Catapult Exhibit ‘(Un)Masked’ Explores Identity through Photography


The Catapult Creative House will hold its spring Student Artist of the Month exhibition with “(Un)Masked,” featuring the work of Southeast Missouri State University artist Haley Hutchison.

The exhibition is currently on view on the second floor of Catapult Creative House, 612 Broadway in downtown Cape Girardeau, and will run through April with a closing reception to be held from 5-9 p.m. on Friday, May 3.

In her exhibition, Hutchison, a senior communication multimedia, photography major from Dexter, Missouri, challenges the traditional use of masks in photography by altering them with various materials to express an individual’s identity rather than hide it. The resulting images allow the masks to play a prominent role in the expression of the subject. Exploring themes of anxiety, dissociation, fear, vulnerability and hope, Hutchison reinforces the constant battle of overcoming these ubiquitous aspects of life.

The images are vibrant and feature the subjects staring straight into the camera, forcing the viewer to make eye contact with the figure and connect with the story being told. “No Signal, Please Standby” features the subject wearing a glitter-covered mask posing next to a television with static on the screen. Blue and red lights fill the room, creating a dream-like illusion, which paired with the glitter and static, are used to portray the feeling of dissociating.

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 showcase a range of work from individual artists that highlight 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, attendees are welcome to tour the studio spaces, view ongoing projects, and engage with the artists.