The Thomas Lyon-Mills exhibition opened to the public Saturday at the Tarble Art Center joining both the Edgar Degas and Shona Macdonald displays.
Michael Schuetz, the assistant director of Tarble, said Mills is an artist and an instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design, a well-known and respected art school.
“He was an artist that was nominated and this particular nomination came through Kasey Ramirez, who used to teach printmaking here on campus,” Schuetz said. “This was one of her nominations.”
Schuetz also said Mills’ work stems from his travels to different catacombs in Rome for his art.
“I don’t know how he attained permission, but it’s not the kind of thing that (is) publicly available,” Schuetz said. “He did get permission to go through those catacombs and a lot of the source, sometimes imagery, sometimes sensibility and inspiration comes from those visits that he made into the catacombs.”
David Griffin, the chair of the art department, said when Mills’ name was put forth for nomination last year, it was because the department believed he could contribute to the university.
“The faculty, through their experiences and their training and who they’ve had contact with, come forward with names and recommendations for the next year’s visiting artist program,” Griffin said. “ Kasey put Thomas forward as somebody she thought was deserving of a show, that she thought would add to the curriculum of the department.”
Griffin also said much of Mills’ work comes from his studies during his time exploring the Italian catacombs and other historical sites.
“His work sort of begins and draws reference from that and then goes into a more sort of shadow world, memory-type-esque abstract nature of drawing and painting,” Griffin said.
Mills will make his way to Eastern and give a lecture about his work at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Tarble Atrium.
“The exhibition caliber at Tarble is always ever changing,” Griffin said. “The way things work out in terms of the artist schedule, the school calendar, there’s a lot of layers that have to fall into place, so as Tarble starts to put together their exhibition schedule and we start to look at the artist we’re bring in, they start to mix and match the dates of everything else.”
Luis Martinez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]