TASI Maudee Carron Gallery: Sarah VonKain “Vulnerable”

The Art Studio, Inc. (TASI) will host an exhibition of paintings by Sarah VonKain during the month of September in its Maudee Carron Gallery. TASI will hold a free public reception for the exhibit as part of its First Thursday activities from 5-8 pm on September 1st.

VonKain, who is originally from Orange, TX, received a bachelor’s degree in Art Education from Lamar University in 2014 and a master’s degree in Modern Art History from Azusa Pacific University in 2021. She says she has “left a piece of myself in every place I have been.”

“From a very young age I was taken to galleries and museums and the works I saw developed into a language I understood.”

VonKain has found inspiration in the works of Jenny Holzer, Jenny Saville and Marlene Dumas. The pieces are an amalgamation of the artist’s personal writing and manipulated memories from 2014 to 2022. The exhibition is titled “Vulnerable.”

“My biggest influence for these pieces have been the events of the past year of my life. They, like the works, have forced me to confront who I am and the raw reality of life,” she said. “I would describe the works as relatable raw emotions.

“Initially, I sought to develop a common bond between the viewer and myself through a voyeuristic depiction of key moments and emotions in my life, but as the work settled I was unsettled by the lack of connection I felt to the series. These were my memories and they looked, but didn’t feel soft. Struggling to convey what I needed to say, I returned to my private writings of the past eight years and with urgency included the excerpts in the paintings.”

TASI’s executive director Greg Busceme said, “Sarah has been a long time participant at TASI and we’re excited to welcome her first solo exhibition with us.”

The Art Studio’s galleries, located at 720 Franklin St. in Beaumont, are open for viewing by the public from noon to 5pm, Tuesday through Saturday. The opening reception on September 1st will also include live music, poetry reading, and refreshments.

“People should see that sometimes vulnerability can be a tool for healing and honesty a weapon for change. I hope they walk away from the pieces feeling less alone,” VonKain said. “I would like to encourage everyone to make a donation to the Texas Suicide Prevention Collaborative  at texassuicideprevention.org. Anything helps. For anyone needing help or seeking to be vulnerable: 1-800-273-TALK”

For more information about the exhibition, email info@artstudio.org, visit www.artstudio.org, or follow The Art Studio, Inc. on Facebook and Instagram.

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The Art Studio, Inc., founded in 1983, is a cultural organization dedicated to fostering creativity in the visual and performing arts in Southeast Texas. Through the subsidized rental of artists’ studio space, equipment, exhibitions opportunities and arts instruction, TASI provides opportunities.

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