Gabriel Corbin

(Rock Hill, SC) — An art exhibit on display at the Rutledge Gallery at Winthrop University explores “a real and persistent preoccupation with desire, order, progress and work,” as seen through the original work by artist and faculty member Tamara LaValla.

The exhibit, titled “Mutually Assured Seduction,” opened in September and will be on display until Dec. 9.

Developed by LaValla and her co-creators, the work is referred to as a “one-woman group show” centered around the concept of being collaborative. According to the Winthrop website, it’s described as an “evanescent embrace of our ethereal, virtual world through the rigors of making.”

“I’ve been teaching here for a long time; (I’ve) been in the design department, but my personal work has been moving into a more experimental and fine art realm,” LaValla said. “The idea of desire, order, ritual, work and redemption reoccur in my personal and professional life, and creatively it was time to explore them. The idea of ‘Mutually Assured Seduction’ is exploring all of those themes in a collaborative way.”

LaValla, who spent over a year developing the artwork with her collaborators, described the show as an exploration of desire, which was fun because she thinks everyone shares these ideas in similar rituals.

“‘Mutually Assured Seduction’ is a one-woman group show,” said Jenna Roesly, a student gallery assistant. “She is kind of collaborating with a few other people…and I do not want to misrepresent it, but it’s more of a personal show for herself.”

Since the exhibit opened, people from all over South Carolina have seen LaValla’s work and a number of visitors said they were intrigued by the designs.

“It’s not like anything that I’ve ever seen before, especially when you think about artists,” said Aundrea Hernandez, who visited the exhibit.

“I thought it was pretty unique,” Janae Massey, a Winthrop student, said. “I’m not very educated on art, so it’s always nice to see other people’s creative styles. Also, I like how she expressed how things come to be in work rather than the work itself.”

“I like how all of the different pieces come together and knowing the origin and the artist behind it makes it more special because we know the story behind it,” said Macy Gates, who visited the exhibit.

The Rutledge Gallery, located in the Rutledge Building, will be open for the remainder of the fall semester of 2022 and admission is free.

For more information about LaValla and her work, you can visit her website.