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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Jan. 26-Feb. 4: Artist Jonathan Brilliant Exhibit

Artist lecture set for Jan. 20, with exhibit in Conkling Gallery set for Jan. 26-Feb. 4.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 12-23-2014

UPDATE (Jan. 26, 2015): Jonathan Brilliant's residency has concluded, but his installation will be on display from Monday, Jan. 26 through Wednesday, Feb. 4 at 139 Nelson Hall, the Conkling Gallery, during gallery hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday).

(PHOTO AT LEFT: Artist Jonathan Brilliant works on the installation of a coffee stir-stick structure on Tuesday, Jan. 13 in Minnesota State Mankato's Conkling Gallery. PHOTO AT BOTTOM: Brilliant begins attaching coffee cups together that will be used as part of his art installation.)

Mankato, Minn. – North Carolina-based installation artist Jonathan Brilliant is coming to Minnesota State University, Mankato for a 10-day residency (from Jan. 12-23), during which he will create and install a site-specific sculpture consisting exclusively of materials related to the to-go coffee cup culture.

According to his statement of artistic intent, central to Brilliant’s installations are large wooden coffee stir stick structures that contain from 30,000 to 50,000 wooden coffee stir sticks. All the sticks used by Brilliant in an installation are woven in place entirely with tension and compression, using no adhesives, creating an “uncanny sculptural environment for the viewer.”

During the residency and installation phase at Minnesota State Mankato, Brilliant will deliver an artist lecture at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 20 in Ostrander Auditorium. The lecture will be followed by a reception in Conkling Gallery.

Following Brilliant’s 10-day residency, his completed installation will be exhibited in a display free and open to the public from Monday, Jan. 26 through Wednesday, Feb. 4 at 139 Nelson Hall, the Conkling Gallery, during gallery hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday).

Photos and more information on Brilliant’s art is available at

According to a biological narrative on his website, Brilliant received a bachelor’s degree in studio art from the College of Charleston and a master of fine arts in Spatial Arts from San Jose State University. Brilliant is a recipient of an individual artist grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and is a South Carolina Arts Commission Visual Arts Fellow. He has exhibited his work in several group and solo exhibitions nationally and internationally. From May 2009-December 2010 he conducted his “Have Sticks Will Travel: World Tour,” a marathon series of site-specific installations that took place in 13 galleries in 18 months, in three countries, on two continents.

Brilliant’s residency and exhibit is part of Minnesota State Mankato’s Nadine B. Andreas Artist and Scholar Endowment Exhibition series.

For more information, call the Minnesota State Mankato Department of Art at 507-389-6412. The complete 2014-2015 Conkling Gallery Schedule is located online.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,376 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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