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  • Writer's pictureAlaina Leverenz

WWU art gallery to feature abstract art as first fall exhibit

Artists Jennifer Wiggs and Chris Teeter will exhibit their abstract art at William Woods University’s Mildred Cox Gallery Aug. 24–Sept. 27. An opening reception will be held at 4 p.m. Aug. 27 in the Gladys Woods Kemper Center for the Arts.

Abstract art is artwork that does not try to symbolize reality, but seeks to achieve its effect using shapes, forms, colors, and textures.

Wiggs earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Indiana University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Washington University. She has taught art at the University of Missouri-Columbia, St. Louis Community College, East Central College and Webster University.

She is a member of the Watercolor USA Honor Society, and her award-winning work has been shown in Watercolor USA, the Living Artist’s Magazine, the Missouri Watercolor National, the National Exhibition of American Watercolor at the Taos New Mexico Museum, and the River Market Regional Exhibition in Kansas City.

“The channel between realism and abstraction is rich territory for invention,” Wiggs said. “These latest gouache paintings explore abstraction using sophisticated color relationships and simple shapes.”

Wiggs views a painting like a series of things being held in a delicate tension. She likes to play with pictorial cues and feels play is a necessary ingredient in making art.

“Most of the time, an idea is a starting point,” she said. “Often a question is the point of departure: what happens if I…?”

She finds interest in organic/geometric shapes and seeks a balance between them. She feels that her compositions are improvised, responsive, and unfold during the process of painting.

Teeter grew up working in industrial settings, attended the University of Missouri and worked his day job as a piano tuner and technician for 28 years while making art whenever and wherever possible.

He began his career as a visual artist with representational drawing and plein air painting. For 10 years, he was involved almost completely with creating sculpture in steel or various media, including the doors at Orr Street Studios in Columbia and many other sculptures.

During the past three years, Teeter has returned to painting. This change in media is a change in form only, since the content of all his pursuits has always been a journey through abstraction.

“I love how abstraction is, in varying degrees, without reference to representation and the external worldand therefore presents itself somewhat enigmatically,” said Teeter. “The viewer is asked to think and perceive non verbally, in effect, to jump from the familiar to the unfamiliar and participate in the final act of perception and understanding internally.”

This collection of his paintings explores a small part of abstraction centered on the interaction of color, shape and space.

Both artists strive to engage the viewer with their abstractions, with concepts existing in thought or as an idea, but not having a physical or concrete existence.

“I am pleased to show my paintings with a like-minded artist, Jenn Wiggs, whose work I admire,” Teeter said. “Our hope is that between the two of us there is much for you to explore and enjoy.”

The Mildred M. Cox Gallery is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 1-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free. Information regarding the gallery can be found at

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