Mors Eloquentiae by Duane Paxson now up at International Arts Center

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Tierra McCall 

Staff Writer 

 The International Arts Center (IAC) on Troy’s campus boasts an expressive collection from various artists year-round.  

The center, which is open Monday through Sunday, offers free admission and guided tours when requested. 

While the permanent exhibits are spectacular, the rotating exhibits are a must-see. 

The latest installment is an exhibit, Mors Eloquentiae, by Duane Paxson, a local artist and an art and design adjunct professor.

Paxson has produced seven major series since the 1980s, and his most recent is now on display for Troy students. 

Mors Eloquentiae, a Latin phrase meaning “the death of eloquence,” is a “retrospective show” featuring work from the early 1980s to today.  

The exhibit features sculptures made from materials such as welded steel and wood. 

“My sculptures from the Mors Eloquentiae series dramatize today’s alarming disinterest in the reality of words and in the power of their intelligence and skillful use: the art of rhetoric,” Paxson said in a statement about his work on the IAC website. 

The exhibit also touches on societal issues, such as racial inequality and the accusations of the innocent in the Salem witch trials. 

“My biggest concern is what the students will learn and take away from the exhibit,” said Greg Skaggs, the director of the Huo Bao Zhu Gallery at the IAC, as well as curator for the show. 

 “I try to find something unique; something the students have never seen before,” he said. 

Mors Eloquentiae focuses on the human condition, specifically what role language plays in our modern society. 

“The instillation decries the current debasement of language in contemporary culture, but particularly in the political arena,” Paxson said.

The death of eloquence can have several meanings, a nod to the fact that art is subjective. 

“To me it means there is a deep flux in the contemporary art world, meaning it is hard to pinpoint what is art,” Skaggs said. “Art is becoming less understandable in today’s society. 

“What I really think it means is a death to beauty.”  

Mors Eloquentiae will be on display in the International Arts Center until Nov. 28 with Paxson present for an artist reception and lecture Nov. 19 at 5 p.m.

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