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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Art exhibit explores Holocaust memories

Resurrection+Wall%2C+Michael+Roque+Collins
Resurrection Wall, Michael Roque Collins

By Carrie Duke/reporter

Safe in the Gulf, Michael Roque Collins

South Campus’ Carillon Gallery is the first stop for artist Michael Roque Collins’ art series Sojourn in the Shadowlands.

A native Texan, Collins grew up in Houston with parents who were artists.

“They were constantly tinkering with things,” he said.

Starting out, Collins’ style tended to be more realistic, he said. However, as he grew and matured, so did his paintings. He describes his works as being “80 percent cynical and 20 percent hopeful” while his style is often described as “post-symbolic.” Collins uses destruction, violence, water, land and nature throughout his work to create poetry on canvas.

The pieces in this exhibit were created after Collins visited Holocaust sites in Germany.

On one wall in the Carillon Gallery is a set of nine digitally printed photographs that he then went over with inks, watercolor, oils and resins. The photos depict ruins left over from the concentration camps where not only Jews but Gypsies, Poles, Catholics and many others were slaughtered.

Collins said he wanted to take photos and then create the paintings to be memories of what happened during the Holocaust and to dangle the viewer on an empty stage where their subconscious would evoke memories and interpret feelings and thoughts to help them understand.

Also on display is an oil painting that Collins describes as being a “memory” of a photo. “Leaving Neuengamme” depicts a forest with a peaceful yellow hue.

“It’s hope,” Collins said.

Resurrection Wall, Michael Roque Collins

Many of his pieces show ruins being overtaken by vegetation. Collins said his work presents “nature as a healing Orpheus” — how over time nature can heal wounds both physically and spiritually.

Sojourn in the Shadowlands will be on display through Oct. 5. Next year, the exhibit will be at the Houston Holocaust Museum and will also travel to other Holocaust museums around the country.

The Carillon Gallery, located in the Joe B. Rushing Center for Performing Arts, is open Monday-Thursday by appointment only. Call Joshua Goode at 817-515-4641 to schedule a time for viewing.

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