Story and Artwork by Tim Dooley and Aaron Wilson

Since 2010, Department of Art professors, Tim Dooley and Aaron Wilson, have been working on a body of work entitled, “Worn Out,” in which they explore imagery some artists consider culturally and aesthetically ‘worn out.’ With subject matter decided, screen prints are then produced through extensive layering of multiple drawn images of the chosen theme and result in intensively layered, labored and garishly beautiful pieces. Each print in the suite is a unique impression, rearranged through the multiplicity of screen printing.

Dooley and Wilson have added to the “Worn Out” series by generating fresh grids of different subjects during visiting artist residencies. Subject matter has included layered impressions depicting things like bigfoots, unicorns, skull heads, sasquatch and even the Real Housewives. Recently, the pair worked with students at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, to produce works along the ‘worn out’ theme collectively titled, “Futile Gestures.” These were shown alongside work already produced in the series at The Front Gallery in New Orleans in conjunction with the 40th anniversary conference of SGC International, the largest annual international gathering of printmakers, from March 10 through April 8. Nearly 1600 people attended this year’s conference, “Navigating Currents.”

An opening reception for the exhibition was held Saturday, March 10, at which Dooley and Wilson worked on screen prints live for those in attendance. The professors state, “It is a flexible exhibition that can be accommodated by a variety of venues, but it does have the capacity to fill even a very large exhibition space. The live activity of printing these artworks is intensive, active, risky and bold. Prints are built up, toppled over and saved from sure death.”

The exhibition was made possible by the generous support of a University of Northern Iowa CHAS Major Grant and travel support from the Office of the Dean and the Department of Art.