Tarble holds Noontime Talk event Friday


Adam Tumino

Emma Kamerer, a graduate student studying art, gives a presentation on her oil paintings during a Noontime Talk event hosted by the Tarble Arts Center on Friday. Kamerer is one of 13 graduate students that have work on display as part of the 2022 EIU Masters of Arts in Studio Art Exhibition.

Adam Tumino

Some of the work making up the 2022 EIU Master of Arts in Studio Art Exhibition was the subject of presentation and conversation Friday at the Tarble Arts Center, as three of the graduate students participated in a Noontime Talk.

It was the second of four scheduled talks with the theme this time being “Bodies + Embodiment.” The works of Emma Kamerer, Joy Michael Okokon and Molly Markley were featured and each artist explained their work to attendees and participated in various discussions.

Kamerer has three large oil paintings in the exhibition, called “Cozy Vibez,” “Weekend Vibes” and “Baby Look.” Each painting features some of Kamerer’s friends and are made from cell phone pictures that may be a part of an average Snapchat story. Kamerer said that her goal is to make the viewer feel what it is like to be the gazed upon while gazing at the art, attempting to “feminize” the viewer and show what it is like to be the object of a gaze.

“I want (the viewer) to be aware of their role in looking and sometimes the complications of that coming around,” she said.

Kamerer also said that she likes talking about her work with others as a way to help others understand and enjoy it more completely.

“I love talking. I get a little anxious, but it allows me to discuss a level of intimacy with my work that you might not get just from interacting with it in the wild,” Kanerer said. “I really love the opportunity that talking about my work gives me.”

Okokon had three pieces on display, one called “Waiting Period” made from copper and muslin fabric and two called “Synergy” and “Completeness” made from clay, glaze and muslin. She said that her pieces are meant to promote the feeling of holistic wellness. Her work was inspired by observing her mother struggle with osteoarthritis. The materials she used were selected because of their place in her Nigerian heritage.

Okokon said that she hopes her work can help play a role in helping people think more about their health.

“Considering the health of our bodies and wholeness, it will more consciously be spoken about,” Okokon said. “As I accentuate more on that aspect, it is my hope that when people come and interact with my piece, they actually take the essence of what it means and not just it being beautiful.”

Markley had seven small oil paintings the she discussed, each one depicting hands interacting suggestively with fruits. She said that the small sizes of the paintings was meant to draw the viewer in. She also said that the goal is to examine the way that people deal with sexuality. Markley said she enjoys talking about her work because it allows for feedback in which viewers give their differing perspective on the pieces.

“I really enjoy sharing my ideas with others because of what I get back from them,” Markley said. “I talked in my presentation about how people bring in their own experiences to the artwork. When I share my ideas with others, it is just as much about getting their information back so I can be like ‘Oh, this person understood this from the work. How is the work doing that?'”

There are two more Noontime Talks scheduled, on April 29 and May 6, that will cover the topics of “Language + Movement” and “Interiority + Form.”


Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]