Alumnus returns to Trinity to curate art exhibit


“I think a lot of us are invested in making seductive, beautiful objects and a large component of that comes from our feelings of loss or desire,” states Phil LaDeau, class of 2011 Trinity alumnus and curator of the current exhibition located in the Niedorff Art Gallery, titled “Something Lost.”

LaDeau, who is currently pursuing his Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture at the University of Texas-Austin, gathered together nine artists, including himself, to create this show. Through multiple different media, including photography, drawing, film and clay, the show explores themes of yearning and loss and how those emotions in turn expose truths that help us better comprehend both ourselves and our surroundings.

“The concept of the show really evolved as I looked at my own work and realized  that there were some definite similarities between my own practice and the practices of my fellow graduates,” LaDeau said. “I wanted to cast the net pretty wide and so “Something Lost” really refers to anything that might be lost: Erik’s pocked molds are separated from his plaster pours, James and Lily’s photographs record an aftermath or residue and Sara and Adrianna’s works allude to much more dark and tragic issues, albeit with beautiful objects.”

The eight other artists, who are either current or former University of Texas graduate students, with work featured in the exhibition are James Scheuren, Janaye Brown, Erik Swanson, Christopher Culver, Sara Madandar, Lily Brooks, Adriana Corral and Jieun Beth Kim.

“I knew I would include myself from the start, not only to promote my own work, but to illuminate the common themes and interests between myself and the other artists and to help put our work into a greater context,” LaDeau said. “When you look at an artist’s work just by itself, perhaps in their studio, it can be a great experience but it also isolates the work and in reality we always see work paired next to other things, and that creates a dialogue. I think it is incredibly important for young, emerging artists to band together and investigate how their work can make these dialogues.”

LaDeau was inspired to curate a show in the Niedorff Art Gallery as a first year at Trinity after witnessing alumna Amanda Mayo curate her own show there.

“Phil submitted a proposal for the exhibition to the Gallery Committee, which is comprised of faculty from the Department of Art and Art History,” said assistant professor of art Jessica Halonen.

Elizabeth Ward, chair of the art and art history department, hopes that just as LaDeau was inspired to exhibit his show in the gallery, so too will other fledgling Trinity art students be inspired by LaDeau’s exhibit and curate their own show.

“As a program, we are very interested in supporting our alumni who want to come back and do interesting things in the gallery,” Ward said. “We’ve had a couple other shows in the past curated by art graduates and it’s great for the current students because it shows them the possibilities and the potential of their course of study.”

The exhibition will run through October 12. The Neidorff Art Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.