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Tonia Hughes’ photography and video installations have been shown in international, national, and regional exhibitions. As demonstrated with her most recent solo exhibition, BODIES, much of her work is rooted in socio-political discourse. Yet, while BODIES illustrates a feminist critique of the consequences of unrealistic body images and societal constructs of beauty, her work continues to express a broad range of social, psychological, political and academic research. Another example of her interest can be noted in her work from Tonia Hughes: Recent Works. This body of work included: sound bites, videos, photographs, mixed media pieces, and collections of found objects, and was an expression of Hughes’ personal experiences. The gallery was divided into two sections. The first section exhibited a collection of work entitled Indulging in Ashes that was intended to pose questions regarding life, death, and the connection between the two. While the second segment of the gallery displayed a body of work collectively entitled The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters. The latter being Hughes’ technical experimentation of photographic lithographs printed on handmade paper embedded with the artist’s hair and finger nails, and was a visual demonstration designed to reflect on the suffering of victims of domestic violence. The exhibition was shown in coordination with Atlanta Celebrates Photography at the Rankin Photography Center in Columbus, Georgia.
In addition to her creations in visual arts, Hughes continues her research in Women’s Studies, specifically on the topics of queer theory, gender and sexuality. This research serves as a foundation for the visual art she typically creates. As an extension of her work, she often lectures for the Women’s Studies program at Georgia Southwestern State University and participates in public discussion panels with the Psychology/Sociology Department at GSW on topics relating to the queer community.
Hughes was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. She grew up in the southeastern region of the United States, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree from Columbus State University in 2004. In 2008, she completed her MFA in photography at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Hughes has been the honored recipient of a Faculty Development Grant from Georgia Southwestern State University and was awarded the Gold Award from The Dalton Gallery at Agnes Scott College. She has been teaching Photography and Digital Arts as a Senior Lecturer at Georgia Southwestern State University since January 2009 and currently resides in Americus, Georgia.
Areas taught: Sculpture and Glass
Fine Arts Building Room 109
Charles Wells has earned a BFA from Midwestern State University and a MFA from Texas Christian University. He strives to ensure that each piece is visually engaging, thought provoking, and entertaining. It is his hope that the viewer will enjoy the formal playfulness and seek deeper meaning.
Areas taught: Art History, Ceramics, and Printmaking
Fine Arts Building Room 106
Keaton, originally from St. Louis, MO, is responsible for teaching both Art History and Ceramics. Keaton earned his BFA in Ceramics at Missouri State University his MFA in Ceramics from Kent State University and an MA in Art History from Virginia Commonwealth University. Keaton works as a practicing artist exhibiting widely in regional, national and international exhibitions. In recent years he has directed study abroad programs to both China and Africa. Keaton has been awarded numerous grants, while at GSW he has twice received a Distinguished Professor Grant a Faculty Development Grant and was also awarded the William B. King Family Endowment Grant to participate in an international ceramics conference in Jingdezhen, China. Keaton also received the 2009-2010 President’s Award for Excellence in Service and has twice served on the Faculty Senate. His research interests include the history of Craft and Craft theory, as well as the impact of theory on contemporary art. Keaton has given workshops and presentations nationally and internationally and was recently a Visiting Scholar at the Xi’an Academy of Fine Art in Xi’an China. Since the Fall of 2012 Keaton has been the Creative Director of the Dunhuang Creative Center established at Lanzhou City University where he teaches each summer and serves as a Professor of Art. His research into the use of indigenous materials for ceramic production is being funded by the Gansu Provincial Government and he has been given official status as a Foreign Expert. Keaton also currently serves as the President of the Americus and Sumter County Arts Council.
Areas taught: Painting and Drawing
Fine Arts Building Room 104
My work has focused for over 30 years on a variety of limits to idea formation, from slow geological processes, mathematical constructions of multi-dimensional space/time to dehumanization processes including anti-Semitism to the boundaries of knowing the origins of human ideas. The idea-machine of history churns our ideas reformulating, reconfiguring, renewing as they drop onto tables or the ground. Some are eaten immediately; some are covered with a blanket of cold, white glistening snow. A snowball begins to roll and arbitrarily accretes ideas in its path. The huge snowball melts, depositing the ideas, the heavier ones drop out first, smaller ones fill in gaps. This process has no connection to origins, chronology or importance. These ideas are sometimes found, analyzed, reused without accurate citations. FLOW is the process of unrecorded idea transmission. FLOW is the process of unrecorded idea transmission.
Laurel, originally from Pittsburgh, PA, received her BFA in Painting in 1974 and her MFA in Painting in 1977, from the University of Cincinnati. She has done post-graduate study at UCLA in Paleoecology, Sculpture and Scientific Illustration (1982), University of Tasmania Centre for the Arts in Semiotics (Australia, 1986), University of Tel Aviv in Hebrew (Israel, 1988) and a variety of coursework at GSW from Sociology of Religion, Literature, to Math and Culture (1979-2011). She has been a professor at GSW since 1978 and the chair of the department since 2007. Laurel has taught or presented visiting lectures at a variety of universities: University of Tasmania, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Tel Aviv University, UC San Diego, Maryland Institute of Art, St. Mary’s University, Winona MN, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater and U of Georgia. Laurel’s exhibition record spans her career with regional, national and international venues and her work is included in several museum permanent collections: The Jewish Museum of NYC, The Skirball Museum at NYU, Cincinnati Museum of Art, List College at Columbia University, NYC Collection and the Macon Georgia Museum of Arts and Sciences. She teaches all levels of drawing and painting at GSW.