prayer flags, by Jillian Sokso opening August 25

KENT, OH – The School of Art Collection and Galleries at Kent State University are pleased to announce a new exhibit, prayer flags, by Jillian Sokso. This exhibit will be on display, August 25 – September 30, 2023, at the KSU Downtown Gallery, 141 East Main Street, Kent Ohio. A reception will be free and open to the public on Friday, August 25 from 5-7 p.m.

Jillian Sokso is a visual artist and educator. Originally from Philadelphia, she studied printmaking at Moore College of Art and Design and the University of Delaware. She has exhibited nationally and internationally since 2004, and her work is included in many collections public and private. Notable exhibitions include "In the Shadow of the Mountain; As if the Sea Were Nothing," Reynolds Gallery, Stockton California, "Grafting Ammunition," Painted Bride Arts Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, "Meditation Milestones," The Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg Oregon and "The Other: Nurturing a New Ecology in Printmaking," Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, Florida. She is a former recipient of the NYFA strategic opportunity stipend grant and has been an artist in residence at The Virginia Center for Creative Arts, The Women’s Studio Workshop and the Contemporary Arts Center at Woodside. Prior to her appointment in the School of Art, Jillian served as the Director of the School of Communication and Design and Professor of Art and Design at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon. She had previously been Chair of Art and Design at George Fox, and from 2005-2014 was a faculty member and department chair in the Art Department at Houghton College in Houghton, New York. 

Sokso currently serves as the Director of the School of Art at Kent State University.

About prayer flags

prayer flags, includes over 30 images, printed on handmade paper produced using daylily and abaca fiber, and then mounted to sheets of 110 lb French Paper through a chine collé process. The print media employed in the series includes serigraphy, pochoir, wood relief, and relief printed laser woodcut.

An offshoot of the bodies of work Chaos Garden, Chaos Garden II, and Chaos Garden III, this work continues to explore imagery related to landscape symbology and suburban and urban built environments. While developing the imagery and compositional structures for these pieces, I was considering the prevalent American mindset of balancing investment in resolving our social problems with a lack of willingness to act based on the perceived nuisance value of potential solutions. I connect the series title ‘Prayer Flags’ with the ever-present ‘hopes and prayers’ language we hear in the news media when disastrous happening and forecasting meet with cognitive dissonance or passivity. In addition, both the color palette and division of space in these works mimic Tibetan prayer flags, which we so often see appropriated by contemporary White Americans who connect Eastern spirituality with their own personal political ideology.

KSU Downtown Gallery Hours: Mon. - Fri. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Closed Sundays.

This exhibit is free and open to the public and has been brought to you with support from the Ohio Arts Council.

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About the School of Art

The School of Art at Kent State University was established in 1941 and maintains a tradition of excellence in visual arts education, creation, scholarship, and leadership. Its undergraduate and graduate programs in the visual arts offer a range of directions and opportunities in the fields of art education, art history, and studio art, which includes a comprehensive array of studio disciplines: ceramics, drawing, glass, jewelry/metals/enameling, painting, print media and photography, sculpture and expanded media, and textiles. The School of Art Collection and Galleries consist of six exhibition spaces located on the Kent campus and downtown Kent and a collection of over 4,000 artworks and objects. The School of Art is located at the Center of the Visual Arts at 325 Terrace Dr. in Kent. The 27,900-square-foot facility — twice the length of a football field —had its grand opening in 2016 and houses all School of Art studios and classrooms under one roof.

Image: Details of red letter year, handmade paper, relief, serigraph, and chine collé on French Paper

POSTED: Tuesday, August 8, 2023 02:50 PM
Updated: Monday, August 28, 2023 12:10 PM