John Sebelius: Under The Influence
Opens Final Friday August 26th 6-9 pm (Final Friday One Year Anniversary!)
Runs through Saturday September 24th
From the Artist:
My work addresses individuals and groups that are overlooked; people whose stories deserve an audience. I grew up in a politically active environment. I was raised in a household that celebrated diverse communities and people. This type of upbringing has helped me to be open to humankind and has pushed me to investigate individuals who remain unseen. My exploration into these communities has allowed me the opportunity to explore... myself through lived experience, without judgment or expectations. As a visual artist I investigate the legacy of service to America in a unique way-by finding those who go unnoticed and giving them a voice through my art. In this way, I carry on a family tradition but in personal way.
The direction of my current work is an ever-evolving practice. There is great physicality to my paintings that are only created through a constant reworking process. Continually building up layers of ground and physically removing them allows me the ability to connect with my subjects and materials on a physical and personal level. By scraping paint and embedding it with drawing, I hope to create a descriptive surface that can hold disparate images within a unified field. My most recent work investigates color and the emotional impact of visceral marks. I'm intrigued by the idea of being part of a population and invisible all at once. I focus heavily on societal implications of behavior and if being part of a crowd absolves one of the same restrictions they may experience as an individual. Memories and dreams surrounding certain individuals and images continue to serve as inspiration for the paintings.
John Sebelius is an American artist, fashion designer and the creator of the board game Don't Drop The Soap. After graduating with honors from The Rhode Island School of Design in 2006, Sebelius founded, Gillius, Inc. and created and produced the board game Don't Drop the Soap and the Gillius clothing line. Sebelius' clothing designs received immediate attention when he won the Deegie's Carma Fashion Designer Open Call Contest in 2007. Currently, Gillius, Inc. products are sold in over 150 stores across the U.S. and have been featured in: Express, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Harper's, DETAILS, CNN, and The Washington Post.
In 2009, Sebelius returned to Lawrence and began his MFA in Drawing & Painting at the University of Kansas Awards include: Vermont Studio Center partial Fellowship and Artist's Grant, Wayne DeWitt Larabee Scholarship, Daniel MacMorris Scholarship, and two University of Kansas School Of The Arts Travel Grants. John is a founding member of the SOTA Advisory Board and is focused on his new love, teaching. Sebelius became a Graduate Teaching Assistant in 2009 and continues to teach at the University of Kansas. He was appointed to be one of the panelists deciding Creativity and Organizational Capacity Fellowships at the National Endowment for the Arts in November 2010. Sebelius remains the owner and Creative Director of Gillius, Inc. and lives in Lawrence.