Joseph and Katie Kameen: Dream House

Joseph Kameen

My work looks at the mental and emotional systems we devise in order to understand experiences that have no logical explanation: major life events, philosophical crises, or personal tragedies. When faced with such challenges, we look to find a meaning or purpose behind the event, even when there is none. Often this struggle leads us to construct systems that aid us in this search for answers, or that may construct meaning in and of themselves. In particular I am interested in the ways that, though these are internal struggles, our physical surroundings become an important part of the process. My paintings depict spaces, drawn from memory, that have become sites for a type of tactile understanding of these ideas. The subjects, both figures and objects, are in the process of coming to terms with their surroundings. They are immersed in light and space, but do not acknowledge it. Distance, emptiness, and temporality are common themes, but always paired with lightness, freedom, or humor. I seek to make paintings that describe my understanding of this experience while using the physical act of painting as part of my own process of coming to terms with these questions.


Joseph Kameen is an artist and educator currently living in South Carolina, where he serves as an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of South Carolina Aiken. He received his BFA in painting and sculpture from Boston University, and his MFA in painting from Indiana University Bloomington. Kameen has exhibited his work nationally and internationally at venues such as The Painting Center, Site: Brooklyn, and Torstraße 111. Kameen’s work has been featured in a variety of publications, including PIKCHUR Magazine, Emboss Magazine, and Friend of the Artist.

Katie Kameen

In my work I combine colorful mid-century and contemporary plastics to examine how everyday materials can provide a space for self-expression. I use playful forms and colors to elevate common objects that have outlived their original functions, but not their aesthetic potential. The recognizable forms and individual components in my work evoke a shared haptic experience with viewers. I draw from that to create my own path to understanding intimate and casual human connection.

Functional plastic objects, with their bright colors, glossy surfaces, and slick industrial designs, have a very strong formal identity. Throughout my work, these identities are alternatingly heightened and erased. By deforming and recomposing plastics, I discover paths to self-portraiture while expressing an awareness towards this now abundant material and revealing the meaningful relationship between objects and the entanglements of material and memory.


Katie Kameen creates wearable art and sculptures by playfully experimenting with premade plastic objects. Kameen received her BFA in 3D Studio from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois, and her MFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. She exhibits nationally and internationally and has been published in American Craft Magazine, Friend of the Artist, and Uppercase Magazine. Kameen lives in South Carolina and teaches art at University of South Carolina Aiken and Augusta University.

Dream House will be on view until March 19, 2021 by appointment. To schedule a viewing, please email Heather Williams at [email protected]. All visitors are required to wear a mask and practice social distancing. No more than 10 visitors are allowed in the gallery at a time.

Friday, January 15, 2021 - 10:00am to Friday, March 19, 2021 - 5:00pm
Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art