Eva G. Farris Art Gallery
Christopher Beiting is a professional artist from Northern Kentucky, and a 2013 graduate of Thomas More College. As a student he served as a representative of the Aesthetic Committee in overseeing Sculpting Spaces, an effort to establish funding for the creation and inclusion of sustainable sculptures on Thomas More's campus.
He is a co-founder of Fullhearted Studios (with Karen Cress, Lee Schatzman, and Carolyn Wagner), whose work includes film, painting, and photography. He is also an active member of the sculpting collaborative Thin Air Studio (with Chris Daniel, and Kirk Mayhew), and the multi-disciplined Glow Collective (with David and Bethany Falter, Evan Hildebrandt, Collin Rowland, and Alison Shepard-Hildebrandt).
Since graduating in 2013, Christopher has had the privilege of curating shows for the University of Cincinnati's Neuroscience Department, worked as a gallery assistant as a part of Fotofocus, and has showcased word in Grand Rapids, Michigan for ArtPrize with Thin Air Studio in 2014, and Fullhearted Studios in 2015 and 2016. Furthermore, in 2015 he had the privilege of working as a Teaching Assistant on several murals for ArtWorks, a Cincinnati-based non-profit transforming the city by means of public works of art and youth engagement. His practice ranges from drawing and painting to having most recently explored sculpture, installation, music and film.
I have always had an interest in objects and surfaces that have been worn and weathered. I believe there is a certain character and intrinsic beauty found in materials that have visually been changed and altered over time. This is how an object is given its beauty, every mark and stain contains a narrative both precious and unique. Something even more astonishing occurs when materials are repurposed because they are given a new identity in such a way that every blemish and alteration becomes of the utmost importance in telling the narrative of how something came to be.
As human beings, we share in this commonality. The choices and experiences of our pasts ultimately affect our present circumstances, and likewise, the decisions we make today will effect what is to come. It is important to consider how we process and use our experiences going forward that we continually evolve emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.
The majority of the work you are now seeing had its first life as Renewal. Renewal was a multi-media installation that explored the transition that occurs between the lenses of self-perception described by Graham Cooke as "present-past" and "present-future". A "present-past" understanding defines current life circumstances as having been determined by former experiences in a sense that prevents further progression. A "present-future" understanding authorizes the attainment of further self-realization and fulfillment by separating from non-conducive former thinking and behavior. Every piece was created from a place of joyful experimentation as I reflected, prayed over, and sought to understand more deeply how these concepts applied to my life at the time, and what it meant for my life moving forward.
A year has now passed and as a result it has become important to me that the arrangement of the work and the way in which it interacts within the space should change as my understanding has. As a result, new pieces have been added, some have been omitted, and others have been completely altered. Additionally, I feel it necessary to repent of my impatience and my beautifully misplaced naivety that renewal is a state of finality. More accurately, renewal is a precious fruit produced in refinement that can begin only from a place of surrender. Surrender is a change of heart and mind that is sustainable only by grace.
Art Gallery History
On June 21, 2007, Thomas More College unveiled the naming of the new Art Gallery as the "Eva G. Farris Art Gallery." Over 150 friends attended the celebration, which was a surprise to the honoree as part of the annual Thomas More College Foundation Event. After the unveiling, friends dined in the Thomas More Library and had an opportunity to tour the Gallery where a student exhibit was on display.
"For some individuals, giving of their time and resources comes naturally. Eva Farris is one of these special individuals," said Sister Margaret Stallmeyer, former president of Thomas More College. "She not only gives financial support to numerous organizations, but she serves as a committed and passionate volunteer throughout the community."
A portrait of Eva Farris, painted by Thomas More graduate, Taylor Stephenson '07, hangs on the entry wall of the Gallery. Ms. Stephenson is one of two Thomas More art graduates whose work was selected in a national competition to be displayed at Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati.