This artist’s drawings focus on artificiality in power at a Macon gallery

Statues falling, sea levels rising and idols being leveled are all occurrences one might see in the Macon Arts Alliance Gallery this month because Laurel Robinson’s pieces have political depictions on re-purposed cabinet doors.

“Good art is supposed to engage a viewer,” said Robinson, the chair of Georgia Southwestern State University’s visual arts department. “Hopefully, your viewer has an ah-ha moment and shares that intuition and learns something.”

Robinson said her drawings included in the gallery were part of a series at GSW called “Bread and Circuses.” She said the series was about the Roman Empire keeping the people happy and away from the polls by giving them food and entertaining them.

Robinson submitted three drawings to the “Drawn to Macon” exhibition, called “Draining the Swamp,” “Top Down” and “Sea Level Rising.” Robinson said the theme in her drawings is the artificiality in power.

“I think I went at having a little fun with the titles for these works as being in this particular show at this particular moment having that political edge to it,” she said.

“Drawn to Macon 2019” is the second annual juried drawing show at the Macon Arts Alliance Gallery, according to its website. The gallery called for submissions last year from artists in Georgia , and the works will remain on display until Feb. 22.

The juror for the gallery was Frances de La Rosa, the Comer Professor of Painting at Wesleyan College, according to the website.

Brenda Burkey, who attended the gallery on First Friday, said Robinson’s work made her think.

“They’re very clever,” she said. “There’s always something different down here.”

Robinson said she enjoys art because there is no assumption of truth which allows people to interpret a piece.

“It’s the communication that I always find interesting. It’s not really between me and the viewer. It’s between me and a dialogue with an image, and then I leave and don’t know who’s looking at it,” she said. “The image is what communicates.”

Robinson said she grew up in Pittsburgh and she was always encouraged to do art. She said she attends Congregation Sha’arey Israel in Macon, and although there are multiple origin stories in the world, she said it is not really important to her how humans came into existence.

“We are here, and I think that I have an obligation to use my skills to make the world a better place,” she said.