Kennesaw State presents "Paper Moon" exhibition
Exhibition invites interpretations of illusion and substitution

For media inquiries: Scott Singleton
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This Side of Paradise (I Lost All My

Money in the Great Depression and All

I Got Was This Room) Adam Parker Smith, 2012

KENNESAW, Ga. (August 15, 2012)The exhibition “Paper Moon” will focus on work that, in one way or another, serves as an imperfect substitute for the real thing. The exhibition will be on display from Aug. 30-Oct. 1 in the Art Gallery in the Sturgis Library and Aug. 30-Dec. 6 in the Don Russell Clayton Gallery in the Bailey Performance Center. An opening reception is scheduled on Aug. 30 from 5-9 p.m. in all galleries.

The show examines how the substitutes are intended to function, the nature of their appeal and what role authenticity and our ability to "make believe" plays in the proffered illusion. This group exhibition features contemporary work by regional, national and international artists and includes daily film screenings.

“'Paper Moon' focuses on work in which the artist replicates his or her world in some fashion, yet their imitation is not seamless. The viewer is aware of the difference, provoking questions and revelations. Rather than following a contemporary fixation on greed and irony, we more often locate the artist’s motives in personal need and a sense of longing,” says Teresa Bramlette Reeves, curator for this exhibition.

The idea for the exhibition began with a documentary about teenage magicians and turned into a project where the sleight of hand and trickery behind illusions is made obvious but the willingness to be entertained still remains. The title “Paper Moon” is borrowed from a Depression-era song, “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” written by Harold Arlen and made popular by versions released by Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole during the later years of World War II. The song refers to a paper mache world of theater sets, homemade high school props and parade floats, inexpensive backdrops that provide a bit of temporary glamour or romance.

Rather than looking exactly like the original source, all of the objects in this show are easily recognizable as a variation. “From Joe Peragine’s paintings of natural history museum dioramas to Adam Parker Smith’s wallpaper installation, each artist offers a turn on the real with objects that are invested with emotional and psychological weight, and perhaps, with a kind of innocence and faith,” says Reeves. “One sees what one wants to see, and I, for one, welcome that interpretation. Join us in the escape.”

The Clayton Gallery is in the Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center and is open 12-4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Other visits may be scheduled by appointment in the Clayton Gallery. The Art Gallery is located on the lower level of the Sturgis Library and is open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7-9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday evenings and 1-4 p.m. on Saturday.

The exhibition is free and open to the public.


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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 80 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of more than 24,100 students from 130 countries.

The KSU College of the Arts is one of only four Georgia institutions to have achieved full national accreditation for all of its arts departments.


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The College of the Arts at Kennesaw State University supports, defends and promotes academic freedom in artistic expression, as outlined by the American Association of University Professors, and diversity of all kinds as outlined by the university's Human Relations Position Statement.

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