiture, and through that I learned that there’s a lot of self-perception that goes on,” Seemann said. “A lot of that is imperfect. Finding the balance between what that distortion is, what that self-perception is, and beauty itself through humans is what my art tries to do.” 

Seemann creates art through multiple mediums such as drawing, painting, and photography, but prefers to paint because it allows her to create and build whatever she wants. 

“I’ve worked with painting the most because I think there’s a fluidity,” Seemann said. “You can make up a lot and you can create a lot of fantasy with it. There’s a lot more freedom with brushstrokes and the expressions you can give in both color and lines.” 

At the reception, Seemann’s art caught the attention of numerous community members who frequent downtown Decorah. David Sollien was dining with his spouse in Rubaiyat the night of Seemann’s reception when he became interested in the artwork on display. He particularly liked “Volte-face II.”

“I like the pieces where the entire model isn’t in the picture, so it’s left to your imagination to complete the picture,” Sollien said. “I also kind of like the dark tones, which sort of lends an air of mystery.” 

Other Luther art students attended the reception to support their classmate. Faith Pasch (‘21) saw the exhibition as an opportunity for Seemann to broaden her horizons. 

“This will help with networking for sure, and I think it’s a good way to interact in an environment outside of campus,” Pasch said. “Not everyone in the art world after college is going to be a 20-year-old.”

Seemann has found a lot of support for her art through Luther faculty, as well as local Decorah organizations such as ArtHaus. Director of ArtHaus Shannon Dallenbach Durbin believes it is important to support young artists in the community.

“We really believe in making sure that young, emerging artists have a voice and can actually have shows so that they can see a whole body of work and get that experience started,” Dallenbach Durbin said. 

The ArtHaus 2020 Emerging Artist Exhibition is open to any artists between the ages of 18 and 25. The application is due in February and Seemann encourages other students to apply for an opportunity to be part of the show.

“I think it’s a really great opportunity, and I think that anyone at Luther College should always apply for this Emerging Artist Exhibition because anyone can do it,” Seemann said. 

Grace James (’23)
Morgan Seemann (’20) discusses her hart with patrons at the Rubaiyat during the “Between Spaces” reception.
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