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Posts Tagged ‘art exhibition’

The One-eyed Blue-tongued Devil at the Falls of the Ohio

The river is rising as I write this.  Just the other day…we had a storm that just sat on us and poured down a massive quantity of water.  This is to my count, the fourth time this year that we have experienced high water on the Ohio River.  Fortunately, none of them have been true floods on the big river.  All the art projects and the materials I have collected and cached at my various sites this year are gone or in different locations within the Falls of the Ohio State Park.  Having the time and opportunity to access the life at the Falls is a still a big priority for me, but the river and weather don’t always cooperate.

One-eyed Blue-tongued Devil with Blue Ball

I’m out here as often as I can get away and since time is usually limited…I work quickly forming plans for projects as I take advantage of what that day presents.  A typical visit starts off first with a walk checking out what’s new in the area for potential materials and sites for projects.  I’m also looking for new birds, what fish the fishermen are having success with, any new flowering plants and the insects they may attract.  Because of the river, the areas I frequent are dynamic and change frequently which is a big part of the attraction.  After making the rounds, I will return to one of my outdoor studio sites where I store materials for later use or to take home with me at the end of the day.  If there is one change in my creative process over the past year, it is on relying on my home work space more to get things done.

Petrochemical Rainbow in progress in my home studio.

Work in progress, late January 2017

And, as you can see by these especially well-curated and selectively chosen images, there’s also plenty to work with here!  If the river was to evaporate away tomorrow…I will be in good shape for a while as far as materials go.  Drinking water and taking a hot shower, however, may be another story.  Since I participated in a recent two person exhibition that I haven’t mentioned yet, this looks like a good opportunity to share something about that.

Post card invitation for Cross Currents exhibition, Feb. 2017

My friends David McGuire and Karen Welch formed Craft(s) Gallery and Mercantile in Louisville to help promote the work and sale of Kentucky’s creative people.  I accepted their invitation to show with Mack Dryden who is another Falls of the Ohio enthusiast who also happens to be a professional comedian. Mack likes to collect the driftwood that he finds and makes more formal compositions with them.  We decided to title our exhibition “Cross Currents…” since while we appreciate nature and what the river gives us…our approaches to art making are different.  Here are a few installation shots from this show.

Taking my "Foamies" to market, late January 2017

I threw this picture in here because this is something most people don’t see or consider…how an artist gets their work from one place to the next.  Fortunately for me, most of the shows I participate in are within a day’s drive of Louisville.  In this case, I’m just going across town.  Shipping can get problematic and costly.  Ironically, since most of my Styrofoam projects don’t weigh anything…they do however, take up “dimensional space” meaning I’m charged for how much room my box occupies on the truck or cargo jet regardless of the weight.  As  you can see, I’m rather careless with my own work with minimal or nonexistent packaging.  I think there is something about knowing where my materials come from that causes me to be casual and not at all precious about what happens to my projects.  I still leave a lot of stuff behind at the river.

Cross Currents exhibition, Crafts and Mercantile Gallery, Louisville, KY, Feb. 2017

Cross Currents installation view, Craft(s) Gallery and Mercantile, Louisville, KY, Feb. 2017

Installation view of Cross Currents exhibition, Craft(s) Gallery and Mercantile, Lousiville, KY, Feb. 2017

Our exhibition was up for the month of February and was well received.  I brought projects that hadn’t been seen in Louisville before including some new colorful, plastic bottle pieces I had been working on during 2016.  My bird sculptures also did well and they seem to be many people’s favorite works by me.  I also included new dye sublimation prints on aluminum that I had made of river works that no longer exist. Most of my Falls projects after all these years of doing this project remain preserved as images only.Styrofigure with found, plastic battery operated car, Falls of the Ohio 2017

Relatively speaking this has been a warm spring and delightful when it wasn’t pouring buckets of rain on occasions.  When the opportunity presented itself…I started several new series of works taking advantage of and calling attention to the many other materials that I find in the park.  I look forward to sharing them with you and hopefully…I won’t let so much time go by.  Until then….

One-eyed, Blue-tongued Devil holding a white bottle, Falls of the Ohio, Feb. 2017

 

 

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Entry into the Giles Gallery, Sept. 24, 2015

My Artist at Exit 0 show opened at the Giles Gallery on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, KY.  I was able to make the opening reception which is a two-hour drive from my house.  Gallery Director, Esther Randall did a great job of installing the artworks so they flowed easily from one piece to the next.  I was wondering if I had brought too many or too few art works, but it seems everything worked out just right.

"La Belle Riviere" at the Giles Gallery, Eastern KY University, Sept. 24, 2015

I was especially interested in how Esther would display my giant necklace entitled “La Belle Riviere”?  She mounted the piece in a corner of the gallery and created a shape similar to the one I photographed on the willow tree.  I had a new enlargement of that image created, a dye sublimation print on aluminum and it looked great located near the actual necklace.

Dye sublimation print, "La Belle Riviere", Giles Gallery, E.K.U., Sept. 2015

What was especially gratifying was getting to meet and talk with some of the art students and faculty members who attended the reception.  Many of them had previewed the show and a few had formed opinions which they shared with me.  There was a lot of curiosity about the work.  In general, the artworks were received favorably, however, knowing what my materials are and how I obtained them is also a sad state of affairs that left a few of the students feeling conflicted.  My art is my attempt to reconcile those very same feelings within me.  I describe the situation as being “absurd” which to me is a word that encapsulates both comedy and tragedy.  Many of my Falls artworks have a surface charm to them, but when you dig a little deeper you find a darker side that critiques our handling of and perceived place within nature.

Al with students (1), Giles Gallery, E.K.U., Sept. 24, 2015, photo by Esther Randall

The reception lasted just a couple of hours and the time went by quickly.  Before leaving for home, I did a quick spin around the space and made these snapshots of my work installed in the gallery.  At home, I’m used to seeing them stacked on boxes or leaning on one another in my basement.  Lack of storage space is also one reason I don’t save every work I make at the Falls of the Ohio.  For me, it is also an odd feeling seeing my work on pedestals and treated the way other art is presented.  That is another whole discussion altogether and it was touched upon in my conversations with the students.  Following are a few more gallery views.

Al art on exhibit at the Giles Gallery, E.K.U., Sept. 2015

Giles Gallery, E.K.U. September 2015

Giles Gallery, E.K.U., "Yellow Concentrate" and "Styro-beaver", Sept. 2015

Giles Gallery, E.K.U., Sept. 2015

Giles Gallery, E.K.U., Sept. 2015

Gallery view, E.K.U. Sept. 2015

Here’s a few images of new works and details from favorite pieces.  Let’s start with my plastic bottle piece, “Petrochemical Color Spectrum”.  It’s a more formal work, but I like the color it brings to the show.

"Petrochemical Color Spectrum", found materials from the Falls of the Ohio, Sept. 2015

Another bottle piece from a few years back and made with found coal, plastic and glass bottles, and wood…entitled, “Mountaintop Mini-bar”.

" Mountaintop Mini--bar", found materials from the Falls of the Ohio, Sept. 2015

Here’s a detail from a figurative sculpture I created entitled “The Inhaler”.  Finding the inhaler on the riverbank was the starting point for this work.

detail from "The Inhaler", Giles Gallery, E.K.U., September 2015

A recent figurative work…”Jimmy D.”  This piece has a nice presence to it.  I think making the eyes a bit mismatched contributes to that.

Detail of "Jimmy D.", Giles Gallery, E.K.U., Sept. 2015

A couple more images before closing this post.  I did send Esther an artist’s statement I used unsuccessfully while applying for a grant.  She did a good job editing it and this was posted on the gallery walls.

Artist's Statement, Giles Gallery, E.K.U., September 2015

I was sorry to see the night drawing to an end, but there was one other nice surprise in store for me.  On the drive home, I was treated to a really wonderful sunset!  The exhibition will remain on view through October 16, 2015.  See you soon near the banks of the Ohio River.

Kentucky sunset, Sept. 24, 2015

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E.K.U. show card, Sept. 2015

Although this is my first post of the month…my heart has not been far from the river or the odd kind of art that I make from the found remains of our material culture.  A few months back, I accepted the generous offer from Esther Randall, who is the Gallery Director of the Giles Galleries at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond to show in their upstairs gallery.  The bottom gallery will hold the colorful welded sculptures of Walter Early and his show will run concurrently with mine.  I do like the postcard Esther created.  She found two works by two very different artists that share the word “star” in their titles.  Our exhibitions will open during the upcoming week and if you happen to be in the area.  Please do stop by and check out our art shows.  Richmond is about 22 miles past Lexington, KY or about an hour and 45 minute drive from Louisville.  Here is the reverse of the card that gives other particulars about the opening reception and run of the show.

E.K.U. show card info, Sept. 2015

As you can see, my show is called “Albertus Gorman: Artist from Exit 0”.  For all the work I’ve done at the river, I still identify very much with the “Exit 0” sense for place and the slightly existential “feel” that it implies to me.  So much of my river art has been located in that interstitial area between the natural and artificial, between water and solid land, and between my own despair for the continued environmental degradation I experience in the park and the hope and optimism I want to feel as a human being rooted in the physical world.  So what am I going to present in this newest exhibition?

Al's art at home, Sept. 2015

Like many artists, I have the world’s greatest collection of my own artwork…or at least the pieces I’ve bothered to save from the river.  Like many artists, I tend to keep moving forward making new stuff which means that many pieces exist that may have been shown only once or not at all.  Of course, that is a big shame because different contexts bring out different qualities in the individual works and potential relationships that exist with the other pieces on exhibit.

Al's art at home, Sept. 2015

Here are a few more artworks I have “staged” prior to loading them in a cargo van.  I have many figurative Styrofoam sculptures that I have never shown in exhibition contexts.  In the above image, you can see my latest piece which continues the work I have been doing with found plastic containers.  I built a wall-mounted shelf from river-gifted wood and arranged the colorful plastic containers that I have also scavenged off the riverbank.  The individual bottles have Velcro on their bottoms to help secure them onto their narrow shelf.  A length of twine is there to help keep the bottles together while in transport.

Delivered sculptures at E.K.U., Sept. 2015

All of these Styro-sculptures have stories associated with them and I remember them like old friends!  This blog is their genealogical source recording their creation, their “lives” as art objects, and in some cases…even their demise.

Unloaded art work at the Giles Gallery, Sept. 2015

My work prior to installation at the Giles Gallery, Sept. 2015

I have five new works that were created specifically for this show.  Three of them are larger photo enlargements I have had made that show works I created in the contexts of their river environments.  For now, I will let Esther work her magic and I will post other images from the completed installation.  I also have one other project going on that I have remained mum about so far.  As you might remember, the Falls of the Ohio Interpretive Center has been closed for renovation as they upgrade their displays?  Well, they have contracted with me to create an assemblage on a roughly 8 foot by 4 foot wooden panel showing some of the river junk I have collected within the park.  I am really excited by this since this panel will be a part of their new presentation and will be the last panel seen as you exit the new displays.  Thousands of people (many school tours) will get a chance to see this piece which will document many of the things that you can unfortunately find in the Ohio River.  This panel is due soon and I have a lot of work left to do on it.  Once completed, it will slide into a vertical case with a sheet of plexiglas with some text elements on it to help explain, cover, and protect it.  It has already gone through several permutations, but for the moment, I will show just a few images taken of it in progress.  Here are images from Phase 1.

Panel for Interpretive Center, Phase 1, August 2015

 

Falls Panel, Phase 1, Aug. 2015

Detail, of Falls panel, Phase 1, August 2015

As you can tell, this can go in a lot of different directions because of the wealth of materials available.  All the stuff going onto this panel will have been collected within the Falls of the Ohio State Park.  There is no need to go anywhere else!  I want it to be as authentic as possible in so far as representing the kinds of stuff you can find floating in the Ohio River.  Since these images were made, Solidlight (the Louisville-based company creating the new Interpretive Center displays) has suggested some changes.  They want to see more driftwood used as a unifying element which should be easy enough to do.  I hope, however, that they will appreciate that people will be just as interested in the variety of crap I’ve collected as well and not settle for a cross-section of materials that can be found at the water’s edge.  To see that, a visitor simply needs to go down to the river to experience that already in place.  My good friend, sculptor Tom Butsch is letting me use his studio to construct this.  My own space at home is simply not large enough to accommodate this.  A couple more pictures before ending.

Beginning of Phase 2, Sept. 2015

A river found barge cable and section from a set of stairs are big individual elements going onto this panel.  I keep playing around with different compositions.  The trick for me is in keeping it more informal.  My impulse as an artist is to want to order this in some more formal way.  I will let you know how all this turns out.  I have an early October deadline, so this panel will be my focus for the next few weeks.  Until then…and from the banks of the Ohio River…see you next time.

Falls panel, Phase 2, Sept. 2015

 

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debris field, Falls of the Ohio, April 2015

April’s tale was of a high Ohio River and rain fall for the record books. Twice the river rose to flood stage before subsiding back into its muddy banks.  Left in its now drying wake are trash mounds and islands of wood and debris that were pushed and floated upon the water’s surface by wind and current.  In this mish mash of culture and nature I carefully pick my way over and through the debris fields at the Falls of the Ohio.  All along the riverbank, the dull and muddy colored wood contrasts with the reflected light from hundreds of plastic bottles and chunks of bright white Styrofoam.

Large blue plastic egg among other river debris, Falls of the Ohio, April 2015

I picked a great day to visit the river.  As soon as I arrived in the park, I could hear several newly arrived male Northern Orioles calling back and forth through the tall cottonwood trees.  I even found several eggs.  Here is a large blue plastic egg nestled in shredded tree bark and plastic bottles.  I also found a muddy, but real Canada goose egg now too cool to incubate. There was an adult goose hanging out near me and I suspect some early nesters had their clutch washed away by the second flood.  I decided with so much brightly colored plastic scattered all over this woody mound…I wondered if I could put any of it to use?

detail, yellow plastic trash, Falls of the Ohio, April 2015

As you can see in this detail image…I decided to concentrate on the color yellow.  I stayed within a certain area and collected all the yellow objects on this driftwood mound.  It was tricky work because the footing was not good.  Several times I sank to my hip as my leg would go through the loosely tangled branches, dirt, and logs.

I call this piece “Yellow Concentrate”.  It consists of mostly plastic, quart-sized oil containers along with a few larger laundry detergent jugs.  There are a few odd items as well.  I found three rubber ducks on today’s adventure and used two of them here.  I used a bowl-like depression in the driftwood as my setting to assemble and sort through the junk.  I was glad to have the wooden platform in the foreground because it was also easy on the feet.

Landscape view with "Yellow Concentrate" facing railroad bridge, April 2015

 This site gave me potential for a few good views.  Here is “Yellow Concentrate” with the railroad bridge in the background.

"Yellow Concentrate" with the City of Louisville across the river. April 2015

Now here’s the same piece with the skyline of the City of Louisville on the southern shore.  All that massed yellow really pops you in the eye.  Individually, all these yellow plastic containers barely registered scattered across the debris field, but it’s a different story when you bring them together.  Feeling pretty good about yellow…I decided to next try a different color.

"Blue Extract", Falls of the Ohio, April 2015

As I was collecting all the yellow containers…I was also sorting out the blue ones and throwing them in the driftwood bowl.  On a nearby fallen, diagonally leaning tree trunk…I arranged my collection.  The big blue Easter egg is near the center.  As I worked on “Blue Extract”, the hole I was standing in kept getting wider and deeper.

"Blue Extract", Falls of the Ohio, April 2015

Most of these containers are plastic oil and liquid detergent bottles, but I mixed a few aerosol cans in as well.  In this line are seven plastic and rubber balls.  One last project before calling it a day.  I stayed in the same area and pulled aside all the lost flip-flops I encountered.  I laid them all out on the white surface of a metal refrigerator that had floated in here with the last flood.  It looked like the Shoe Shaman had been this way too.

lost flip-flops on the side of a refridgerator, April 2015

Sandal Arc, found objects from the Falls of the Ohio, April 2015

The stark whiteness of the fallen refrigerator reminded me of the white pedestals that you would find in an official gallery.  I organized the lost foot wear from smallest to largest, left to right.  I soon left for home with a hefty collecting bag full of “river treasure” and a camera loaded with images.  Every thing else was left in place.  I will come back when the river level drops a little bit more and the fudge-like mud has had the chance to harden in the sun.  There is still so much more to explore in the park and can see myself keeping busy for the rest of the year.  Here’s one last look over the shoulder at today’s location at the Falls of the Ohio.  I realized after the fact, that the found milk crate I used to move materials around was so bright red that it holds its place among the yellow and blue.  Until next time!

Site of this day's activity, Falls of the Ohio, April 2015

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Carnegie Center for Art and History banner, Feb. 2014

Our first gallery talk about the”Potential in Everything” exhibition happened yesterday.  Through a light dusting of falling snow, about 20 people braved the elements to hear R. Michael Wimmer and myself talk about our respective projects.  I was delighted by the turnout and had a great time too.  I am glad to have had this gallery opportunity because the river has been so high of late that getting to my usual spots at the Falls of the Ohio has been a challenge.  Perhaps this is nature’s way of redirecting me?

R. Michael Wimmer talks about one of his works, Feb. 2014

Folks in attendance for the artists' talk, Feb. 2014

It was a nice mixed ages group and a few local artists attended as well.  People were very respectful and asked some interesting questions.  Michael and I have very different processes, but the end results involve using something that has already functioned in the world and making something new from them.  For me, that shift took many years of transition because my formal artistic training involved “staring down”  a blank piece of paper or canvas and making something happen in a more traditional way.  Although my old drawing professor might disagree with me about this…so much of the work I now do comes out of the conceptual concerns I first encountered through drawing.

Flat-faced Cat with Bird and homemade ball collection, Feb. 2014

When I get the chance to talk about art and creativity in general, I like to mention how important it is for all of us to cultivate that impulse to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.  Sadly, I hear far too often from too many people how they aren’t artistic or have any business being involved with creative acts and I know this to be untrue.  I feel that part of my role is to get folks to expand their definitions of what is creative or aesthetically minded.  Creativity is a precious, universal resource and available in everyone and may represent much of our hopes for a better future.  We need to get people turned on to their own potentials instead of emphasizing the consumer in them.  Too help illustrate this I brought my Homemade Ball Collection with me and placed it upon the pedestal that my “Flat-faced Cat with Bird” is sitting on.  I found all these “balls” at the Falls and they are made from electrical tape, duct tape, cellophane tape, and aluminum foil.  Rolling these waste materials into balls is not necessary for their disposal, however, I was struck by the artistic impulse I perceived in them by their anonymous makers to shape and form.  There is obvious care in their making and rolling something into a cohesive ball has a satisfying side to it.  After this sidebar and when the talk ended, I went outside to see how my “other” ball piece in the tulip poplar in front of the center was doing?

detail, La Belle Riviere in the Carnegie's tree, Feb. 2014

detail of La Belle Riviere in tree, Feb. 2014

La Belle Riviere in tulip poplar tree, Carnegie Center, 2014_1_1

“La Belle Riviere” seemed to be in good shape.  I was curious to see if any ice would be decorating it, but not this time.  Ice can contribute a lot of weight which might take my nylon line beyond its limits.  I look forward to spring’s arrival and how the appearance of this piece will change as the tree transforms.  New Albany, Indiana is just a few miles downriver from Louisville.  The town has an extensive riverfront and I took the opportunity to check it out in greater detail.

Concert, special events shell, New Albany, IN, Feb. 2014

There is a large earthen berm that protects the New Albany from the adjacent Ohio River.  A key feature of their riverfront is this structure used for concerts and special events.

Sherman Minton Bridge at New Albany, Indiana, Feb. 2014

One way to reach New Albany from Louisville is to cross the river over the Sherman Minton Bridge.  Bridges in our area are a usual and often contentious topic of conversation.  This one was closed down recently for much-needed repairs, but caused a headache for commuters while it was being fixed.  Bridges are vital to river towns and a new one is currently being constructed near Louisville’s downtown. This new bridge was years in the planning and much of the controversy surrounding it involved where exactly would it cross the river and how would it tie into the existing interstate highway systems.  The Ohio River has been high due to snow and rain in the upper part of the valley, but I walked down to the river’s edge and guess what I found?

Styrofoam and ice, Feb. 2014

Styrofoam in the river at New Albany, Feb. 2014

Yes, it’s river polished Styrofoam.  There’s goes my main art material floating towards the Gulf of Mexico.  There are a couple other events associated with “The Potential of Everything” exhibit including a family workshop I will be leading on March 1.  I have enough collected sticks and polystyrene that it will be fun making things with other people.  I will also be giving a solo gallery talk on March 4.  Michael will be doing a studio talk and welcoming people to visit his place on March 25.  And, there will be a closing tea and cookies event at the Carnegie on the exhibit’s last day on April 5.  So, if you are in the area and haven’t seen the show…there are other opportunities coming hopefully in beautiful weather! If you want to see my found homemade balls in more detail, I did a previous post about it entitled “The Need to Form:  Handmade Balls from the Falls of the Ohio” and can be found in this blog’s search feature.  Speaking of balls, I did find one other item by the river in New Albany and I’ll end this post with it.  Stay warm out there!

softball core and snow at the river, Feb. 2014

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Carnegie Center for Art and History facade, New Albany, IN, Jan. 2014

On January 24 our long-awaited exhibition at the Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany, Indiana opened with a big reception.  I say “our” because this is a two person show featuring work by R. Michael Wimmer and yours truly.  The exhibition in entitled “The Potential in Everything” because both Michael and I utilize a diversity of materials to make our art.  While I depend on what I find at the river, Michael goes much further afield to locate objects that project a certain “aura” and associative power for him.  Following are some images from the exhibition which will be up until April 5.

My sculptures just delivered, Jan. 2014

I brought about 25 pieces that I had saved from the river and park visitors.  I have gotten into the habit of keeping some of my better creations for events like this.  It’s such a big leap first seeing the work at the river and then in a more formal art space where everything is displayed, labelled, and illuminated with care.

opening reception for the Potential in Everything, Jan. 2014

The other extreme is having several rooms full of friends, family, and assorted art lovers coming out on a very cold night to take in this exhibition.  A wonderful jazz band provided music. At times, it was hard to see the art because of the people…which is a great situation to be in and I felt very lucky.  I know I did a lot of talking and meeting people who said that they knew my work through this blog.  This happened more than once and it made me feel good that local people were checking out my river adventures online every now and then.  I returned to the center the following day so I could get a better look at the show and to take a few more pictures.  Overnight, it snowed two to three inches while we slept.

Potential in Everything installation view, Jan. 2014

Installation view at the Carnegie Center for Art and History, Jan. 2014

Installation view with "Cycladic Oarsman", Jan. 2014

Both Michael and my sculptures are assembled.  He favors a wider variety of materials and I have over time evolved a vocabulary of forms and found materials that I prefer.  The pieces I’ve saved function for me as mostly a means to an end.  The story telling aspect of my work has been the biggest shift in what I do over the years and it has caused me to reassess my priorities when I go on location.  I was pleased that people thought the stories added something extra to the artworks.  Wall labels had excerpts from my river tales and I supplied a binder with printed stories that accompany many of the objects on display.  It takes the pieces away from being strictly artworks as usual.  I do, however, try to make compelling sculptures to help activate the spaces I work in and to assist in creating interesting images.  The tall figure in the foreground is entitled “Cycladic Oarsman” and was made specifically for this show.  I gave it this title because the face has some similarities with very early Greek marble statuary.

Three Styro-birds on a shelf, Jan. 2014

"Audubon's Habitat", R. Michael Wimmer,  at the Carnegie Center, Jan. 2014

Karen Gillenwater, the Carnegie Center’s curator did a fine job of pairing artworks together and finding what Michael and I have in common artistically.  Both of us have channeled John James Audubon and bird imagery.  The naturalist’s earliest attempts at drawing birds happened in the Kentuckiana area during the early nineteenth century.  Over the years I have made several Audubon figures and most of the birds I’ve created are creatures he never encountered in America’s pristine wildernesses.

Installation view in The Potential in Everything, Jan. 2014

"More than Skin Deep" by Michael Wimmer and my "Time Traveler" tableau, Jan. 2014

The Styro-fish I’ve made stand near a wall piece that Michael did about the deteriorating marine environment where he lived for a while in Florida.  My fish are made with some of the junk I’ve removed from the Ohio River.  Michael now makes his home and studio in New Albany.  Both of us are also fond of time references.  My stuff flirts with time on a number of levels including quantum mechanics.  Clock faces and dials appear in many of Michael’s Carnegie pieces and some of his sculptures are also working clocks.  A good friend of mine once told me that much of life is what we decide to spend time on and that seems true for both artists in this exhibition.  I appreciate that the Carnegie Center for Art and History believes it is important to generate good quality materials to help supplement an exhibition.  The staff at the center produced a wonderful gallery guide, show announcement, a banner that hangs from the building’s facade, a poster, and both Michael and I have the opportunity to give gallery talks and lead workshops.  I may never have a chance like this again where the hosting institution helps the artists out as much as the Carnegie Center for Art and History does.  I know of many regional and local artists who feel that this is what makes showing at the Carnegie such a treat.  The exhibition continues outside and both Michael and I have works positioned in front of the building.  Here is Michael’s piece and all the work’s components find similarities with details and materials on the building.

R. Michael Wimmer sculpture outdoors at the Carnegie Center for Art and History, Jan. 2014

My piece is my long, beaded necklace made from softball cores and is entitled “La Belle Riviere” which I originally displayed at the Falls of the Ohio in October of last year.  It was quite a production and required a bucket truck and a worker supplied by the city to hang the piece in the tulip poplar tree outside the center.  For now, I will close with this image and look forward to my next post as the Artist at Exit 0.  Stay warm everybody.

"La Belle Riviere" hanging from tree at the Carnegie Center for Art and History, Jan. 2014

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riverblog on computer monitor, The Seven Borders, KMAC, Aug. 2013 As promised, here is a post about the “The 7 Borders, Mapping Kentucky’s Regional Identity” exhibition at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft in Louisville.  My “Artist at Exit 0 Riverblog” has been a part of this show which opened on June 29 and runs through September 1.  I’m honored to have been asked by KMAC and curator Joey Yates to participate especially since this is the first time my blogging activities have appeared in an art context.  My display in the museum included a few small Styrofoam artifacts, a computer monitor on a table with chairs, a box for handwritten comments, and a label on the wall.  Not quite your typical art offering.  If, however, you think of the computer as a keyhole that you can peer through to a different reality…then you get transported to the world of the Artist at Exit 0 at the Falls of the Ohio State Park.  At your fingertips are over 360 posts and more than 3500 images and my own peculiar blend of fact and fiction.  Many of you who follow this blog have been nice enough to leave recent comments and I wonder if you realized that you were participating in this exhibition too?  At the end of this post, I will add the comments that visitors left for me in the little box so that they can be a part of this exhibition record as well.  For now, I would like to share some other images of the works that are (were) a part of this exhibition. The 7 Borders, installation view, Aug. 2013 Eighteen artists are participating in this exhibition.  A few of the artists either currently live in Kentucky or are originally from here.  The majority of the artists, however, live in the seven contiguous states that border the commonwealth, hence “The 7 Borders”.  In the above image, works by Rashid Johnson are on the wall, while Brian McCutcheon’s whimsically modified cooking grill entitled “Trailer Queen II” rests on the floor. The 7 Borders, gallery view, Aug. 2013 The exhibition is a survey of contemporary works produced in a geographical area that is often hard to define.  At various times, Kentucky has been considered by Americans to be the frontier west, the Midwest, or the most northern of the southern states.  The fact this region has been historically hard to place is attractive to me.  For a professional artist, one downside is that the nearest art market of any size is in Chicago.  Many of the artworks in “The 7 Borders” reference issues born of local conditions and landscapes and gain a certain power by not being made for strictly commercial reasons.  The exhibit’s curator wrote: “Each of the artists represented is witness to varying views of the region focusing on personal history and collective experience.”  In the gallery shot above are paintings by Claire Sherman, a photo series by Guy Mendes, and a unique chest of drawers that looks like a stacked firewood entitled “Facecord” by Mark Moskovitz. "The River" by Andrew Douglas Underwood, The 7 Borders, KMAC, Aug. 2013 This mixed media work is entitled “The River” and the artist is Andrew Douglas Underwood who originally is from Louisville.  Personally, I relate to Underwood’s piece because it weaves together metaphors and history relating to people’s long association with the Ohio River.  This work effectively combines photography, embroidery, and found objects. "Pre-Fab(ulous) Environments", Leticia Bajuyo, at KMAC Leticia Bajuyo’s “Pre-Fab(ulous) Environments” is an installation piece located on the museum’s second floor.  Her multimedia piece with its blue Styrofoam installation house and suburban floor map complete with Happy Meal-styled folding cardboard houses reference contemporary suburban neighborhoods. "Roan Mountain Matrix", Denise Burge, The 7 Borders, KMAC This is an image of “Roan Mountain Matrix” by Denise Burge who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Her large fabric and thread works quote traditional Appalachian quilting while alluding to changes occurring to the land and its people through contemporary processes like mountain top coal removal. "Bog Taan", Joel McDonald, at KMAC, Aug. 2013 Joel McDonald’s “Bog Taan” is a tour-de-force mixed media drawing on 26 sheets of watercolor paper.  This is a large, obsessively detailed work that touches upon the artist’s social views as told through the context of his Germantown neighborhood in Louisville, Kentucky.  McDonald has a deep understanding and appreciation for 20th Century illustration.  You could look at this artwork for a long time and keep finding images within it.

To conclude this post, I would like to include the comments left by gallery visitors upon engaging my blog in the gallery.  Some of the comments are by children who participated in summer camp programs organized by the museum.

BLOG COMMENTS

“Love this – so fun!

I once saw a duck taking a nap on a submerged & upside down shopping cart on the L-ville side of the OR (Ohio River)”

“The Joe Arbor set was sweet. Poignant. – you should do stop action animation.”

“Love the triker! and the deer-Styrobuck! and the spider-and Pip and the fish-”

“It’s beautiful, I love it! – famous artist”

“Looks like garbage to me!”

“Be cooler if it was metal”

“Some really remarkable & moving works!  Really enjoyed 7 borders.”                       Lou Knowles…Forest Hills, New York

“I like it!  Keep up the good work!”

“So Playful!  What a blast.  Thank you.”

“I like it!”

“Very interesting, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  Love the blue nose man”

“dirty + whimsical like crawling through a broken greenhouse in the backyard + making toys as a child”  Lilly Ettinger

“Love it!” “???” “Fabulous: fun, imaginative & thought provoking…Thank you”                                     Mary from Wisconsin

“Quirky & original.  Brought a smile to my face”  K. Woodard (art teacher UK)

“I like the very last peice.  I think personally it looks like here is a passage in between the trunk and the roots”

” I agree we did not make enough “to do” about the beginning of manned flight.  I wouldn’t be here enjoying our work without a flight by plane.  Also like your reminder to “follow your dreams”  Kay Gorman (Maryland)

“Love them!  Priddy Cool!”

“This is very suspicious and cool to see what people throw in the river”

“Ummmm!”

“Love the birds…they are alive.”  Adrian (New Zealand)

“It looks like two snowman”

“I think this was awsome”

“Love the recycling, cute and clever.  Loved to take the time to see the whole-plus the blog.- Just a passer-by, Aug. ’13”

“Fab Al – Love where you went with this – Always happy too see your dementia”  Paul and Sandy Sasso………..these folks are old college friends of mine

“They look like Big, Dirty, Marshmallows”

“You are awesome”

THIS WAS THE LAST OF THE COMMENTS LEFT AT THE EXHIBITION.  NEXT TIME…SEE YOU FROM THE RIVER!

 

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