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Brandon Sanderson to Exhibit at Hastings Gallery

Image of Brandon SandersonProfessor of Art at the University of North Carolina-Pembroke Brandon Sanderson currently has an exhibit in the Hastings Gallery of Art in the Katharine L. Boyd Library on the campus of Sandhills Community College. The exhibition will run through the end of September.

Sanderson teaches Printmaking and Foundations at UNCP and serves as the Workshop Coordinator for Frogman’s Print Workshops in Omaha, Nebraska, one of the most extensive printmaking workshops in the United States.

Sanderson holds a Bachelor’s of Science degrees from Colorado State University-Pueblo in Printmaking and Computer Information Systems and an MFA in Printmaking from the University of South Dakota.

He has exhibited in over 500 venues in 60 countries. Since 2018, he has shown in Poland, Chile, Bosnia, Uganda, Cambodia, and Colombia. Sanderson has also held 27 university lectures in 22 states and participated in 75 collaborative print exchange projects. He also is a long-time member of the Artnauts international art group. In his time at UNCP, he has organized dozens of exhibitions and brought in 50 visiting artists to work with faculty, students, and the community.

Sanderson says his work has been based on the interaction of mechanical and organic parts within himself and in the world around him. “Having artificial parts such as pins in a knee and a reconstructed inner ear, I found, and still find, the tool, the android, the automaton to be an appropriate symbol of our capacity for alienation, devastation and simultaneously growth and creation.”

"Rediscovering Flight" screenprint by Brandon Sanderson.

Recently Sanderson’s work has grown to focus on his hearing disability and the effect it has on his life experiences. “My hearing ranges from complete deafness to hearing at about half the level of the average individual,” he said. “I read lips to communicate with others; COVID has thrown a wrench in that. It is a situation of attempting to find comfort in discomfort, accepting what I cannot change, changing what I can, and simply pushing through. As Helen Keller put it: “the experience of trial and suffering, I can only benefit from this if I not only accept it but endeavor to love it.”

And Sanderson says that such is what the characters in his works do. “They aren’t elegant or graceful – rather the opposite, as if they were hastily reassembled in someone’s garage. They’re in survival mode, a constant state of growth and adaptation. Each of them represents a specific situation or amalgamation thereof.

Alienation and isolation is another aspect of his work. He says that significant hearing loss prevents the individual from participating in the larger community without assistance. “This is often seen as aloofness,” he said. “The isolation necessitated by this condition can make a person feel anxious and alone as if they have no real role or sense of belonging. Such is represented in my work by blank white space or various kinds of chaotic mark making meant to represent persistent tinnitus.

“In summary, my recent work is an exploration of my life-long disability, the psychological impact of it, and the adaptations that I and others have made to continue functioning as a result.”

The Hastings Gallery hours are Mondays-Thursdays 7:45 am-6 pm, Fridays 7:45 am-4 pm, Saturdays 9 am-1 pm, and closed on Sundays.

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