The work of Kansas City-based artist Sean M. Starowitz will be on display at the Greiner Art Gallery at the Lynn Center for Fine Arts at Hanover College from now through Feb. 14.  (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
The work of Kansas City-based artist Sean M. Starowitz will be on display at the Greiner Art Gallery at the Lynn Center for Fine Arts at Hanover College from now through Feb. 14. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
A Missouri artist's work is featured in the first exhibition of the new year at Hanover College's Greiner Art Gallery.

Sean M. Starowitz often takes something considered normal and adds his own twist to create a collection of art to get people talking. Take his project "Byproduct: The Laundromat" for example.

Starowitz organized events from experimental jazz concerts to film screenings and other demonstrations where people come together in a community venue while also doing their laundry.

His work often features a variety of social, political and community-engaged themes.

"I'm constantly exploring new ways of artistically engaging the public to achieve this exchange," Starowitz said in a release. "With this goal in mind, I load my work with regional and spatial histories, everyday practices, civic structure and community engagement."

One of Starowitz's projects includes "Wheels for Meals," where he helped others by providing a service with his pick-up truck in exchange for a home-cooked meal. Starowitz then compared the amount of time he spent working to the amount of time he felt full from the meal.

He also created the "Fresh Bread" project, where abandoned, unused urban spaces and vacant lots around Kansas City became the home of "pop-up" bakeries. Fresh Break drew attention to problems in the community and allowed high-quality bread to be sold in these vacant areas.

"My practice challenges the public imagination: infusing complexity and access, absurdness and rationality, service and function," he said. "I aim to place 'art' in the realm of knowledge, tools and experience by adopting a 'blue collar' aesthetic. My hope is that projects allow people to come to their own terms with art and the complexity of life."

Gallery director Leticia Bajuyo said the exhibit at Hanover is a combination of pieces from Starowitz's past projects in Kansas City.

Although Starowitz now lives in Kansas City where he is the artist-in-residence at the Farm To Market Bread Company, he grew up in Louisville and has connections to the area.

"Coming back here to exhibit was much like a homecoming," Bajuyo said.

Another event is being planned at the West Street Art Center, 301 West St., on Feb. 15, where Starowitz plans to present more about his works.

The Greiner Art Gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gallery also opens to the public during recital hall performances in the Lynn Center for Fine Arts at Hanover College.