HSU alumnus Ariana Hendren admires a painting by Laurie Hogin at the Reese Bullen Gallery on March 14. Photo by Matthew Hable.

HSU shows works of killer bunnies and neon crocodiles

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Humboldt State hosts the artworks of Illinois-based professor and artist Laurie Hogin. Dozens of her paintings are displayed in the art department’s Reese Bullen Gallery, most of which highlight Hogin’s signature neon colors depicting chaotic scenes that involve brightly plumed birds, psychedelic bunnies and hyper-saturated flowers and fruit.

Most of the paintings are oil on canvas, but some are sketches from Hogin’s personal notebooks and watercolors on paper.

Hogin says her works primarily consist of “allegorical paintings of mutant plants and animals in languishing, overgrown settings or posed as though for classical still life or portraiture.”

Hogin’s paintings are fascinating, evoking memories of Henri Rousseau – leafy greenery and subjects nearly phosphorescent in color and brightness.

HSU sophomore Kelsey Briscoe, 20, agrees.

“These paintings are super interesting,” Briscoe said in front of Hogin’s painting “Sugar Trilogy I: Tricks,” which depicts a rather murderous blood-soaked bunny seated in front of an Easter candy. “This is definitely some commentary on capitalism and that sort of ‘Hallmark-holiday-card’ consumerism.”

HSU junior Logan Clark stopped by to check out the exhibit on a whim and was pleasantly surprised by the display.

Looking at “Echo Turnpike,” a painting that depicts several formidable tangerine crocodiles in front of the wreckage of a turnpike, “All the subjects of her paintings tend to be bright, while the background is monochromatic or even dull,” Clark said. “She seems to really focus on one main thing.”

Visitors also have the opportunity to utilize skills demonstrated to them through HSU’s art department. Patricia Ely, a 19-year-old sophomore at HSU visited the gallery during her 20th century art class.

“It’s crazy being in here and seeing actual parallels in this artwork and what I’m currently learning about,” Ely said. “I feel like this is all really familiar to me.”

The exhibition to Hogin’s works is located at the Reese Bullen Gallery (Art B, room 101) until March 31. 

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