The Milliken Art Gallery at Converse College will host Tool: Images by Sheri Fleck Rieth Jan. 11 through Feb. 8. A closing reception, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for Feb. 8 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. For more information, contact the Milliken Art Gallery at (864) 596-9181 or send an e-mail.
"Vanitas art is the use of the still life as an instrument to convey to the viewer the brevity of life," explained Rieth. "From the Greeks and Romans who laid out images of domestic things in mosaic on flattened spaces and called the images asarotos oikos (unswept house), to Donald Sultans lemons and flowers in the 1980s and 1990s, the objects used to portray this brevity have remained constant, but the compositions and styles have changed. The images I use, like those used in vanitas, will allude to the gradual breakdown of memory, of objects and the human body. The images I use are tools that trigger my memories of personal events, and like the memories, even the tools weaken and fade over time."
Rieth is an associate professor of art at The University of Mississippi, where she teaches printmaking and drawing, coordinates the foundations program, is chair of the gallery program and serves as a Student Art Association Advisor. She was raised in a small town in western Kansas. She has a BFA in Drawing and Painting from the University of Kansas and an MFA in Studio Arts from Memphis College of Art. Rieth worked for ten years as a puppeteer/artist with Puck Players Puppet Theatre in Bloomington, Indiana, and taught at Watkins Institute of Art and Design in Nashville, TN where she lived for seven years. She has also taught at Memphis College of Art and the University of Memphis in Memphis, TN where she lived for seven years. Rieth has shown in local, national and international exhibitions, is a member of the Southern Graphic Councils, Southeastern College Art Association (SECAC), FATE, College Art Association (CAA), and has served on the State Board of the Tennessee Association of Crafts Artists. Her work encompasses a wide variety of printmaking techniques, drawing, painting and bookmaking.