Art exhibit focuses on fake news trend

Words Are Ammunition

Words Are Ammunition

The goal of journalism is to convey the news as it happens and inform the public of the facts.

While journalists strive to uphold their reporting with a high degree of honesty, others willingly publish false information.  Others, like artist Shepard Fairey, create works to draw attention to or mock propaganda.

The latest exhibit at Missouri Southern, “Fake News” features pieces with similar intent.

Showcasing approximately 20 pieces from student and community members, the show was judged by Southern art instructors.

While the show –  and the faculty judges – is politically and thematically neutral, the main criteria for the exhibit is that submissions relate to the theme “Fake News” in some manner.

The show has a variety of works and mediums, including painting, sculpture, printmaking and graphic design. Each piece is an interpretation of the topic “Fake News” in some manner.

Kyle McKenzie, assistant professor of painting, and judge for the show, said titling information “fake news” is generally done to avoid having to discuss a challenging subject.

“It’s a quick quip that derails any meaningful conversation,” McKenzie said. “It’s impossible to be challenged if you can simply disbelieve any bits of objective reality that are unflattering.” 

Senior graphic design major Jaclyn Kidd believes “fake news” can be dangerous and isn’t always a “news” headline. She sees it as information in people’s lives which is believable but constructed not in truth.

“We are so bombarded with information in our daily lives it is easy to believe like-minded ideals without questioning their source or ethics,” she said. “Attempting to question all this information and keeping an open mind may allow us to identify ‘Fake News’ responsibly instead of relying on our emotional instincts.

“I believe if we try to ingest the information presented to us with a grain of salt, we can take steps to holding all forms of ‘Fake News’ accountable.”

Included in the show are three of Kidd’s works: “Girls Are Not Machines,” created in Adobe Photoshop. “It Can’t Happen Here,” a pastel on paper, and “Street Cleaner” which is pastel on archival print.

“[‘Street Cleaner’] serves as a call to action to ‘clean up the streets’ but features an idealized homemaker doing the cleaning,” she said. “I believe it relates to ‘Fake News’ because it confronts the stereotypical roles of women, that society has held for decades.”

If You Go

The show takes place now until April 19. Admission to the Spiva Gallery is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. A reception is set for 4 to 6 p.m., Thursday, April 18, at the Spiva Gallery.