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Willingham’s Beautify Showing at Highland Community College’s Yost Gallery Until February 15published January 23, 2019
Yost Gallery, located on the main campus of Highland Community College in Highland, KS, will show Beautify by Morgan Ford Willingham starting January 22 and ending February 15, 2019.
The on-going series Beautify explores how natural beauty is masked by cosmetics that women use every day, and how the language of advertising is absorbed into the subconscious, where it constantly influences what women buy and how they perceive themselves. The text in this work is often appropriated from advertising slogans found in popular women’s magazines, and is sometimes difficult to read, signifying how the linguistics of advertising subconsciously attempts to persuade women to buy cosmetic products that alter their physical appearance. In the newest phase of this series, the work references the symbolism of the female renaissance portrait.
After receiving an MFA in photography from Texas Woman’s University, Willingham moved to the Midwest to pursue a career in academia and art making. Examining how identity is shaped by advertising and societal pressures through the use of various mediums, her work has been exhibited nationally. She is also an assistant professor of photography at Emporia State University in Kansas.
The works in the series range from photography to mixed media installation to book arts but are all linked by their incorporation of elements that reference advertising from popular women’s magazines.
Yost Gallery is open to the community Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with no admission fee. To close the show, Yost Gallery will host a discussion with the artist on February 15 at 10 a.m.