‘Points of View’ — Dugas exhibit explores connection, how we perceive world

Published 3:58 pm Friday, January 14, 2022

It’s easy to conclude that “In the Wake of Giants,” a two-panel silk screen print by McNeese art professor Jacob Dugas, must be a post-hurricane piece. A lone figure stands in a river of water at night amidst a scene seemingly charged with electricity and violence as all hell seems to be breaking loose around him. A viewer can’t be blamed for thinking, “What a great piece to convey what this area has been through since 2020.”

But Dugas said that’s not what inspired the piece at all. In fact it was done in 2016, four years before 2020.

“I was in grad school in South Dakota at the time,” said Dugas. “A lot was happening in my life. I was living alone for the first time. I was engaged, but my fiancé was living in Louisiana and I was in another state. There were just a lot of big changes happening all at once.”

“In the Wake of Giants” touched jurors of the 29th annual Stillwell Juried Exhibition in Vermillion, S.D., that year. Dugas received a Best of Show award for the piece.

“My work is about how we perceive the world,” he said. “It’s about the tangible and the intangible — how we approach seeing.”

It’s no surprise then, that an area art patron purchased “In the Wake of Giants” shortly after Hurricane Laura. The sense of tumultuous upheaval conveyed in the piece stuck a chord of similar feeling in this person who had just had their world upended by a hurricane.

Different events experienced by different people produced similar feelings. There was a connection there. Dugas explores this connectivity, and lack of it, in his work.

“With every form of connection at our disposal, we can be detached from life beyond the screen. I am exploring the relationship between people, the tangible world, and the digital realm we connect through,” he said.

David Hockney, Edgar Degas and Gerhard Richter are among his favorite visual artists.

Dugas received a BA with concentrations in printmaking and graphic design from McNeese in 2012. He received an MFA in printmaking from the University of South Dakota in 2016. He now teaches drawing and printmaking at McNeese.

“Points of View,” a collection of screen prints and charcoal drawings by Dugas, will hang through March 5. Museum hours are 10 a.m. -6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children, and $2 for seniors.

Online: Jacobdugas.com