Sculptures by Millard-Mendez, drawings and prints from Naen-Mendez to be featured at Coe art exhibit

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or

2012-10-17 11:50:51 - General

"Next Big Thing" by Rob Millard-Mendez.

"Fat Fly" by Nancy Naen-Mendez.

"A Feeble Armada" featuring sculpture works of Rob Millard-Mendez, along with drawings and prints entitled "The Thirteen and The Seventeen" by Nancy Naen-Mendez will be shown in the upcoming Coe College art exhibit.

The exhibit will open with a gallery talk by Millard-Mendez at 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26 in the Sinclair Auditorium lobby with an opening reception to immediately follow from 5 - 7 p.m. The artwork will continue to be displayed from Oct. 27 through Nov. 18 from 4 - 6 p.m. daily in the Marvin Cone and Eaton-Buchan Galleries of Sinclair on the Coe campus. All events are free and open to the public.

"We are excited to exhibit sculpture by Rob Millard-Mendez and drawings/prints by Nancy Raen-Mendez," said Coe Gallery Director Jennifer Rogers. "Rob is inspired by 'timeless archetypical images,' which take the form of ships for this exhibition titled 'A Feeble Armada.' He sees the work as a catalyst for conversation and intellectual play. Thinking of his work as 'large toys, he uses irony and humor to make statements about human interaction.'"

"By contrast, the works of Nancy Naen-Mendez, in 'The Thirteen and The Seventeen' are quiet investigations into the world of swarming insects. Using a subdued palette of 'mostly black and white or earth-based colors,' she creates delicate prints, drawings, mixed-media and/or fiber related works," continued Rogers. "For this exhibition, her inspiration comes from Magicicada, a type of cicada that, during its short life, makes its way through southern Indiana (where she currently lives)."

Details of the exhibits are as follows:

Rob Millard-Mendez
Rob Millard-Mendez creates many of his pieces based on themes from classical mythology viewed through the lens of contemporary events. The works are meant to involve the viewer on many levels: physically, visually and intellectually.

"My work is very contemporary, but it also draws from an exceptionally deep well of timeless archetypal images and concepts. My work is multi-layered; it offers viewers many possible interpretations and allusions. I see my sculptures as catalysts for conversation and intellectual play. I am also highly interested in contemporary conversations about how art and craft inform one another and share (sometimes contested) territory," said Millard-Mendez in his artist’s statement.

"The primary aim in my work is to illustrate and analyze concepts that I find enthralling. I often describe my sculptures as large toys. Many of them are humorous statements about human interactions. My work often includes interactive elements that the viewer can play with, thus physically becoming part of the art experience. The fun, toy-like quality of my work is set in ironic counterbalance with a certain amount of dark humor."

Millard-Mendez received his BFA from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and went on to earn an MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He has received more than 50 awards for his art and teaching, and his sculptures are included in over 50 private and public collections. He has taught art at the college level since 1999, and his work has been exhibited in more than 325 shows in museums and galleries internationally and throughout the U.S.

Nancy Raen-Mendez
Nancy Raen-Mendez specializes in painting, drawing and printmaking. Many of the works included in this exhibit relate to the swarming of insects, mostly various types of flies and cicadas.

"The title, 'The Thirteen and The Seventeen' relates to the lifespan of the Magicicada. These are cicadas which make their way through southern Indiana (where I currently live)," says Raen-Mendez. "The work itself is mostly black and white or created using an earth-based palette. Most of the work is on paper in the form of prints, drawings or mixed-media and/or fiber related works."

Naen-Mendez graduated with a BFA in painting and 2-D studies from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth where she later obtained her MAE. She most recently earned her MFA from the University of Cincinnati and is currently an instructor at the University of Southern Indiana. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, fellowships and residencies, and has exhibited her work throughout the country.

For more information on the exhibit, call 399-8581.