Honors College Fellow Olivia Fredricks' Work on Display in Gearhart Hall

Honors College Fellow Olivia Fredricks flattens paper at the Awagami paper factory in Tokushima, Japan.
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Honors College Fellow Olivia Fredricks flattens paper at the Awagami paper factory in Tokushima, Japan.

Last summer, Honors College Fellow Olivia Fredricks studied Japanese papermaking and printmaking in Japan, completing two short residencies at the Awagami paper factory and the Mokuhanga Innovation Laboratory. Fredricks, an honors studio art senior in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, learned much to support explorations in her preferred medium — "zines," which are self-published, handmade, semi-ephemeral books. She learned even more about herself, particularly during two weeks traveling alone in Tokyo. 

"I thought a lot about the voyeurism inherent to traveling," she recalls. "And I did a lot of thinking about what it's like to be in a place where nobody knows you. What is your identity when you have no one else to bounce off of?"

Upon her return to the states, Fredricks participated in a book arts workshop at the Penland School of Crafts in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. There she riffed on the themes of voyeurism and identity in a series of works on paper that are currently on display in the Honors College wing of Gearhart Hall. 

The pieces range from an accordion-folded collaged impression of a Japanese home, perforated by windows where outsiders can peer in, to studies of objects found and passed on during her travels throughout Japan. Fredricks was intrigued by the Japanese tradition of offering fortunes on small slips of paper (O-Mikuji) to temple and shrine visitors, and the imperative to leave bad fortunes behind at O-Mikuji racks. In the same spirit of give and take, she is giving away free fortunes and zines as "an offering to the viewer." Fredricks' work will be on display in Gearhart Hall through December 2018. 

Next week, viewers will also have the opportunity to engage with Fredrick's honors thesis work: a series of ten zine editions inspired by the stories of Tibetan exiles whom she met while participating in the University of Arkansas' Tibetans in Exile Today (TEXT) program. These zines may be found in the Honors Student Lounge (GEAR 130) Oct. 1-5; visitors are encouraged to read and enjoy them. Under the direction of faculty mentor Sean Morrissey, an assistant professor in printmaking, Fredricks is sharing her thesis work at sites across campus and nationally as well, by sending editions to zine collections at libraries throughout the United States. 

Fredricks presented her honors thesis work at the Southern Graphics Council International conference in Las Vegas last spring, and with Morrissey, she co-led a workshop that focused on creating two-color zines with a risograph purchased with an Honors College Faculty Equipment and Technology grant. Her work has been supported by Honor College Research, Conference/Workhop Travel and Study Abroad grants. 

Honors students, faculty and alumni interested in exhibiting their work in Gearhart Hall are encouraged to contact Kendall Curlee at kcurlee@uark.edu.

Contacts

Kendall Curlee, director of communications
Honors College
479-575-2024, kcurlee@uark.edu

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