Guen Montgomery will present a lecture about her work while sharing images from her art practice, which draws inspiration from her rural Appalachian heritage and identity as a femme gay person. She is interested in the complexity and inherent theatricality of real and imagined human characters. She will discuss the performative intricacies of gender, queerness and societal expectations, and the varied identities which haunt the words queer, lesbian, and femme. Through the lens of material culture and her extended family’s fraught relationship to objects, she will explore the complexities of class, consumerism, and the lasting legacy of possessions. The objects we surround ourselves with, and eventually dispose of, tell stories about us. Guen considers connections between our possessions, their cycle of acquisition and disposal, and the performance of identity curation and construction.
Guen Montgomery is an artist and performer whose work investigates identity through studies of gender, regional narrative, and family mythology. Her recent work looks at the queer life of things, the longing to acquire, and how objects perform identity. Materially, Montgomery’s work is located in the intersections between printmaking, performance, and sculpture. Montgomery has exhibited nationally and internationally and has work in multiple public collections including the Centre for Art and Design in Churchill, Australia, and Mushashino Art University in Tokyo, Japan, with recent exhibitions in Nashville and St. Louis. Guen is an Assistant Professor of Studio Arts program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Immediately following this lecture, the UIS Visual Arts Gallery will host an exhibition reception for Guen Montgomery's solo exhibition, "Junk Drawer," from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the UIS Visual Arts Gallery (HSB 201).
This event is free and open to the public.
Co-sponsored by the UIS Visual Arts Gallery, UIS Gender & Sexuality Student Services, & UIS Women’s Center