By Ansley Lewis
The library in Moody Learning Center has multimedia specialist Joan Fabian’s Smithsonian exhibit pieces displayed behind the checkout counter on the third floor.
Three of her works — “Going Mobile,” “I am so hungry,” and “Wow Wow” — were featured in the Smithsonian International Exhibition in 2010, part of her “Revealing Culture” show.
The mixed media pieces “Going Mobile” and “Wow Wow” are on the wall behind the checkout desk, but “I am so hungry” was sold for $1,800. Fabian said they will be on display indefinitely or until they are purchased.
“The State Organization on Arts and Disability has a Texas chapter and said the Smithsonian is going to put up this big exhibit that has to do with culture,” Fabian said. “They told me to enter and I got accepted.”
Along with culture, which plays a large role in Fabian’s work, she was interested in the motif shape in patterns and finding an animated figure within.
Fabian received a bachelor of fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a master of fine arts from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Fabian was part of the Fulbright Scholar Program, which awards grants to students, faculty, and scholars to continue their career fields internationally. Fabian visited Pakistan in 2000 as a Fulbright Scholar, and she believes this country has influenced her art more than any other experience.
“We’re used to seeing the same things every day — the same thing done a certain way — but when you go into another country you’re like, ‘hey, they pick up the garbage different,’ or ‘they cut the grass using a water buffalo,’” Fabian said.
Fabian’s pieces have been on display in Moody since renovations were finished in August 2013.
“Some of the librarians enjoy my artwork, and since I had exhibited at the Moody Learning Center in the past, they appreciated looking at them,” Fabian said. “They suggested to (Dr. Alice Johnson, dean of library resources) that I hang them after the new renovations were complete.”
“Her artwork livens up my day. I enjoy having something to look at other than blank walls,” library assistant Leticia Alvarado said.
Fabian does not have any upcoming exhibits but said she is always working on new pieces.
For aspiring art students, Fabian said, “No matter what, you have to keep painting, drawing, taking pictures. You have to continue to do that all of the time.
“Perseverance. There’s going to be a lot of rejection — and it’s going to hurt — but you can’t let that get to you. You have to keep going.”
Fabian had exhibitions at the McNay Art Museum, Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum and Luminaria.
Visit her website at www.joanfabian.com.