“Defining Place” exhibit shows new ways to view living spaces

AVONDALE, Arizona  – Have you ever thought of your medicine cabinet as piece of art? An innovatively eye catching art exhibit entitled “Defining Place,” featuring photographic artists Dominic Lippillo and Mark Schoon, will provide proof that it truly can be. Their artwork will be on display at Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) from November 7, 2012 through January 31, 2013. It is free and open to the public during campus hours.

Lippillo and Schoon created a unique collaboration with their photographic art, even though they were over 1,114 miles apart. Through the use of the diptych format, two images come together to form a dialogue about proximity, locality, and space versus place. Their process comprises of one photographer capturing a seemingly mundane image of his home and sending it to the other. The recipient in turn responds with a second image which mirrors the first, but with a different perspective and independent contrast, with the intent to create a “conversation” pertaining to the definition, use, and perception of place. Their images range from a comparison of medicine cabinets to window treatments.

EMCC, located at Thomas and Dysart roads in Avondale, welcomed Lippillo and Schoon to the campus for a Visiting Artist’s Lecture on Wednesday, November 7, where the artists shared their inspiration, explained the relevance of their unique, collaborative art, and participated in an audience dialogue.

“We hope that the exhibition and related workshops will give EMCC students an opportunity to learn about the value of collaboration, sharing, and empathy while fostering cross cultural awareness and dialogue,” says Jimmy Fike, Art Professor at EMCC and organizer of the exhibition.

In addition to this duo’s domestic juxtaposition exhibit, some of their individual photographic artwork will also be on display. Lippillo and Schoon are nationally known, with artwork published in Lens Scratch, Exposure, and Culture Map.

Selections from their ongoing collaborative series “Anti-Local” are included in the permanent collection at The Museum of Photographic Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

These talented artists both earned their Master of Fine Arts in Photography from Ohio University in 2009. Working independently with lens based media, they soon realized they had shared interests. Today, Lippillo is an Assistant Professor of Art at Mississippi State University and Schoon is an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of West Georgia. 

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Estrella Mountain Community College is one of the 11 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation. EMCC offers academic courses leading to associate degrees, university transfer, certificates and short-term job training to more than 14,000 students annually. The flagship campus is located on Thomas and Dysart roads in Avondale and is home to the SouthWest Skill Center. Classes are also offered online and at EMCC’s Buckeye Educational Center, located in downtown Buckeye, Ariz.