‘Seriatim’ exhibit brings top graphic artists

Sun Yat Sen Hall’s Dr. M. T. Geoffrey Yeh Art Gallery recently began hosting its latest art show, Seriatim, an exhibition of pieces from six renowned graphic artists curated by Professor Thomas Kerr of the fine arts department.

The pieces are all examples of sequential art, and range from newspaper comic strips to graphic novels and even storyboards from major motion pictures.

Kerr explained that his idea for the show came largely from his own career in commercial art and editorial cartooning.
“I conceived the idea of seriatim as an exhibition when my career path happened over the career paths of a lot of other sequential artists,” he said. “I kept thinking, ‘Wow, isn’t it interesting and unique that all these people are working in narrative forms doing sequential artwork?’

“Upon talking to each one of these artists, they immediately leapt at the chance of doing this, so what we have here is a really broad cross section of sequential art,” he continued.
Upon entering the exhibit, viewers first walk past the storyboard art of Brick Mason, who often works with suspense director M. Night Shyamalan.

Gallery director Parvez Mohsin said that he found Masons section “particularly interesting” because it is a multimedia experience.

“Tom put together a DVD where you can see each one of the storyboard vignettes and how they relate to the final outcome in the film,” he explained.

Also exhibited was the work of David Gothard, who showed a series of works titled “The Skells.”

Kerr described “The Skells” as “a mythical group of skeletons that show the mortals that they are in fact mortal,” and they are often seen mocking humans for their hypocrisy.

He then moved on to Bill Ronalds, whose drawings Kerr said are more on the fine art side of the spectrum.

“You look at them and you immediately are drawn to their fidelity,” he said. “As you get closer to the object it becomes a richer experience.

“His works seem to draw upon his personal interest, in texture, value, structure, and also making a commentary about things like isolationism and modern theories vs. old theories,” Kerr continued. “I would say it’s a truly American form.”

Peter Kuper is the artist who perhaps would be the most well-known to students. He is currently the artist of the famous “Spy vs. Spy” comic strips in Mad Magazine, but at the show displays a number of works including images from a book that illustrates Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis.

Towards the end of the exhibit are displays of Martin Kozlowski, who submitted a number of comic strips, many of them dealing with world affairs and politics, and David Klein, who showed parts of his graphic novel “The Golem’s Voice.”
“He sort of reworked the golem mythology into a story and sort of transplanted it into Nazi Germany,” Kerr explained.

Kerr is in the process of creating a podcast for the exhibit with interviews from the artists, Mohsin and himself. The podcast will be available soon on the iTunes music store and will be able to be found by searching “seriatim.”

There will be a forum held on Feb. 8 in the gallery in which artists will be able to talk about their work and field questions from students.

“We’ll have at least four of the artists here,” Kerr said, adding that “it’ll be rather informal.”

Kerr encouraged all students to not only view the show but also to attend the forum and the following closing reception.

“There’s something for everybody,” he said. “If you ever saw a movie and liked it and wondered how they were made, that’s how it’s done. If you’ve ever wanted to know what it was like to make a graphic novel, if you’ve ever enjoyed one of those, it’s here on the walls for you. That’s as good a deal as anybody’s going to get, I think.”