Two Miami University Art Professors Exhibit Work in Los Angeles

stillion and board artists


Michael Stillion and Matthew Board present Necessary Illusions at SPRING/BREAK Art Show in Los Angeles, California.

Two faculty members in the College of Creative Arts at Miami University, Mathew Board and Michael Stillion, are being featured for the 3rd edition of the SPRING/BREAK Art Show, LA from February 17th - 20th, 2022. Matthew Board is a Visiting Assistant Professor of painting and drawing and Matthew Board is an Assistant Professor of art and emerging technologies. The collaboration titled Necessary Illusions presents Michael Stillion's newest paintings in conjunction with cutting-edge software and technology by Matthew Board that not only brings the imagery to life but also destroys it in the process. 

An idea born in 2019 - Stillion’s paintings (like many of his other bodies of work) combine themes and subjects such as the flower and face jug in a format that challenges not only the artist as creator but the perception of the viewer. According to the Milwaukee Art Museum’s website, “Face jug” is a term coined by decorative arts historians to refer to an African American pottery type created in the second half of the nineteenth century, in the midst of slavery, in South Carolina. Confined to dimensional boxes and seemingly ready to crumble out of the painting, the face jugs touch a common theme in Stillion’s work - the personality and animation of an inanimate object. Other recurring images - that of the poppy flower and the common housefly bring in their own weighted references of life and death. The imagery of the jugs and flowers both present a constant state of decomposition.

art by stillion and boardMatthew Board’s contribution to this project, as both an artist and software developer, is the digital manipulation of Stillion's imagery - challenging the idea of the painting in its physical form. As Board interprets elements of Stillion’s work, the true decay of the object is brought to life as the creative software, through code and algorithm, slowly animates ruin and decay in the composition. As time and decay progress another character in Stillion’s paintings, a small animated house fly, moves erratically within the confines of the digital artwork.

Michael Stillion and Mathew Board have worked together in the Art Department at Miami University for 6 years, but this is their first collaboration. 

The SPRING/BREAK Art Show, LA takes place at the Skylight Culver City, 5880 Adams Blvd, Culver City, CA. The show features over 50 curatorial exhibitions exploring the theme, HEARSAY:HERESY.