Stein Galleries exhibition explores themes of daily work

white collar goal, by Kristen Cochran, used T-shirt collars, thread, galvanized steel, bricks, hardware and diluted Powerade, 2019.

A new exhibition in Wright State University’s Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries will explore themes related to human effort, aspiration and identity.

“GOALS,” featuring sculptures by Dallas artist Kristen Cochran, is meant to see the honor and the comedy of human striving through multi-sensory means.

“There will be works that activate the aural sense in particular,” Cochran said, “aimed at creating an environment of calm, like an island retreat away from the repetitive movements, machinery, frameworks and thought patterns of our daily lives.”

“GOALS” will be on display from Aug. 28 to Oct. 6. Cochran will give a gallery talk on Sunday, Sept. 8, at 3 p.m., followed by a reception until 5 p.m. in the gallery in the Creative Arts Center. All Stein Galleries events are free and open to the public.

The sculptural works in the exhibition, Cochran said, “are meant to prompt thought about the ways and means and aims of daily laboring and the relationship between the pursuit of basic needs and more transcendent or aspirational desires.”

Cochran’s work is often comprised of quotidian materials such as bread, clay, clothing, shirt pockets and copper plumbing. Cochran said that fragments of clothing, usually related to a person’s work that reveals evidence of use, interests her on a practical and symbolic level.

“GOALS,” for example, features a large net of used white T-shirt collars that Cochran sewed together and haphazardly suspended from a metal framework. Some collars, tinted in pastel hues, reveal relatable laundry accidents and the hidden missteps of domestic labor.

Each collar relates to a specific person. “Collectively they represent hundreds of anonymous people who have lived, worked and sweat in them over time,” Cochran said.

Cochran is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Dallas. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she moved to Texas to complete her M.F.A. at The Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University in 2010.

Time Chime, by Kristen Cochran, copper plumbing pipe, bread loaves, clay, screws, wire, 2019.

She has exhibited her work locally, nationally and internationally and has been awarded residencies in Long Island City, New York; Mittersill, Austria; and Banner, Wyoming. She recently completed a yearlong residency at The Center for Arts and Medicine at Baylor Hospital’s Sammons Center for Cancer Research.

She has also taught extensively at universities and museums in the Dallas-Fort Worth area including The University of Texas, Dallas, Texas Christian University, The Nasher Sculpture Center and The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

Stein Galleries are open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m.

Visitor parking areas on campus are free, and parking at the Creative Arts Center is unrestricted on weekends. A dedicated parking space for galleries patrons is available in Lot 13.

For more information, contact the Stein Galleries at 937-775-2978 or visit

night shift wishes (5pm – 12am), by Kristen Cochran, copper plumbing pipe, acrylic basin, water, fabric, aloha shirt, cement, silicone and windex, 2019.

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