Professor displays 'Autobiography in Water' in Atrium Gallery

<p>Professor of Art Jacinda Russell is displaying her work in the Atrium Gallery. The piece is called 'Autobiography in Water'. Jacinda Russell, Photo Provided</p>

Professor of Art Jacinda Russell is displaying her work in the Atrium Gallery. The piece is called 'Autobiography in Water'. Jacinda Russell, Photo Provided

After four years of work with many different art and media platforms, Jacinda Russell, associate professor of art at Ball State, will present her solo gallery titled "Autobiography in Water" from Nov. 2 to 11 in the Atrium Art Gallery. 

Most of Russell’s work depicts different parts of her life and travels, whether it be places she has visited or wants to go. 

“The artworks in my gallery depict the places I took for granted before moving to the Midwest, and the places that altered my future after I visited,” Russell said. “They also include the unknown; the sites for which I yearned, where my story was yet unwritten. The pools, rivers, lakes and oceans offer continuity and familiarity in an effort to connect me to the locales that I long to call home.”

The inspiration behind Russell's work in this gallery came to her after discovering a quote from Roni Horn: “What do you know about water? When you talk about water, aren’t you really talking about yourself?” 

Russell created a list of the 20 most influential places she had been in her life that were water-related and started returning to each one in 2013. She began to realize just how connected her life was with water.

“Everything that we did for family vacations and all the ways we moved and operated in the world had something to do with water when I was growing up,” Russell said.

During her time shooting photos and traveling, Russell went to Texas, Idaho, the Pacific Northwest, California, Arizona, Florida, Iceland and New Zealand. She also took a 17-day drive from the northernmost point of the North Island to the southernmost point of the South Island of New Zealand. 

Russell used several different mediums to create her gallery including video, text, photography and a reflection pool.

“All these [mediums] are new to me, and they are big challenges,” Russell said. “Here are all these different ways to see one idea, and my goal was to showcase the fact that you don’t have to be narrow in your focus. There are multiple perspectives to see one idea.”

On Nov. 2, Russell will be giving a short speech about her gallery to the public and her main focus will be her own failure throughout the project. Her goal is to touch on how much perseverance the project needed and bring to light problems that happen behind the scenes  that students and the community may never hear about.  

“So much of my gallery has to do with failure. I didn’t get my video to work until my 65th try,” Russell said. “I want to talk to people about things like that which rely so much on chance. When you go out in the world and try to find something to fit your idea, often times something completely different ends up finding you.”

Mark Sawrie, associate professor of art, said Russell’s gallery and discussion will be an inspiration for the students she teaches because she is “conceptually consistent” through different subject matter and sacrifices a lot for her art. 

“Jacinda Russell is a great role model for her students because she promotes herself through artist residencies and galleries and she has a consistent dedication to her work,” Sawrie said. 

Currently, Russell is working on her next project titled "Metaphorical Antipodes," and is in the process of setting up a new studio in Indianapolis where she can work more efficiently. 

She hopes that after this gallery she will be able to take her project to other shows around the United States.  

“Art is everything to me,” Russell said. “My father was an artist, my brother is a sculptor, my half brothers are painters and printers. I was born into art, and it has never left. I always say, 'everything I do, I do for art.'”

Contact Tier Morrow with comments at


More from The Daily

Loading Recent Classifieds...