Artist Vincent Kenobbie creates conversational artwork

Art can be a great way to open up discussions for topics near to the artist’s heart, all the while letting them express their creativity. For upcoming 410 Project artist Vincent Kenobbie, their latest exhibition is about just that.

Kenobbie is a current student at Gustavus Adolphus College, studying to be a studio work major and arts administration minor. They describe their art as surrealistic and transformative. For their upcoming exhibition, Kenobbie explained that they’ll be showing a variety of work.

“All of it has been stuff that I’ve been working on for the last few months. It’s kind of a combination of spirituality, transformation, and sexuality,” shared Kenobbie. “It’s all part of the larger idea of my identity and how it plays into my work as a whole.” 

The drive and love for art has always been evident to them. When they were younger, Kenobbie knew they wanted to be an artist their entire life, but their passion didn’t take off until they were a teenager. 

“There’s little booklets that we made in preschool that were like, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ And I would put a painter and then have this little picture of me standing at an easel,” said Kenobbie. “It didn’t become something that I wanted to really pursue, for sure, until late middle school. Since then, I’ve been pursuing art as a profession.”

Kenobbie practices a branch of paganism that was a strong sense of inspiration for the gallery. Part of why Kenobbie used paganism was to use art to reach out to others. 

“I use art to reach out to people who have similar identities and similar experiences and to help. We have a conversation with the viewer, which is why the title of the show is ‘Conversations Beyond the Veil,’” shared Kenobbie. “I want to have that conversation with the viewer. I want to have that conversation with my audience and be able to relate to them on a personal level.” 

The art showing will primarily consist of acrylic and digital media art. For the opening reception on April 22, the gallery will have a silent auction for original paintings, as well as print sales. Kenobbie was encouraged to get involved with The 410 Project by a school advisor. 

“Last fall, I was recommended to reach out to Dana at the 410 gallery by my advisor. I wanted to have a solo exhibition and a silent auction for my art because I’ve been in a bit of financial issues,” said Kenobbie. “I reached out to Dana, sent her a portfolio of the work that I had completed by then and she was like, ‘Absolutely. Let’s, let’s do a show.’”

Once they are finished with school, Kenobbie plans to continue pursuing art.

“I want to work somewhere artistic, either doing ceramics, working at a gallery, or putting together frames of prints,” shared Kenobbie. “On the side, [I want to] have my art business and get my work into galleries and museums.” 

As for now, though, Kenobbie encourages people to come see their art and start a conversation about their pieces.

“[I want viewers] to come and view my art as a way to talk to me and talk to different parts of my identity, and learn about other people’s experiences with the world and reality,” said Kenobbie. 

Kenobbie’s “Conversations Beyond the Veil” opens April 22 and will be open at the 410 Project until May 7.

Write to: Lilly Schmidt at lillian.schmidt@mnsu.edu

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