Gallery III Archive
'Going Solo' Award-winner from Soapbox
When Boundaries Begin to Fade
March 23 - May 4, 2018
This show is about artistic boundaries without question, but more specifically about ethical boundaries, that point at which a boundary fades and is crossed and the consequences. With the help of my catalog, the viewer is invited to consider the story behind each piece in the show and draw his or her own conclusions. It is my hope that my exhibition will open up a forum for intelligent discussion.
'Going Solo' Award-winner from Humankind
February 2 - March 16, 2018
Cars. Machines. They come from the factory with uniformity. One is identical to the other. All same parts, all same construction. Time and use make them individuals.
The following is a portfolio of portraits - portraits of design, function, and road experience. In my driveway sits a 2002 Chrysler Town & Country. The hood has some cosmetic damage. The paint has faded. There is a sizable dent on the left rear quarter-panel. One headlight is missing. Battery still cranks and tires are not bad, but the engine is toast. Thrown rod. Odometer reads 265,347. I bought this car used in 2012 from a young couple in Warrenton, MO. It had bells and whistles that I certainly did not need but came to enjoy and appreciate. For five years it was my workhorse. Comfortable to drive. Dependable. Always ready to serve. Now it is what it is. Soon destined for a trip to the junkyard, it sits. Not alive, not dead. Just there. Metal, plastic, rubber, and wires. So it goes with old vehicles. All have an expiration date. But they often live on as objects of beauty in their individuality.
Cars scattered about the landscape like so many tombstones. Rusting hulks that were once new machines direct from the factory now sit in the weather and slowly rust away. They carry with them stories that speak to their history.
Monuments to time and utility.
Lon Brauer is an American artist known for his work in figure and plein air landscape. He has a BFA from Washington University and an MFA from Fontbonne University – both in St. Louis. Born in 1955 and coming of age in the early seventies, he has roots in the abstract expressionist movement. He had the good fortune in those early days to have worked under Arthur Osver and Barry Schactman while at Wash U. His work is a mix of the abstract with the representational bringing an impressionistic use of paint and materials to create images that challenge the viewer with new perspectives on the landscape genre. Lon’s paintings feature strong subjects but there is always a balance being maintained with the application of materials. He looks to create a history of mark making that shows the work of hand and mind.
“I had a long and successful career as a studio photographer before getting back into painting. That experience – working with photo images – has influenced how I approach composition. The camera is mechanical so camera placement, focal length, and creative lighting determine point of view. I keep that in mind when I construct my paintings filling it with surprises.”Brauer has shown his work both nationally and overseas. He travels extensively each year with plein air events. Home is in Granite City, IL where he owns and operates Lon Brauer Studios.
December 15, 2017 - January 26, 2018
Urban environments are full of abstract designs created accidentally or intentionally by human activity. Scuffs and scrapes, stains, grid lines, surveyors’ markings, and graffiti fascinate me. There are surprising juxtapositions of materials and texture in the urban environment. I like to create artwork in direct response to what I see.
From the earliest cave paintings “signed” by a handprint, human beings have wanted to leave their marks. A sidewalk with wet cement is an open invitation for someone to say, “I was here.” Chain-link fences fail to keep taggers and graffiti artists from leaving messages on fenced-in walls. These walls, along with current social tensions that create invisible fences, raise questions about identity, who is “in” and who is “out,” and why.
Process and materials play an important role in my work. Fabricating my Jacquard tapestries on computerized industrial machinery has provided a wonderfully precise way to render surface detail and visual texture. Weaving provides a way to “paint” with dots of color that combine to render an image, as in a pointillist painting. The difference here is that the color is not applied to a surface. It is the surface. In this sense, a tapestry is both image and object.
August 4 - September 15, 2017
Through a street art aesthetic I strive to capture a shared social conscience and offer truths of increasingly complex and significant political, economic and social issues of our time; where light shines, shadows fall. Candor and social justice drive my creative process resulting in stark yet elegant artwork that encourages an audience to critically view their world, focus on what is habitually overlooked, face what may be uncomfortable truths, and act to improve their lives and those of others. At every opportunity I reference values, satirically or directly – integrity, humility, compassion, selflessness, trustworthiness, responsibility, and dependability – on large canvases of size and weight consistent with the gravity of the issues to which they speak. Truths are transcribed through acrylic spray paint – a street artist’s instrument – as the “street” is most often and most severely deprived of social justice. Images of the feminine from centuries-old artwork, often of moralist movements, are routinely appropriated and embedded into compositions to suggest causality between the current imbalance of the feminine and masculine in our social constructs and institutions and many of the social ills being faced today. Consistent with my rebellious undertone, as this artwork was generally acquired by the era’s social elite I consider appropriation of its imagery today in the service of socially-conscious work to be particularly fitting.
"The artist's job is to be a witness to his time in history." - Robert Rauschenberg
Following a meditation-induced heart opening in the Summer of 2013, Michael Fischerkeller was inspired to elucidate through art the truths of disruptive social issues of our time. Having acquired a Ph.D. in political science in 1996, Michael leverages his academic background to offer concise, often poignant compositions and accompanying narratives to provide deep understanding and coherence of complex issues. Fischerkeller is inspired by street artists and so, recognizing that the “street” is most often and most severely impacted by social issues, he chose their primary instrument of communication - spraypaint - to deliver his messages. His starting point is always a black canvas, symbolic of the black light referenced in Sufi mystical prose from which the light of our universe emanates, light that seeks to overcome the darkness in our lives. Through on-going meditative practice Michael receives guidance on issues upon which he should focus and imagery to support their understanding. His artwork has been shown in dozens of juried exhibitions, nationally and internationally, with a particular emphasis on exhibitions focusing on art’s role in promoting social change. He strives to ensure that his art educates, inspires, and offers opportunities for personal healing. Michael lives and creates in the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
FRIENDS OF THE FOUNDRY
an invitational exhibition
April 28 - June 9, 2017
Gallery III featured artwork from regional and national artists who support the mission of the Foundry Art Centre. Friends of the Foundry was a collection of all-media artwork priced at $300 each.
Bruce Alves III, Christine Casten, Jim Carlson, James Chase, Jie Chen & Ting He, Dave Coleman, Ann Croghan, Christopher Day, Ryan Doyle, Mark Fisher, Chase Gamblin, Sue Giannotti, MJ Goerke, Jessica Gullberg, David Hanlon, Spring Renee Hansen, Jana Hellrung, Lisa Hinrichs, Laura Hohn, Ruth Kolker, Karen Kotner, Laura Lloyd, Don McKenna, Janice Schoultz Mudd, Jacob Overstreet, Diane Papageorge, Dominic Phillips, Michael Quintero, Susan Reis, John Thomas Richard, Natalie Rupp, Jillian Kaye Schoettle, Margaret Seiler, Chris Sharp, Lisa Sisley-Blinn, Carla Tuetken, Evan & Miranda Wagman, Travis Wagner, Melissa Whitwam, Jody Williams, and Ken Wood.
March 10 - April 21, 2017
I awake hearing the rumblings of a grandfather a lifetime away, I see the fingerprints of a woman long dead on my breakfast, and I work to the rhythmic footsteps of a man plowing fields half a century ago. I cannot define myself except in their words. My relationship to this mythology is that of a mule to its yoke. This mythology binds and burdens me, yet it allows me the confidence of definite path. This body of work addresses these blessed burdens; it allows me to understand my own compulsions and to give permanence to all the things I find are too easily forgotten and impossible to live without.
I have come to see the tobacco farmer as every bit the craftsman I aspire to be, and metalsmithing forms my tribute to those who bent their backs to labor we now consider unnecessary. The physicality of process binds me to the South with a shared labor. I fold rows of copper as a harrow rolls hills of dirt, grateful for the ache given by the day’s efforts as it mimics those of the arthritic hands of my grandmother after a day in the fields. Art allows me to catalog this journey, broadcasting the allegories of my childhood in new and verdant minds with the hopes that they may live on when even I have left them behind.
January 19 – March 3, 2017
My paintings mingle classical and contemporary signs and symbols, as well as the juxtaposition of certain figures and still life elements to express the themes of power relationships; in particular, the presence and absence of people throughout our lives and the indelible impressions that presence or absence creates. How humanity is revealed through vulnerability. Sometimes this is completely illogical, such as when we let those long gone affect us to the point of distraction. When we let people, or even abstract concepts, have power over us - we reveal our humanity.
November 18, 2016 – January 6, 2017
The process of looking, discovering and gathering is essential to my work. I am drawn to items that many may consider overlooked and insignificant. I draw inspiration from an object’s transition from useful to useless and how it can reflect societal values. In this body of work, I subvert the value of the discarded by using the glove as stand in for intimacy.
The glove can serve as a metaphor for connection in its many forms. There is a physical connection that exists between the glove and skin. A garment works as shelter for skin; its purpose is to provide warmth and protection. Similarly, people draw strength and security from the relationships we form with one another. Using discarded gloves, I draw attention to the value, importance, and desire for human connection in an industrialized world of increasing isolation.
This Digital Life: Inside and Out
September 30 – November 11, 2016
Across multiple small screens, mounted on the wall, with their inner-workings exposed and cables tangled, the artist displays video and animation. Each small screen contains fragmented segments of simple gestures or actions that challenge viewers to question the world, both inside and out of the digital realm.
While each piece functions a little differently, all the works in this exhibition are centered on the tension between the physicality of the technology and the imagery displayed: the space and movement depicted on the screens may invite viewers “inside” the screens’ boundaries but the chaotic presence of the physical apparatus keeps pushing their attention back “out”. This visual/conceptual shifting back and forth is meant to unsettle and provoke questions about time, memory, illusion, perception, desire and physical presence.
Vonda Yarberry has been working in digital media since 1986. She has been teaching Animation and Electronic Arts at Missouri State University since 1989. Her work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States and abroad. She received her MFA from Rutgers, Mason Gross School of the Arts and her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute.
Flight of Obscurity VII
August 12 – September 23, 2016
Growing up in a family of pilots, I was exposed to the awe-inspiring mysteries of flight at an early age. As an adolescent, my introduction to aviation developed into a deep respect and love for the field. Countless hours were spent building models of planes and talking about aircraft with my father, a certified aviation mechanic and instructor, whose passion propelled my curiosity. Our conversations resulted in my interest in aviation to light utilizing construction techniques and processes (such as riveting and sheet metal fabrication) that have been used throughout aviation history.
Human existence is closely tied to travel. We have always desired to travel, especially in ways in which we were not physically designed. The boundaries of our existence on this planet have been significantly transformed in the last century, as our yearning to defy earthly limitations via manned flight became a reality. Of course a more sinister side to air travel arises from conflict, where aircraft have been used to inflict harm on an enemy. I communicate concepts booted in aviation history through a visual language that references both travel and warfare by hand fabricating dynamic and iconic forms of flight. These sculptures consist of cones that are integrated with spires and held together under tension, supported by utilitarian containers (crates). This fragile relationship of forms exposes the delicate balance between grace and imminent danger, similar to the fleeting ballet of courting birds or the hostility felt between foes engaged in a dogfight. Through references to aeronautical form, the sculptures in flight of obscurity communicate tension and dance in direct opposition of fundamental forces.
Faces and Places of the World
June 24 - August 5, 2016
“Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” - Gustave Flaubert
As a professional problem solver for IBM who majored in Applied Math and Computer Science Engineering at a time when computers were room-sized and women engineers a rarity, I had limited leisure for my true passions - travel and photography. That changed when I retired in 2007. Now I carry a camera rather than a briefcase and strive to capture those fleeting moments in digital images.
I enjoy exploring our fascinating world; people and their stories draw me. I love when we come in contact in such a close and personal way. To look into the eyes of another culture is to share deeply into what it is to be human. I appreciate being reminded over and again that all of us on this incredible planet care for the same things - to live securely, with freedom to work and provide for ourselves, our loved ones and our own community. When I look through the lens of my camera and find that light in their eyes, I know I have found a way for us to communicate. These are the experiences that I will never forget and want to share with others – the little moments and places that compose life.
Although I have visited parts of over 70 countries and most of the United States, I still have many new places to experience and share. I have exhibited locally at Art St Louis, Barnes Jewish Hospital, Foundry Art Centre, Framations Art Gallery, Maryville University, Regional Arts Commission, St Louis Artist's Guild, UMSL, as well as other venues, where my prints have won multiple awards. My photography was featured in the online magazine “The Arts Live” in Fall 2013.
Group III Award Winners from Fiber Fever
May 6 - June 17, 2016
My interactions with my environment are shaped, influenced, and often viewed through the lens of technology and its evolution, and my work reflects this digitally inspired perspective. The history of textile manufacturing is intimately entwined with computer technology and its advances. The loom, with its warp and weft, was the first binary information system, a system that provides the framework for computer programming and mobile technology today. The roles women have played historically and presently in the home, the office, the industry are comparable to the roles expected of contemporary technology- none more so than the role of the mobile phone.
Fabric has a soft materiality that is referenced by digital culture (networks, etc), yet as a material it is grounded in the physical, and it is close to us at all times. It is a material whose production and manipulation has been traditionally associated with women, and it is also an expression of identity on the part of the person using it, whether as clothing, home decoration, or craft production. In my work, I am interested in exploring self representation on the Internet and through mobile applications. This includes the use of platforms like Instagram, which neatly confuse traditional ideas of public and private space. I often use images of both men and women in my work, and I am primarily concerned with examining gendered power dynamics and social positions, such as those found in relationships or in the workplace, and this theme can be seen throughout my portfolio.
Sharing our lives in real-time through technology has become a part of who we are as a society, and how we construct our online selves makes a difference in our experiences in physical space. With the help of the computers in our pockets, we take pictures and videos, send messages to friends and strangers, check the weather, find people to date, add to our ever-growing calendars and lists of things to do, and map our destinations. We are touching from a distance, through panes of glass. The mobile phone has seamlessly integrated itself into our lives through its usefulness and convenience, and it is one of the few objects we keep almost as close to our bodies as the fabric whose soft materiality divides it from us. We now have the ability to communicate with others around the world and near to us at any location we choose, experiencing our lives through the mediation of the screen. We can peer into each other’s lives with the push of a button, using symbols instead of words to comment on the moments we observe; we pare down our communication with our family and friends, choosing images to convey our thoughts. Navigating both the virtual world and the physical world, we exist in several places at once.
May 6 - June 17, 2016
Sweater, (n); one who works hard, a toiler; a tailor who worked for an employer overtime at home; one who sweats gold coins. (Oxford English Dictionary)
“Contextus” is a series of handmade sweaters, the livery of a war cry for various socio-political issues. For “Dentata” my dental records were rendered to create the pattern for a nordic yoked sweater. Folklore describes a toothed vagina, the implication being that sexual misconduct will not go unpunished. With “Alchem-amy,” an aran sweater, I employ the honeycomb pattern (the textile worker’s symbol of labor) to produce swollen yet threatening muscle groups on the garment’s wearer. Outraged by the political blunders of my home state, the “Inverted Flag” sweater severs my political allegiance.
Another set of garments incorporate obsolete roman numerals to encode my social security or credit card numbers, in order to comment on the perceived fear of a lost or stolen identity. We think of clothing as protection, but must also recognize its function as relentless self-identification. That which wraps around our vulnerable bodies shielding us, and making disclosures to an audience of fellow players.
Hailed as “radical in its romance,” Keefer's work is rooted in wearable art, simultaneously addressing textile practices and relational aesthetics. Conscious of the constructs at play when dressing and the cultural resistance of making, her aim is to awaken deep complications surrounding labor, trauma and commerce using her own body as an exploratory site.
Her work has been recognized widely throughout the United States.
May 6 - June 17, 2016
March 18 - April 29, 2016
Hir Play is a body of work that questions our desire to label and assign gender to play, processes, and materials through the use of sculptural objects and video.
Group III AWard WINNERS FROM RAG DOLLS, ROBOTS & ROCKETSHIPS
December 11, 2015 – January 22, 2016
December 11, 2015 – January 22, 2016
December 11, 2015 – January 22, 2016
Colored light is my subject matter. The “Light Structures” series is about the transformation of light, which lacks mass, into the illusion of volume and space. The notion of capturing light as the subject of artwork evolved from observing the increasing emphasis placed upon the virtual realm in our daily lives. My process involves capturing images of neon lighting through long exposures against the backdrop of night. These images serve as the raw material. They are vividly colorful, volumeless, and abstract. The post capture process relies upon layering and transparency. Fragments from several dozen neon light images are integrated into a single finished piece creating the perception of mass and volume.
I am fascinated by the differences between perception and vision. In this way the work is inspired by color dynamics. Colors shift as they are affected by neighboring colors, varying intensities, boundaries and layers.
Group III Award Winners From Paper Cuts
How the Present Rearranges the Past
October 22 – December 4, 2015
“The thing we call a place is the intersection of many changing forces passing through, whirling around, mixing, dissolving, and exploding in a fixed location.” Rebecca Solnit, The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness
My artwork examines actual and constructed memory, especially as it related to my upbringing in Poland and immigration to the United States. My recollections of the places I occupied in Poland and in my initial years in Chicago, the city I immigrated to, serve as the whirling, mixing, dissolving, and exploding forces that Rebecca Solnit references in The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness.
Memory is liminal. Remembering a place is not an act of recollecting the actual place but our last memory of that place. Therefore, my work is often an abstraction of a place, space, building, folktale, or event that had a lasting impression. I use images that reference my father’s elaborate gardens, my mother’s colorful textiles, the Slavic folktale of the Baba Jaga, and the majestic skyscrapers of Chicago. Images repeat, change direction, and dominance. All of these actions mimic the actions of memory.
Time Is Now
October 22 – December 4, 2015
Strength, Weakness, Reversal.
Resolve, Perseverance, Faith.
These works are the Evidence.
Shadows on the Wall
October 22 – December 4, 2015
I have always been fascinated by the interplay of light and shadow and how that interaction reveals form in many interesting ways. My work recalls forgotten imagery of shadow play observed but not recorded. Whether I am working in cut paper or steel sculpture, the work is a subtractive process, removing a cut shape to reveal others in a framework of both positive and
My process is marked by a series of limitations. By saying no, I say yes. By creating concise design rules or parameters, I am free to explore infinite variations of image rhythms and patterns within those constraints. I then take great joy in breaking those arbitrary rules for further explorations.
group show | Award Winners from Beneath the Covers
Dimensional, Expansive Pages
September 3 – October 16, 2015
Charlene Asato grew up in Mountain View on the Island of Hawai‘i, earned a BA in Art from the University of Hawai‘i and moved to California in 1967. While working in bank operations then raising a family, she kept an interest in crafts, photography and graphic design, creating school fundraising brochures and programs. A pivotal point in her art development was in the 1980s when she started taking classes in calligraphy that also combined card making and bookbinding. Through more classes and workshops she developed a love of lettering and bookbinding and the potential of paper.
In 2003, she moved back to Mountain View, Hawai‘i and has been focusing on the creation of artist’s books. She includes various processes in her work like calligraphy, photography, decorative paper designing, watercolor, pen and ink, embossing, relief printing, origami, assemblage and collage. Her artist’s books have been in many juried shows locally and nationally. She had a solo exhibition of her artist’s books at the East Hawai‘i Cultural Center/ Hawai‘i Museum of Contemporary Art in Hilo, Hawai‘i in 2012. She occasionally teaches paper arts and bookbinding workshops. Charlene finds it very exciting that a simple fold changes a two-dimensional plane into a three-dimensional form and artist’s books provide a wonderful avenue to convey this energy. Some of her books may open up to quiet charm or may open in an explosion of surprise. She derives inspiration from the Hawaiian and Japanese culture and the patterns, textures, shapes and colors in nature and around her. Gardens are her favorite places to contemplate and recharge her vision. Her garden, on an acre, is filled with tropical plants (including many Hawaiian native plants) and is a source of
inspiration to her.
Avoiding the Wall
September 3 – October 16, 2015
I was trained as a printmaker, and I still do aquatint and wood engraving frequently, in addition to black and white photography, and graphite drawing. All of these media go on a wall, usually in a frame and mat. Once I had a dream of myself smooshed into a wall. This was just before a big exhibition.
Artists’ books allow me to avoid the wall, and I think that is important for me as an artist—to be forced to think in a more three-dimensional manner and work with entirely different structures and media. In addition, I often use artist’s books as an alternative way to present prints, photographs, and drawings. Sometimes it feels sacrilegious to sew a print into a book, or fold a print in half, or glue a photograph to a page, but on the other hand, it’s so fun. The result is another way for the viewer to see the work, often in a more concentrated or condensed manner. I also enjoy repurposing used, cancelled, and sealed copper plates as covers, and used and sealed wood engraving blocks as pages, adding a proof of the relevant print to the back of the block.
With artists’ books, the structures used to contain the content are as important as the content. This is not the case with prints, photographs, and drawings framed and hung on a wall. The framing is secondary, and often only attended to when done badly. I like the craftsmanship demanded for artists’ books. I like careful measurement, structural integrity, and combining elements using basic design principles and color theory. The process is both complicated and pure, demanding and straightforward. I think I like making artists’ books because those two words describe me.
Sometimes Rivers Flow Backwards
September 3 – October 16, 2015
The artists’ book is a favorable alternative to the traditional method of exhibiting photographs on the wall. Artists’ books do not require costly matting and framing to be presentable. More importantly, the artists’ book provides an experience different than other mediums. It is a time based medium, similar to theatre and music, but it is also a physical piece of work the viewer must hold and interact with to understand. The viewer has an intimate relationship with the book by feeling its textures and turning its pages, instead of viewing an image on the wall across the room. Additionally, the artist’s book is its own piece of work and is not to be confused with a monograph, a book that reproduces two and three-dimensional works of art that should be seen in person.
If you were to think of a photograph in the same way you consider a single song, then an artists’ book is similar to an entire album of music complete with cover art and line notes. The artists’ book allows me to combine images with text and incorporate materials, like handmade paper, and processes, such as letterpress, staining, and layering various colors of paper to create limited edition works of art that can convey a more complete, realized idea than a single image is capable of doing.
A few years ago I had a graduate student who was trying unsuccessfully to make tintypes. None of the photography faculty knew how to advise him on the process. So I ordered a tintype kit during the winter break, watched some online videos and made calls to other tintype photographers I knew. Most artists will ask themselves or be asked by others why they work in a particular medium. A tintype is a one of a kind photograph like a Polaroid or Daguerreotype. I started making tintypes while visiting my family in Georgia. I have one mom, one dad, one brother, one sister, one niece and one nephew. This series of work started by photographing people with whom I have one of a kind relationships. While making these portraits I noticed the time consuming process allows me to devote a concentrated period with each person. I then started making tintypes of students and colleagues in Louisiana as a way to spend time with them outside of the normal school setting. I continued to branch out and include acquaintances I have known for years but have never had a good reason to spend a significant amount of time together so we could get to know one another. Making the tintype is a reason to gather. Later the tintype is a document of that time, much like a record is a document of musicians performing together.
Some of my photographs are constructed images where I consciously decide what to leave in and what to leave out. Other images are simply my documentation of what I see as being notable, whether it is good, bad or something I realize is impermanent and will be seen by others only if I take the time to save it in the small way I can.
The pieces I make have particular meaning to me, but I understand other people will see them in their own way. My photographs are not necessarily created to illustrate or provide answers. If anything, I would like for my images to generate more questions. I do not see them as endpoints, but rather starting places where I give the viewer ideas to ponder and allow room for their imagination to create the rest of the story.
September 3 – October 16, 2015
September 3 - October 16, 2015
Approaching my crone years, I am filled with a creative energy, not yet urgent, but close. I feel bound to cre-
ate just like I am bound to sleep. It is what wakes me.
From life and nature, on walks in the woods at sunset, in moments that take your breath away, I make paper from what I have gathered and saved. Recent found objects are now being added to the mix, stored with chips from my psyche, pieces of my heart and spirit. The work is the voice my mind: sculpture, nature collages, non-traditional baskets, vessels, illuminaries, and wall pieces. I hook up the art with poetic writing or quotes that speak to me - to form the work. Then I offer up the combination to the universe in exchange for all its wonders. The natural materials connect to the earth, and the writing, grounded in the art form, leans toward the metaphysical. One inspires the other.
Lit Lite: Visual Poetry Installations
September 25 - November 7, 2014
Transience, referring to the psychological and physical state of homelessness, is the concept that perhaps best defines the inspiration behind my work. Through the thematic content of the writing in both my installations and fictional prose, as well the ephemeral reality of my medium (paper), I am able to express my personal fascination with what constitutes home, the effects of displacement and immigration, language as a barrier, and the process by which we construct new cultural identities.
This fascination arises from my own Banat Swabian and Peruvian heritage, its multi-ethnic contradictions and conflicted history, as well as my migratory childhood which impressedon me from a young age the feeling of “otherness”. My suspicions that I was something of an anathema, along with my sense of homelessness, manifested itself early on in a love of Roma music, alienated fictional heroines, and portrait painting, along with an obsessive preoccupation with architectural floor plans. However, it was not until my debut novel, Gibbin House (2011), that I first treated the idea of transience consciously, introducing characters during the European postwar era who face geographic and personal exile. As such, they are forced to conquer the impotence of voicelessness in foreign places and in their relationships; people being much like strange countries themselves.
As to the wall-size paper installations which constitute much of my plastic art, and which I have come to call “Lichtsprache” (Illuminated Language): I began creating these mixed-media works following the completion of Gibbin House, in order to transcend the inherently hermetic nature of the writing process. By publicly exposing my words, my personal artwork, and the material culture of my journey as an author (typed manuscripts, collected postcards, floppy disks, discarded notes, etc.), I aimed to offer an intimate glimpse at a writer’s interior landscape. This impetus evolved organically into the sculpture ‘Off the Page’, which elevates the novel’s final page to an artwork in its own right through the ephemeral combination of paper and light.
When the meticulously-cut yet still dangling letters of these cascading paper sculptures are lit from behind, the effect reinforces the spontaneous, oral vibrancy of language. The words themselves become transient, seemingly wanting to float off the page. At the same time, the act of cutting paper is an irreversible one, symbolizing an ironic permanence, a commitment to direction. The sculpture’s success has since prompted me to continue exploring the relationship between the traditionally inward direction of literature and the external power of visual art. My fictional subjects serve as springboards in this symbiotic creative process. Alternately, I also employ the paper surface for works of poetry 'chants'.
I call my poems 'chants' because they evolve from a word or phrase on which I must meditate during the process of cutting each letter freehand. The perpetual incantation organically inspires the sound or image of the next, the motif functioning as both a visual and musical building block that slowly draws in other elements. Since such poems depend on the immediacy of the physical creation, they are each a product entirely of the moment. This means that despite their graphic precision, they are each absolute and spontaneous originals.
Together with integrated elements like graphite drawings, embroidery, light features, and voice recordings, these white paper blankets of poetry hang in the space like giant conversations, addressing identity, transculturation, human value, displacement, and the power of words.
On occasion, I work with raw or indigenously crafted paper in place of my regular floor-to-ceiling format. Collected on my travels and much smaller in scale, these papers are already imbued with their own cultural subtext, and thus offer interesting possibilities in weaving together ideas on language, culture, and gender roles.
My next book project is the novel Humboldt’s Riches. It is currently in progress, and will be a modern semi-autobiographical ‘Heart of Darkness’ that leads a Romanian protagonist and her young family into Peru’s remote Apurimac region during the guerilla uprising of 1980. In keeping with my creative process, the book will be accompanied by KONZEPTION, a series of paper installations that act as a sort of visual “hypertext”, wherein I either treat the novel’s themes and characters, or the experience of writing itself.
group show | award winners from luminous language
Read All Over
August 8 – September 19, 2014
I wanted to do something big. Either big in subject, or big in concept, or big in physical size…or all of these. I was given a wall. A blank. A space for something to happen. Art is the solving of problems. A challenge. A challenge of time, space, and ideas. Fill the void with something meaningful. Or leave it alone.
My work is about process. The thing that goes on the wall is only the end result of a lot of working, and thinking, and more working to make something from nothing. The viewer misses a lot of the stuff that goes on underneath. Through the use of drawing, painting, scraping, more drawing, and more painting I hope to be able to reveal some of that early activity as well as make a meaningful concluding statement.
Figurative painting carries with it narrativity. It is this that draws us to the figure in art. Whether overt or mysterious there is a story being told. It is for the viewer to squirrel it out. We are poised on the centennial of the start of the Great War. In early August Europe of 1914 saw troops in movement, battles fought, lives lost. Before it’s end 4 years later it was to turn into a horrible protracted conflict sucking the very life from the entire globe. Is this group of paintings about the WWI? Perhaps. The titles would suggest that and I have organized it as such. I would contend, however, that there may be more to be gleaned from the images. Other stories, other interpretations, other experiences.
It is figurative, after all.
Stacey adams McAdams
August 8 – September 19, 2014
Creativity flows within me, and painting are my mediums of expression. My passion began at an early age, just like any other child, and has blossomed throughout the years into a distinctive form of artwork. I use a variety of painting and drawing techniques, using both oil paintings and india inks. I paint from life or photographs to capture everyday objects at their greatest potential. You may see an old rusted, dusty typewriter. I see a beautiful patina, a palette of colors, and beautiful line work. I hope that through my artwork you will see these everyday items are extraordinary, and that you too shall never look at them the same again.
August 8 – September 19, 2014
Composite: (noun) – a complex material in which two or more distinct structurally complementary substances combine to produce structural or functional properties not present in any individual component.
This exhibition presents a series of works that examines the relationship between painting and photography. These pieces focus upon the intersection between two robust and complex visual languages, and how they influence the way we see the world. My previous work in painting has always maintained an interest in transitional zones. This has included the investigation of the inter-coastal landscape, exploring the areas where human intervention transforms the natural environment, and even transitional times of day. I am drawn to moments where identities are in flux, and are being constantly redefined.
This has informed this current work as I explore the relationship between painting and photography, and seek to deconstruct that unproductive dichotomy. These two media have always been in a pas de deux that has greatly influenced their respective developments, and I find the terrain of their intersection exciting, complex, and provocative.
The hydraulic nature of this investigation poses many questions about value, labor, perception, and even what is real? What are some of our assumptions about the photographic image as compared to the painted one? How does the process of photographing a painting (Haberle Selfie), or painting a photograph (Acadia Reflection Case) influence how we think about those images?
I am also interested in what constitutes what we consider “natural” or “manipulated” in our environment. In Spiral Jetty the famous earthwork is painted above a mineral display at the Museum of Natural History in New York, also arranged in a spiral formation. They are macro and micro examples of a manipulated landscape arranged in the elemental form of nature’s spiral. The painted image parallels the laborious construction of its source image, while the camera creates an undiscriminating inventory of the other.
New technological advances have continued to blur the distinctions between these media, and with the advent of the digital image in photography, manipulation software like Photoshop challenges the notion of truth and authority on an unprecedented scale. Recently the ability to print these images onto canvas supports has allowed anyone to shoot a photograph with their phone, and within a week have it printed on canvas and hanging on their wall. The physical print competes with the painted canvas with all of its attending associations.
This body of work offers up more questions than answers about these ideas, but some of those questions are at the core of how we see, and subsequently understand, our world. As the cascade of images we are exposed to each day continues to proliferate, these questions will likely only grow more complex.
March 14 – April 25, 2014
All of the forms I am working with are made of paper maché, for which I have developed my own "mash" recipe. The major ingredient is "found" material - such as office paper, junk mail, old art announcements, and remaindered and reclaimed books. Additionally, I've been reusing the trimmings and sanding dust from sculptures I've previously worked on, and also incorporated scrapings from my art materials mixing bowls. I even re-use the water that helps me make the mash itself, and when it's spent, finally apply it to water our garden. It is very important to me that I am recycling on a primary level, but by turning refuse into art I am also performing a kind of alchemy. The remainder of the materials that go into my paper maché mash are pretty innocuous: wheat paste and linseed oil (renewable vegetable resources), white glue (a natural protein resource), and plaster of Paris (a naturally occurring mineral resource). I do use electric shaping tools (belt and orbital sanders) in addition to lots and lots of elbow grease (hopefully an infinitely renewable local natural resource) - all this done on the second floor of an 1860's stone outbuilding behind my home in downtown Mineral Point, WI.
The shapes I'm interested in lately refer to an amazing sculptural connection between the forms of embryonic cell division and regional Native American artifacts. I also reference other international historic objects - whether vessels, tools, or unnamed mysterious items, they all resonate with the use of many hands. Some of the colorful patterning reflects my fascination with various obsolete writing systems - for instance, the squiggles on "Facsimile of a Scene from the Afterlife” are actually a Gregg shorthand transcription of the title of a wonderful portion of an ancient Egyptian tomb - it illustrates spell number 110 from the Book of the Dead. Less morbidly, perhaps, my kayaker’s obsession with navigable waterways has resulted in the Wisconsin Waters series. There, I’ve taken the forms of lakes and rivers directly from our state atlas for use as pattern. Abstract, geometric patterns that recur in disparatecultures across the globe are also captivating.
Group show | Award Winners From PaperWork: In, On and Of paper VI
January 24 – March 7, 2014
Sandria Hu Pogue
January 24– March 7, 2014
January 24– March 7, 2014
January 24– March 7, 2014
Longing for Nonsense
May 17 - June 21, 2013
My work explores the interaction between dualities within material and form. My current installation work examines architecture, enclosures, and the relationship between space and viewer. The interaction between light, shadow, and texture within each installation is considered. Research includes looking at contemporary and ancient architecture with an emphasis on aesthetic intent. Strong columnar forms are interpreted from ancient examples as well as contemporary counterparts. Material considerations are interpreted from modern and contemporary sources. Metal wire is often included in the warp and weft along with nylon monofilament to enhance interaction with ambient light. Questions such as the comfort level of an enclosure, scale in relationship to the viewer, and organic versus rigid forms are addressed within the body of work.
Smaller works consider the interactions of individuals on a more intimate basis. How one considers oneself perceived by their peers, how they place themselves in the world; all of these nuances are fascinating when abstracted in an art form, transcending the potential mundane of the everyday.