Upstate Art Gallery

Mo Kessler: Exercises in Dependency

11.3 - 12.30.2022

Mo Kessler is a queer multimedia object maker, installation artist, and community organizer from Kentucky. Using the contradictions inherent in the concept of cheap, Mo makes work as a means to investigate how worth is generated under neo-liberal capitalism.  The work relies on repetitive labor and materials that both spark recognition and are accessible. Fascinated by the defiance of “tacky” and the amount of sincerity it can hold, Mo's work reflects the resilience embedded in the craft that is born of necessity. Under the politics of extraction and disposability, to mark value through attention, care and abundance is a small rebellion.  Mo received their BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2007 and their MFA from Western Carolina University in 2021.


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The gallery is directed and curated by Dr. Lex Lancaster, Assistant Professor of Art History and Gallery Director at USC Upstate.


The USC Upstate Art Gallery, located in the Chapman Cultural Center, pursues the academic and creative missions of USC Upstate through the presentation, interpretation, and discussion of contemporary art. 

During the academic year, this gallery will exhibit the work of diverse artists working in the Southeast and beyond; and offer programming that highlights the artistic and cultural contributions of these artists. During the summer months, the gallery displays artwork from Upstate's permanent collection. 

For more information, contact Gallery Director Lex Lancaster, Follow the gallery on Facebook and Instagram @USCUpstateartgallery to learn about future exhibitions and events.