Babette Mayor, professor and chair of the art department, has several pieces of artwork featured in a National Juried Illustration Exhibit. Having work displayed at a national exhibition is an substantial accomplishment in itself, but the inspiration behind Mayor’s work makes it exceptional.
Last year, her husband received a lung transplant for a terminal illness, followed by numerous complications and a lengthy hospital stay. As his caregiver, Mayor was constantly forced to face the possibility of death, which she channeled into her artwork.
“My work reveals my obsession with portraying symbols of death and religion as a means to evade or at least postpone the eventuality of dying,” Mayor says. “The grim reaper, skeletons, and angels appear repeatedly in my work and actually give me great comfort.”
Combined with the inspiration of Southern California location and culture, Mayor transformed her grief into multimedia art. Using a computer to digitally manipulate photographed images, Mayor painted and drew on top of the pictures, “adding details that help capture the moment and give a human touch.”
Five of six selected pieces will be exhibited at Eastern New Mexico University through April 27.
Mayor’s career at Cal Poly Pomona began in 1990. As the recipient of numerous awards, including the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Faculty, she is responsible for the development of the graphic design degree at Cal Poly Pomona.
(“Chains of Love” by Babette Mayor.)