‘#Brute’ exhibit at CCU’s art gallery tells a difficult truth
Generally focused on creating time-intensive work to display difficult truths, Kretz uses a variety of media to explore and highlight social inequities.
“I often experience news stories of inhumanity as a literal blow to my body, and carry the negative energy around with me until I process a way to remove it from my person through transformative creation,” Kretz writes in her artist’s statement. “My work functions as a meditation, a healing prayer, a potent incantation to embed the finished object with as much power as possible, to rival the impact of that original negative impetus for making it. I am aiming for a beautiful, exquisitely crafted gut punch.”
Formally trained as a painter, Kretz creates across disciplines. Her recent work includes human hair embroideries, dense bas-relief cotton floss embroideries, acrylic paintings on cotton velvet, and highly wrought oil and acrylic paints.
“Works on display will include works in oil, bronze sculpture, hand embroidery, and pyrography (wood burning),” said Jim Arendt, associate professor in CCU’s Department of Visual Arts and gallery director. “Kate’s work deals explicitly with inhumanity, violence, gun culture, misogyny and injustice,” said Arendt, “primarily with the human figure. Her work depicts violence in physical, political and psychological realms, and it uses the transformative power of art to attenuate the actual savagery of the world around us.”
Kretz holds a Master of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Georgia. Her work has been featured in more than 95 international newspapers, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Miami Herald and the Atlanta Journal/Constitution. Exhibitions include the Museum of Arts & Design in New York; the Van Gijn Museum in Dordrecht, the Netherlands; Kunstraum Kreuzberg in Berlin; and Academy of Arts & Design at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Kretz is on the Fulbright Specialist Roster through 2021 and received the Maryland Council for the Arts Grant in 2015 and 2017.
The Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery is in Room 129 in the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts at 133 Chanticleer Drive W. The gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The gallery is dedicated to advancing the education of visual arts and cultivating the production, interpretation, and enjoyment of objects and images in society.
Note: This exhibition contains content that is inappropriate for children. Parental discretion is advised.