Root's Senior Art Exhibit focuses on fragility of oceans

Release Date: 4/26/2012

Jessica Root will present her Senior Art Exhibit titled "Recycled Ocean" from April 24 to May 1 in the Stephens Gallery as part of the University of the Ozarks' Artist of the Month Series.

Works from Jessica Root's senior exhibit, "Recycled Oceans."

Jessica Root's senior exhibit, "Recycled Ocean," focuses on one of earth's most precious resources and the harm that is being done to them by humans.

Root is an art major from Whitehouse, Texas, who is scheduled to graduate from Ozarks during the May 12 Commencement ceremony. There will be reception to meet the artist from 6-7 p.m. on Saturday, May 28, in the Stephens Gallery, which is located in the university's Walton Fine Arts Center.

Root said her "Recycled Ocean" exhibit focuses on one of the earth's most precious resources and the harm that is being done to them by humans.

"Our oceans make up about 70 percent of the earth," she said. "They contain 99 percent of the world's living space and only about 10 percent of it has been explored by humans. The oceans are some of the most precious resources we have on this planet and our human habits are causing harm to this essential part of our environment. From a very early age I have always loved our oceans and the life they contain. My artwork deals with the harmful human interactions we have with our oceans. They include littering, oil spills, overfishing, mass slaughtering, global warming, and the destruction of habitats. This show only highlights a small amount of these harmful human interactions. My goal is to increase the interest we have in protecting our oceans. My artwork exposes these atrocities and calls for individuals to right the wrong by getting involved in helping better the conditions of our oceans."

In her exhibit, she uses several different mediums, including recycled plastic and glass, clay, resin, oil paint on canvas, pastels, plaster and duct tape.

"I have chosen to use these materials to reflect both the problem going on and to best mimic the animal being affected," Root said. "One piece is particularly special to me. Jellies is a good example of why I used the medium. I chose to use recycled plastic bags to address the issue of how bags end up in the oceans and millions of animals choke on them. The medium also mimics the weightlessness and delicacy of a jellyfish."

Root said she hopes her exhibit "provokes many thoughts and discussion among the viewers. Increasing knowledge and dialogue will give society a better chance to find a solution."

The Stephens Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday through Friday.