Exhibition of Authenticity
by Dariia Miroshnikova (’18)
Westminster art professor, Matt Kruback, has always been around creative people. Growing up in a family that was passionate about art and music, he found joy in drawing and painting. Matt's love for art was reinforced in graduate school, where people encouraged him to think about the meaning of art and how it expresses things that words can’t describe. This year, he collaborated with Naomi Marine to put together an exhibition that is showcased in the Alice Gallery, September 15–November 10.
What idea is behind the exhibition?
"The title of the exhibition is 'Prima Facie,' which means 'taken for truth at first glance.' and I are very interested in exploring how the presentation of something can communicate its authenticity, even when it’s not a truly authentic kind of work. The pieces in the exhibition have a wide range of materials. They deal with the way something can be understood from just a glance."
What inspired you to put it together?
"Earlier this year, I came back from the residency in Reykjavik. I was there for two months working in an apartment with some other artists. I brought this work back and Naomi looked at it and said: 'Whoa, you know, we’ve got these interesting ideas we’re working with. Maybe we should put together a show.' We’ve been throwing this idea around of doing a show together and things lined up. I had some work that was promising and she had some things that she was working on. We 'Okay, the momentum is good. Let’s see if we can make this happen.'"
What is it like to do a collaboration?
"It is always more fun than I think it is going to be. and I were a very good pair. We are very complementary in ways that I wouldn’t anticipate liking. She has a very good way of deciphering the things that I’m thinking about and saying, and can formulate those into the more abstract meaning."
What is your favorite medium to use?
"I’ve always been a painter and a drawer, so I think that’s the mediums that I use the most. In the last couple of years, I’ve branched out to do more things. I’ve been making drawings that are more like architect plans than actual pictures of things. I’ve been using a little bit of photography as well, and some basic simple sculpture."
Does your work as a college professor influence your artwork?
"Absolutely. My work as a teacher is a great way to check myself for honesty because when I say something in front of a class, I have to make sure that there is some truth behind it. Sometimes when I make work at home and I’m not following my own advice, I have to really be honest with myself about that. Students teach me so much about how to ask questions. That’s one of the best things about teaching—I’m always on my toes."
What advice would you give to emerging artists?
"Meet art groups, get involved, put together your own show. Do a pop-up show on the corner of a downtown street just to get people to bring their work. Go to galleries and museums. Go to where people like you are hanging out and talk with them, get their phone numbers, and follow people on Instagram. The more opportunities you take advantage of, the more things you do, the bigger your résumé gets, and the more work you make."
About the Westminster Review
The Westminster Review is Westminster College’s bi-annual alumni magazine that is distributed to alumni and community members. Each issue aims to keep alumni updated on campus current events and highlights the accomplishments of current students, professors, and Westminster alum.