Roscoe Wilson

The work of Roscoe Wilson, Professor of Art and Chair of the Department of Humanities and Creative Arts, was recently selected by two nearby universities, Thomas More College and Bluffton University, for exhibition in galleries spring 2017.

Installation on floor and wall in corner of gallery. In foreground a black wooden box shaped similar to a tobacco barn has cream-colored power outlets. Each outlet has an orange plug with orange cables that run toward the corner. On the wall are two rows of black-framed images, 20 on the top row and 18 on the bottom row.

“The 87 Days Project” was displayed from January 12 to February 2, 2017 in the Benedictine Library of Thomas More College. The gallery featured Wilson’s work inspired by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico resulting from the Deepwater Horizon rig run by British Petroleum (BP), the worst such incident in US history. Wilson completed a drawing each day during the 87 days in which oil flowed into the Gulf killing thousands of fish and wildlife and forever altering the coastal environment. The series pays both homage to the disaster, but also reflects on the environmental costs of the nation’s overconsumption and dependency on fossil fuels. Although triggered by the BP Oil Spill, the drawings utilize these themes with imagery intermixing the natural and beautiful with the grotesquely industrial, such as oil barrels spilling over with flowers, to evoke a response from a universal audience. His message intended to not just capture the attention of committed environmentalists, Wilson used his gallery talk (January 23, 2017) to force a moment of reflection upon all viewers about the costs of energy dependent lifestyles and the question of their sustainability for the planet.

Fittingly, his work will be displayed next at Bluffton University’s Grace Albrecht Art Gallery as part of an exhibit entitled “Art as Activism.” The exhibit will run from February 6th to February 24th, and Wilson’s work will be featured alongside other artists whose work shows the capacity of art to address political and social issues in ways that empower individuals and enhance community awareness.

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