Campus artist uses colors, patterns to find voice

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By Selina O. Affram

The library is decorated in a new style, the walls splashed with colors, shapes and structures.

Joan Fabian is showcasing 15 pieces of art of on the second, third and fourth floors of Moody Learning Center.

Seven of those pieces were created during the winter break.

Fabian earned a Bachelor  of Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Chicago and an master’s degree from the University of Texas at San  Antonio.

Her works have been exhibited at the National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan; Parsons Paris School of Design Gallery, Paris; Artoteek Scheidam Museum, the Netherlands; McNay Art Museum; Jones Center for Contemporary Art; and Broadway Gallery in New York City.

Her work has earned her many grants and honorariums, including a Fulbright and a Pollock Krasner Award.

Fabian said her ambition for the display in the library is to find a different voice and use color and patterns to liven up things.

She hopes to make the library a more enticing and attractive environment.

She said art and color stimulate the human senses and make people want to be there.

She wants people who view her work to develop a personal viewpoint from the material, color and patterns, like making the connection of hanging out in a corner.

Her art work for her is like a habit, like when someone bites their nails, she said.

It is something that she carries through life and makes her happy.

Her art helps her to create a world in which she has a sense of control.

Her artistic talent is not limited to painting, but she also plays the Vietnamese mouth harp.

She said she listens to jazz and contemporary music while she works.

Outside of painting, she likes to interact with other artists and look at their work.

She said New York artist Amy Sillman is one of her role models.

When Sillman came to San Antonio and purchased a piece of art from Fabian, that was one of the biggest compliments she had received.

As an artist, she said she has many role models, and she returns to their work to fuel her creative fire.

“If we have a problem understanding contemporary art, then we have a problem understanding other cultures,” Fabian said.

She would like for her art to be featured in the San Antonio Art Museum.

Her work in Moody will be on display from January to May.

All the art is available for purchase and more information about prices are available in the library at the reserve desk.

To find out more about her art and background, she can be contacted at or 785-6340.

If anyone is interested in displaying artwork, contact reference Librarian Eileen Oliver at 733-2492.


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