Eva G. Farris Art Gallery
Notes on Habitativity Appendix
By: Kate Rowekamp
Kate Rowekamp’s work uses imaginary monsters as a metaphor for resistance toward major life changes, primarily the responsibilities that come with aging. She has created creatures fusing concepts from the newly proposed stage of human development called Emerging Adulthood and the Lepidoptera (moth/butterfly) life cycle. The primary creatures, Catter Sapiens, have the frames of adult humans and the skin of caterpillars to represent looking like an adult but feeling like a child. Rowekamp tells the narrative of a group of Catter Sapiens that refuse to metamorphose into adults (called Butter Sapiens for butterfly-humans) and therein disrupt the entire lifecycle of their species. The creatures embark on defining an entirely new path of existence in an attempt to live as adolescents and shirk mature responsibilities such as reproducing and hard labor.
Rowekamp works in many different media to create an immersive experience for the viewer. She creates etchings, drawings, notebooks, animations, and installations that when viewed together are meant to trick the viewer into believing the creatures are a new discovery that actually exists in the scientific community. She makes artifacts of the creatures’ existence, draws, prints, and animates scenes of their actions and experiences, as well as interprets their actions and experiences into research documents as if they are being observed by an entomologist. She combines a fanciful rendering style with genuine scientific information to create a surreal but engaging climate.
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.