Indiana Daily Student

Eskenazi School of Art to present 'Identity: Identify' Friday

<p>A Fillipino shirt and an &quot;I voted&quot; sticker comprise an art piece by Kelvin Burzon, in which he explores the intersectionality of his Filipino and American identities. Works by Burzon and other artists will be on display at the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture and Design&#x27;s Grunwald Gallery of Art, in the &quot;Identity: Identify&quot; exhibit. </p>

A Fillipino shirt and an "I voted" sticker comprise an art piece by Kelvin Burzon, in which he explores the intersectionality of his Filipino and American identities. Works by Burzon and other artists will be on display at the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture and Design's Grunwald Gallery of Art, in the "Identity: Identify" exhibit.

The Eskenazi School of Art will host a grand opening for a new exhibit, “Identity: Identify,” 5:30 p.m. Friday.  

The exhibit will be located in the Fine Arts Building of the Grunwald Gallery in the Eskenazi School of Art building.  

This free event will feature a gallery talk with artist Timothy White Eagle and a performance by artist Bun Stout. 

The exhibit will feature different types of visual art to examine the idea of identity. The six artists include White Eagle, Stout, along with Indiana natives Kelvin Burzon, Larissa Danielle, Skylar Pham, and California and Troll. 

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Inspired by the College of Arts and Sciences themester of identity, the Eskenazi School of Art specifically picked these artists based off their work surrounding the nature of identity, to Betsy Stiratt, the Grunwald Gallery coordinator, said. 

White Eagle grew up in a Mormon family and was adopted by a Native American elder. There, he learned about the beauty of nature and the misinformation about race and religion he said he experienced growing up. 

White Eagle used clay to design a “white” room like one used in the Mormon Church, where authority figures go to feel closer to heaven. While both the Mormon and White Eagle’s white room are both centered around spirituality, White Eagle created a space where everyone is welcome, he said.  

Larissa Danielle said she uses her artistic platform to bring attention to the discrimination of people who are disabled like herself.  

Danielle created sculptures of disabled people in explicit positions to display that disabled people are “normal” people like everyone else.  

“I don’t want people to treat us differently because we have a disability,” Danielle said. “I want people to know that it’s a normal thing, that people in wheelchairs are sexy.”  

Stout, who grew up in a queer family, said they use their platform to feature queer and transgender artists. 

“When I first moved from Bloomington to Chicago, I started to go to drag bars,” Stout said. “I was so inspired by this funny, underground community. It made an imaginary world real.”  

Stout highlights their trip of going back and forth between Bloomington and Chicago with their family when they were finishing their degree and working in Chicago. 

Burzon uses his platform to combine multiple aspects of his personality, including religion, queerness and immigration, he said.  

Burzon, an immigrant-turned-American citizen, is the only artist doing an original piece for the exhibit. 

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He highlights the fears he and his family had about becoming American citizens, but also the feelings of dismissing his Filipino culture with American customs, like the Pledge of Allegiance. He said he uses his piece to display his respect for both his American and Filipino culture. 

“I want it to spark a conversation and to blur the separation of lives, to see everything as a whole and singular existence,” Burzon said.  

“Identity: Identify” will be open to the public from noon - 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday until Nov. 12. 

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