SIUC graduate’s art work on display

By Gus Bode

Jason Buehner’s show gives students something to think about

After carefully studying, “A Printer’s Pleasure,” a piece of art work illustrating the bright image of a multi-hued eyeball, Jason Simpson, a sophomore in physics from Carbondale, concludes that the work “must have taken a high level of skill.”

However, Jason Buehner, a 2002 SIUC graduate in Art and Design from Evanston, defines the art in his thesis show as more of a thought process than a skill.


Since June 12, Buehner’s “thought process” has been on display in Art Alley, the display case area on the second floor of the Student Center. Here, people have the opportunity to view Buehner’s work, a variety of images that include various parts of the body, most commonly the eye, in unusual, multi-colored settings, such as in the presence of typically unrelated objects such as skyscrapers, rubber ducks and bolts of lightning.

Through 26 digital photographic prints, Buehner’s show illustrates a theme of surrealism, imagination and parable of everyday life.

The show will be on display until July 10, giving those passing by the opportunity to develop their own opinions of his thoughts.

“It’s kind of creepy.”

This was the reaction of Naeem Slaise, a senior in economics from Chicago, as he perused the pieces on display. “But it’s interesting, and it’s definitely different.”

A response such as this would in no way discourage Buehner.

“I like for someone to look at my work and not know that I’m the one who did it,” Buehner said. “I like to hear the different views. I see criticism as a means of improvement.”


Buehner’s interest in improving his artistic ability has existed since childhood, when he began experimenting with art as a means of “killing time.” It was not until junior high school that he realized his hobby could possibly turn into a career.

“I started getting into computers around the eighth grade,” Buehner said. “My passion is in art, so I guess I tried to mix everything together.”

The combination resulted in a style of graphic art that Buehner says never fails to spark a different reaction in each individual.

“It’s completely original, “Simpson said. “And very honest.”

Kim Barnes, a senior in Studio Arts from Elkville, is most impressed by Buehner’s ability to captivate a variety of individuals.

“His work causes you to ignore your surroundings,” Barnes said. “It’s easily related to everyday life.”

The relationship to everyday life is the aspect that Buehner feels to be the highlight of his work.

“All of my work is elements that people have seen before,” Buehner said, “but twisted around to form a different image that explains and creates something.”

Buehner’s manner of “twisting surrealism” is not only entertaining for his audience, but entertaining for him to compose. He says he did not feel the usual stress when completing his thesis, but, instead, a sense of relief.

“The thesis show was a chance to do what I wanted,” Buehner said. “It was a chance to say, ‘here’s my fun.’ I felt totally free.”

With a job as the graphic designer at the printing company Carbondale Herald, Buehner begins down what he hopes to be a successful road that will eventually lead him to the ownership of a large freelance company. He realizes his goal is not easily accomplished without assistance.

“I got a lot of help from a professional photographer, Jeff Fox,” Buehner said. “He let me know what was right and wrong. It’s kind of like me and him directed a movie together.”

Buehner realizes criticism is a form of improvement, and he has an interesting manner of seeking out the opinions of others.

“I’ll hang out in Art Alley sometimes and watch people look at my art,” Buehner said. “If they say something bad I don’t get upset, but you do have to stand up for your work. Hopefully I can express my ideas to them and open up their minds.”

Reporter Jessica Yorama can be reached at [email protected]