Censored Art Exhibit: An Interview with Amanda Ladymon By: Mary Catherine Ballou  


Opening on Friday, June Third at Frame of Mind Gallery, Censored showcases pieces by local artists inspired by social media’s impact on body image.  Curated by visual artist Amanda Ladymon, in conjunction with photographer Jim Dukes, Censored challenges and questions the influence of technology-drenched culture on body perception, revealed through various mediums and perspectives.  Contributing artists include Jarid Lyfe Brown, Jim Dukes, Diana Farfan, Alejandro Garcia-Lemos, Jennifer Hill, Julie Jacobson, Michael Krajewski, Amanda Ladymon, and Whitney LeJeune.  Ladymon, a local artist, educator, writer, parent, and owner of Ladybug Art Studios, kindly agreed to share her insight on the motives behind Censored.


Jasper: What was the impetus for creating the Censored exhibit?

Ladymon: “Some photos of my semi-nude three-year-old daughter were reported by an unknown Facebook friend, which temporarily shut down my account.  I was shocked and confused by this (because let’s face it – children all look exactly the same from the waist up when they’re that young – we all have nipples and a belly button) – but also quite amused! … While my photos were not in violation of the [Facebook] policy, it left me really puzzled, why are Americans so uptight about the human body?!  And even further, why are Americans so uptight about things that they may not relate to or understand?!  My friend and fellow Artist Jim Dukes and I immediately started messaging and talking with each other about what had happened and the spark for a group art exhibition happened … Together we compiled a list of artists we had either exhibited with previously or artists I had worked with on exhibitions … I have the great privilege of knowing so many amazing artists and it was easy to find a handful of willing participants whom would appreciate our vision.”


Jasper: What role does Jim Dukes play in the event?

Ladymon: “He’s sort of my right hand man.  He helped me construct the mission statement for the show, he has brainstormed frequently with me, done some photo shoots, and created the fantastic Exhibition Image for Facebook.”


Jasper: How do you think people will react to this exhibit?

Ladymon: “I anticipate it’s going to be a mixed bag – some may be shocked, some might laugh, and some might be disgusted.  Overall I just hope it makes people stop and think about how social media has controlled and shaped our way of thinking in the 21st century.”


Censored highlights the different perceptions regarding the human body.  Ladymon reflects on the “veil over everything”, connoting ubiquitous filters and Photo-shopped images.  An exhibit that one will not likely forget, Censored forces viewers to question their own perspectives as well as prevailing societal norms. It also confirms the universal impulse to explore, highlight, and celebrate the wonders of the human form.  Censored will be available for viewing at Frame of Mind, 140 State St., West Columbia, through the last week of July, with tentative plans for a closing reception and panel discussion.  Free and open to the public, this event is restricted to an 18 and older audience.

About Jasper

What Jasper Said is the blogging arm of Jasper – The Word on Columbia Arts, a new written-word oriented arts magazine that serves artists and arts lovers in the Columbia, SC area and its environs in four ways: Via Print Media – Jasper is a bi-monthly magazine, releasing in print six times per year in September, November, January, March, May & July, on the 15th of each month. Jasper covers the latest in theatre and dance, visual arts, literary arts, music, and film as well as arts events and happenings; Via Website – Jasper is an interactive website complete with a visual arts gallery, messages from Jasper, an arts events calendar that is updated several times daily, bite-sized stories on arts events, guest editorials, local music, dance & theatre videos, community surveys, and more; Via Blog – What Jasper Said -- you're reading this now -- is a daily blog featuring a rotating schedule of bloggers from the Jasper staff as well as guest bloggers from throughout the arts community; Via Twitter – Jasper Advises is a method of updating the arts community on arts events, as they happen, with more than a half dozen active tweeters who live, work, and play inside the arts community everyday ~ Jasper Advises keeps the arts community abreast of what not to miss, what is happening when it is happening, and where to be to experience it first hand.
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