09/21/11 — Mount Olive College students' work chosen for art show

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Mount Olive College students' work chosen for art show

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on September 21, 2011 1:46 PM

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Self-portrait by Josiah King

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Self-portrait by Tami Foy Grady

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Self-portrait by Troy Herring

Tami Foy Grady knows the pain of losing a loved one to war and she has depicted that pain, along with the strength that comes from that loss, in a self-portrait she's titled "War Affected No. 6."

The 26-year-old is one of three Mount Olive College students who will have artwork displayed in a special juried exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh titled "Self, Observed."

Troy Herring and Josiah King will also have artwork in the exhibit.

"Self, Observed" will coincide with the art museum's exhibit "Rembrandt in America," which will be on display Oct. 30 through Jan. 31.

The art of Ms. Grady, Herring and King were chosen from 163 entries.

Ms. Grady's artwork is a closely cropped photorealism self portrait of her face, with her face filling the entire canvas.

It's part of a series she's doing to show women around the world who have been affected by war in the world today. She gets her subjects from the Internet, photos of women in countries such as Iraq, Israel, Pakistan, who are war refugees.

"I want to compare them and show that they all have something in common even though they're from different parts of the world," Ms. Grady said. "I came up with the idea of showing them in a blunt way, getting my idea from artists Goya and Chuck Close."

Ms. Grady has experienced loss first hand.

"My father was working and living in Pakistan, and a group of terrorists pinpointed him and a suicide bomber murdered him in 2006," she said.

"I just wanted my portrait to be a raw expression with a lot of emotion in it and a lot of loss, but also a strength. These portraits I'm doing, the women all have pain and vulnerability in their eyes like I have in mine, but also a depth, where I've been through so much that I can't tell you it all; you just have to see it in my portrait."

Herring's self portrait is titled "Self Portrait Illusion" and it is a photograph of him wearing a suit, bowler hat and a gas mask holding a pair of scissors in his left hand and a balloon in his right.

It's unusual because it's done in a 3D effect, typical of the old 3D images from the 1970s. The 21-year-old said his photograph reflects how his life has been for the past year.

"It's been filled with lots of stuff that hasn't been that great for me," he said. "The idea is that, being inspired by the Dadas and surrealists, everything, while it doesn't seem to make any sense at all, is put there for a particular reason. My self portrait has a whole lot of underlying symbolism of the connection between reality and what you want to be reality."

King, 21, created his self portrait "My Passion" with acrylic on canvas. It shows his face and upper body with his hands outstretched in front of his chest.

"Basically, there's a light coming from my hands," King said. "It's what God has given me, the desires that God has put inside my heart and where God is leading me to go, what he's leading me to do. My painting is about the fire that's burning inside me for the things that God has placed in me."

He's also into worship painting -- a spontaneous painting during the music portion of a worship service.