Catapult Exhibit ‘Self Disclosure’ Explores the Art, Meaning of the Self Portrait


The Catapult Creative House Student Studios will hold their first Artist of the Month exhibition of the spring 2019 season with “Self Disclosure,” featuring the work of Southeast Missouri State University student artist Sammi Allen.

An exhibition reception, celebrating the work of Allen, a senior from Fenton, Missouri, is scheduled for 5-9 p.m. Feb. 1 as part of Cape Girardeau’s First Friday downtown arts events. The exhibition will be on display through Feb. 1 on the second floor of Catapult Creative House, 612 Broadway in downtown Cape Girardeau.

The autobiographical nature of visual art has its roots in the self-portrait, a medium through which the artist can explore a sense of self and one’s relationship to their surroundings. Embracing this artistic tradition, Allen’s work creates a cathartic path that tows the line between self-exploration and perception. Using bold patterns and vivid colors, her prints embody the revolutionary spirit of German Expressionism, while attesting to a sense of self. Simultaneously, the artist’s photos and fibers work are exploratory in medium and nature,  yet there is an accessibility in the recognizable and repetitive visage.

Building upon the formal traditions of representing one’s self, Allen asks the viewer to engage with the work and to record their impressions of the imagery, and by default the artist herself, on a slip of paper and attach it to the wall. This physical act ultimately creates a relationship between one’s perceptions and their preconceived notions, resulting in more questions than answers. In the end, Allen reminds the viewer of the complicated nature of visually and truthfully representing one’s self.

Each month and as a part of a program to promote community-based and integrated art making, a student artist is chosen to exhibit his or her work at Catapult Creative House’s Student Studio Gallery. These exhibitions will showcase a range of work from individual artists that highlights their personal and professional artistic explorations as a part of the southeast Missouri art community. These artists explore the physicality of the human condition, its relationship to nature and the role of art in contemporary society. In addition to the exhibition, visitors are welcome to tour the studio spaces, view ongoing projects and engage with the artists.