Friday, February 21, 2014

UIS Visual Arts Gallery presents "Sup?" featuring the work of Brooklyn-based artist Sean Fader

The University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery presents the spring feature exhibition “SUP?” from Brooklyn-based artist Sean Fader, an emerging and respected talent in contemporary photography.

Fader will present a lecture, sponsored by the UIS Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speakers Series, on Wednesday, March 12 at 5:30 p.m. in UIS Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library. An exhibition reception will take place on Thursday, March 13 from 5:30-8:00 p.m. in the UIS Visual Arts Gallery, located in the Health and Science Building, room 201.

This series launched when Fader messaged men that he sought out on dating websites. For 365 days he trolled online dating and “hookup websites” looking for men who interested him.

“I looked at their profile and pre-visualized a portrait of who I thought they might be,” said Fader. “Then I contacted them and asked them out on a date.”

Fader set up dates to take place at the apartment of his soon-to-be subject, never having previously met. Upon arrival, he staged a scene, sometimes moving furniture and carefully choosing clothing for the subject to wear. He worked to stage a scene that reflected his initial impressions of that individual, as measured by profile content, screen names, and exchanges. He directed them to enact preconceived ideas of who he imagined them to be.

Following this preliminary shoot, Fader would then take his subjects out on a date. Consistently, Fader discovered that his initial impressions were not often reflective of the person he subsequently got to know on a more personal, human level.

“This allowed me to consider how I might alter my first portrait of them,” said Fader. “After our date, we collaborated on creating an image that we both felt truly represented them.”

The final product consist of the “before” and “after” portrait photographs, and Fader also provide the viewer with the dates the photos were taken, screen names, real names and cities, and selections from communications between the two individuals.

“SUP?” will open at the UIS Visual Arts Gallery on Monday, March 10 and run through Thursday, April 10. These events are free and open to the public, and are partially sponsored by the ECCE Speaker Series, the UIS LGBTQA Resource Office, The State House Inn, and the Illinois Arts Council State Agency.

The UIS Visual Arts Gallery is centrally located on the UIS campus in the Health and Science Building, room 201 (HSB 201). Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information exhibition programming, please visit the UIS Visual Arts Gallery website at, or contact the gallery at 217/ 206-6506 or

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