In the mind of Kevin Tuttle

The Martin Art Gallery displays the art of Kevin Tuttle

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Kevin Tuttle's "Bifurcated Mind" || Sam Cohen '26

On Monday, Mar. 20 Muhlenberg’s Martin Art Gallery presented an exhibition titled “Bifurcated Mind,” which displayed the drawings and sculptures of Senior Lecturer Kevin Tuttle. The exhibition displays drawings throughout the walls of the gallery, and there is a sculpture standing at the entrance. 

On Wednesday Mar. 22 there was an opening reception, where the artwork was first revealed and observers were able to view Tuttle’s exhibition. Then, on Wednesday, Mar. 29, there was a gallery talk that allowed for Tuttle to explain the meaning behind his art, his inspirations and answer any questions from the audience in regards to his work. 

Tuttle began the gallery talk with a presentation about the many artworks and artists that inspired his own craft. He showed a variety of artists and work that he drew inspiration from, including pieces of art he didn’t necessarily enjoy. Throughout the presentation, Tuttle spoke intensively about each piece that enlightened him, mentioning the color schemes, the forms, the content and how they all gave him a basis to work off of for his own art. 

When examining a painting of fruit that he said inspired his own work, Tuttle said, “The colors used for this was something that drew my attention, and the fact that it is just a simple painting but, capturing.”

“What was in my head, What was in my mind?”

Kevin Tuttle

Tuttle spoke so passionately and intently about his inspirations, he interrupted himself to make sure his audience was able to follow the dive into his mind as he asked “Am I making sense?”

Throughout the talk, Tuttle expressed clearly that much of his art was a reflection of his mind and how his art was able to speak for him. He stated, “I was trying to find something to talk about for me. To have something to talk to because I wasn’t heard.”

“What’s in my mind? What’s in my head? Figuring this out was a big part of why I became an artist.”

Tuttle took the audience through his long process of becoming an artist, informing everyone that he grew up with aspirations to study oceanography. Tuttle said, “I went to college to study oceanography. I wanted to be a scientist my whole life.” 

He then spoke to the audience about how during his time in school, someone came across his drawings and advised him to take an art class. It was in this class that he realized how important art was to express his thoughts. “I was looking for someone to tell me this is what I should do. I didn’t care about talent, I wanted to find out what was in my mind.” 

Tuttle’s work in the exhibition, as stated in the title, is what is in his mind. Tuttle spoke about how art has served as an outlet for his thoughts. He repeatedly spoke to the importance of his work being able to capture his feelings, even if he didn’t know what they were yet. His art spoke for his thoughts and feelings, and allowed him to make sense of emotions he wasn’t completely conscious of. 

“I think that one of the unique aspects of ‘Bifurcated Mind’ is that it allows visitors to take a peek into the mind of the artist.”

Jessica Ambler

Tuttle vocalized, “In school, I was trying to figure out, and ask ‘What was in my mind?’ A lot of it [the artwork] was dark.”

Jessica Ambler, the director of the Martin Art Gallery spoke to The Weekly about Tuttle’s talent, and why she desired to display his art. Ambler stated, “Tuttle is not only a senior lecturer here at Muhlenberg in the Art Department but he is also a practicing artist himself. I think that holding an exhibition of his past and current work provides a wonderful opportunity for Tuttle’s students to be able to see what their instructor is working on and to hear about his practice.”

Ambler continued by expressing how unique the exhibition was because of how focused Tuttle’s artwork was on allowing the audience to understand what is inside of his head, his mind and his thoughts, saying, “I think that one of the unique aspects of ‘Bifurcated Mind’ is that it allows visitors to take a peek into the mind of the artist. The exhibition is essentially split between two distinct parts of Tuttle’s practice: abstract grids and representational still-lifes. While these two genres are very different at first glance, there are numerous overlaps and common threads. I hope that viewers are able to stand in front of a work in the gallery and connect it visually with other works in the exhibition. I think that by contemplating the multivalent connections between all the works in the exhibition, viewers can better understand the artist’s process.”

Audience member Anna Hanley ‘25 gave her thoughts on the exhibition, stating “It was cool to see his progression as an artist, and all the different inspirations he had. It was so insightful to see how that inspiration bleeds into his own work.”  

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