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Libby Rowe funds new show ‘Taming the Chaotic Mind’ with funds from Stumberg Summer Research Award

July 16, 2021

Libby Rowe, COLFA Associate Professor of Art, was awarded a solo exhibition through a call for submissions held by Clamp Light Artist Studios and Gallery in collaboration with Casa Lü Gallery and Artist Residency Program.

The show, ‘Taming the Chaotic Mind’ was funded through The University of Texas at San Antonio College of Liberal and Fine Arts Stumberg Summer Research Award.

“It has truly been a labor of love bringing this work to fruition and I am thrilled to share it with our community,” Rowe said. “This installation visually represents the different sources of the noise that, often, render me unable to begin any one task.”

The exhibition is at Casa Lü in Mexico City, Mexico, through the month of July. Then, the full version of this installation will also be on view from July 30-Aug. 13 at the Main Art Gallery on campus as part of ‘We Are Overwhelmed: things we learned this year...immersive installations’ by Ashley Feagin and Libby Rowe. Art and Art History Professor Scott Sherer put together a symposium that will take place in conjunction with the show opening on July 30 from noon-5p.m. Details to come. 4

Rowe said the idea for the installation came after she learned that 15% of people do not have an inner dialogue, a fact that prompted her to dig in and research further.

“What do these people have going on in their heads? How do they think of what they need to accomplish, … prepare for phone conversations with strangers or businesses, rehash arguments to find the perfect response if only 14 years too late,” she asked rhetorically. “This week-long process of researching the phenomenon brought me to a startling realization that my head was incredibly noisy all the time. Rarely am I ever able to focus on one task without the noise of other pressing business or time-wasting activity infecting my mind space.”

She drew from visual representations of objects that hang or dangle, everyday items that are suspended such as clothes drying on a line, swings on a swing set, strings of lights or chandeliers. The objects represent different aspects of life.

Then, the objects were overlaid with imagery and text from visual references to the myriad attention-demanding thoughts, ideas, and bits of information that fuel the chaos that exists within my, and many contemporary women’s, minds, she said.

“Ultimately, viewers should feel overwhelmed by the multifaceted and intricate tangle of visual cacophony contained within the space,” she said. “My intent with this experiential piece is to give a physical embodiment that conveys the chaos I experience each day.”

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