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TJ Templeton // Youthful Commodities


  • Petshop 2725 North 62nd Street Omaha, NE, 68104 United States (map)

Tj Templeton is a Lincoln, Nebraska artist that works primarily 2 dimensionally in various media. Subject matter ranges from social justice issues to the natural beauty of his everyday environment.

The focus of this show is the result of a three year long project playfully titled "Cannery Kids" This project can best be described in the artists own words:

“'Cannery Kids' is a project involving the use of assemblages, encaustics, and forms of printmaking to bring into view a history that has gone mostly forgotten. In the effort to build a reminder of how much suffering and sacrifice has gone to improve American labor standards in the past century, I utilize public domain images taken by Lewis Hine 100 years ago as part of his efforts on behalf of the National Child Labor Committee. This body of work is as much a tribute to his (and fellow activists) efforts as it is to the children the images depict.

One component of this project features hundreds of sardine cans embedded with encaustic image transfers of the children that once labored in the sardine canneries circa 1911-1915. By embedding the images in the cans, devoid of context beyond their expressions, I hope to draw attention to the commoditization of these children. Not only was their labor exploited, but their very childhoods. By mass producing the cans in my studio, I invoke the very industrial output of their labors.

The process of encaustic image transferring is used frequently in my work involving historical issues. This method of printmaking is uncommon, as it’s infamously overly tedious with unpredictable results. Through years of experimentation I’ve pioneered a method which (while remaining tedious and able to preserve the positive aspects of its unpredictable nature) allows me to produce prints on a large scale; something rarely seen in encaustic art. "

Earlier Event: October 14
actor setting figure ground
Later Event: November 11
Passion & Obsession