“The Melancholy of Runaway Elephants” – an exhibit featuring works by artist Lori Miles – will open Wednesday, Oct. 19, in Spiva Art Gallery.

"Shuttle Stop: Mars"

“Shuttle Stop: Mars”

The mixed-media sculptural exhibition is rooted in stories, folklore and news articles about escaped zoo animals, runaway elderly patients and the crazy joy of leaving. Based in equal parts real and imagined scenarios, the work combines found and made objects that have been made into short narratives or visual poems.

Miles is an associate professor of art and the A. Reid Winsey Chair of Art and Art History at DePauw University in Indiana. Her work was recently featured at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art in a two-person exhibition and in group shows in Michigan, Iowa and Minnesota.  She is the recipient of a New Directions Initiative grant from the Mellon Foundation in 2010, and a Creative Renewal grant from the Arts Council of Indianapolis in 2011.

“My work celebrates artifice. Fake things – hoaxes, gaffes, magic, forgeries, counterfeits, copies – I love them all,” Miles said in a statement. “Things that are true can only be proven wrong, but the fake can never be proven true. It is always exactly, and only, what it knows itself to be. It’s the truest thing I know.”

The exhibit will run through Thursday, Nov. 17. Miles will visit campus that day for a talk at 2 p.m. and a closing reception from 3 to 5 p.m.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.