Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

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Seeing Culture Through a Glass Darkly

Co-artists+Patrick+Lichty+and+Negin+Ehtesabian+have+been+married+for+over+five+years.+Although+they+hold+a+strong+bond+they+are+unable+to+be+with+each+other+in+the+same+place.+Through+art%2C+they+show+how+they+communicate+and+icons+from+both+of+their+countries.
Contributed Photo of Google Earth Through a Looking Glass from Patrick Lichty
Co-artists Patrick Lichty and Negin Ehtesabian have been married for over five years. Although they hold a strong bond they are unable to be with each other in the same place. Through art, they show how they communicate and icons from both of their countries.

Several artists show their art through the Watkins gallery, each one with their own style, message and story. From Aug. 1 to Oct. 4, that honor was granted to Patrick Lichty and his wife and co-artist Negin Ehtesabian. The exhibition called “Google Earth: Through A Looking Glass” featured a variety of artworks from both artists including a variety of tapestry designs and artworks that represents their shared perceptions of the other country.

The artists themselves have been married for over five years and have been unable to be with each other in their respective homelands. Many of the artworks feature icons of the country the other cannot be a part of with a single video playing in the center of the gallery. The video featured WhatsApp conversations between Lichty and Ehtesabian as google image views of the countries they have been together in appear on screen, including Brazil, Turkey and Abu Dhabi. Lichty commented on the artworks featured. “It’s a story about longing and relationships and how we manage ourselves in a network society.” Lichty said.

Lichty went on to explain how the art gallery represents the struggles of his distant relationship with his wife who also had artwork representing her struggles. One of the artworks featured a collection of icons in American culture including McDonalds, Eagles and the Statue of Liberty. Lichty commented on the statue.

“It was interesting, there was a student who looked at the statue and said, ‘well she’s looking at the Statue of Liberty for the liberty’ and I said, no she is looking at the plaque. You know, give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses and she’s saying, ‘Well, what about me?’” He shared.

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Other works of art included tapestry designs created using AI-Image generations. Patrick explained how the tapestry is part of a sanction against Iran that restricts his capability to have it made and imported; instead, each piece had to be constructed here in the U.S.

This exhibition is not the only art piece the two artists have done together. Lichty shared another example of their long history as artists before becoming a married couple. Another art piece they did involve Lichty reading off the Human Rights established by the U.N. while Ehtesabian removed and painted symbols of these rights from her skin.

Lichty explained what his hopes with the exception was to give people a new perspective. He wanted people to go in with questions and leave with a better understanding of a culture they are most likely foreign to and to see a perspective of the U.S. they wouldn’t see otherwise. His ending thoughts were in the biblical verse 1 Corinthians 13:12. Just as the verse talks about seeing “Through a glass darkly” so do people going in to witness the art and just as the artist are in constructions of their works. More of Lichty’s works can be found at  https://www.patlichty.com/.

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About the Contributor
Jiovani Bermudez, Photographer

Jiovani A. Bermudez is a photographer and features reporter for The Winonan as of late spring 2022. He is currently in his fourth year at Winona State University majoring in mass communication with a focus on creative digital media.

Besides photography for The Winonan, Bermudez is currently involved with the university's student radio KQAL as a production assistant and hosting "Jazz Cafe" on Fridays from 9 AM - 12 PM. He also a member of the Dev Team for Cubeify games.

In his free time, Bermudez enjoys playing a multitude of games, biking around Winona, writing, and engaging in discussion about poetry, philosophy, politics, mythology, and games.

Bermudez hopes to make games to share the stories he has written in his favorite medium of entertainment. He also hopes to put his efforts towards voice work.

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