‘Echo of a Hidden Forest’ Imagines Alternative Environments in Catapult Student Artist of the Month Exhibit


“Echo of a Hidden Forest,” featuring the work of Southeast Missouri State University student artist Tristan Swims, is the third Student Artist of the Month exhibition of the Fall 2020 exhibition season at Southeast’s Catapult Creative House.

The exhibition is currently on view on the second floor of Catapult Creative House. A closing reception will be held Nov. 6 from 5-9 p.m. Face coverings will be required, and social distancing guidelines will be in place.

Swims is a senior graphic design and computer technology double major with minors in commercial photography and mass communication from Sikeston, Missouri.

“Echo of a Hidden Forest” imagines an alternative environment, one in which quasi-exaggerations of nature’s beauty and originality trump reality. Creating an alternative to typical nature-based narratives, Swims reminds the viewer of the rawness of both nature and its inhabitants.

Taking cues from his imagination, Swims’ work is buoyed by moments of surrealism, neon-expressionism and even outsider art. In “Entrance,” Swims uses both verdant color and foliage-like shapes to frame the forest while also presenting the viewer with a sense of the infinite. The work reminds viewers that nature abounds, and if they take the time to slow down and simply observe, there is an overabundance to admire.

As part of a program to promote community based and integrated art making, a student artist is chosen to exhibit their work at Catapult Creative House’s Student Studio Gallery each month. 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, attendees are welcome to tour the studio spaces, view ongoing projects, and engage with the artists.

Catapult Creative House is located at 612 Broadway, Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. All gallery exhibitions, events and talks are free and open to the public.