Blake Wood
Publish Date

The University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery is pleased to present “Charismatic Fauna,” an exhibition by artist and curator Doug Stapleton. This exhibition will open on Tuesday, Jan. 18, and will run through Thursday, Feb. 10. A reception will be held on from 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27, at the gallery. Masks are required in the gallery and at the reception.

Collage artist Doug Stapleton re-configures found images into ambiguous narratives that often refer to the original source, but mess around with the message. Visually he responds to the operatic shimmer, sparkle and complexity - the grandly narrated spectacle - that is the history of western art. He plays with symbols and metaphors from art history, language and religion to create new images that are strongly representational, with an attention to precise cutting and visual consistency, and a nod toward absurd meaning.

“I’m fascinated by hybrids and monsters - the conglomeration by fortune or bad luck - of human and animal traits that bear us witness,” Stapleton said. “That is the unbridled for me, restlessness that seethes in equal parts fear, exasperation, and desire to become something else. A change into something grotesque is welcome. Celebrated really.

“This selection of work from the last 10 years speaks to some aspect of longing in my work. I get my clues from art history, using tropes from religion and mythology, with added elements of natural history - birds, flowers, snakes - to stand in for moments of transformation and release.”

Stapleton is an artist, curator and educator. Stapleton's work has been the subject of two solo exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center and at the Loyola University Museum of Art, Chicago in 2012. He is a former artistic associate with The Seldoms, a Chicago-based contemporary dance company, where he worked on 11 evening length dance performances in the capacity of dramaturg and as a performer. Stapleton has performed in more than 40 solo and collaborative performances since 1989. He received his master’s degree in fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Delaware with a minor concentration in art history and ceramics. He is represented by Bert Green Gallery in Chicago.

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
The UIS Visual Arts Gallery is centrally located on the UIS campus in the Health and Science Building, room 201 (HSB 201). Gallery hours are 11. a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

For more information, visit the UIS Visual Arts Gallery website at or contact the gallery at 217-206-6506 or

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