Showcasing throughout the eastern United States this year, artist Bonnie MacAllister joins us in the west for Gathering: A Venison Magazine Retrospective with Hurts Like Broken Glass. We interviewed the multimedia artist in our Summer 2015 issue, where we explored her works in 2D, 3D, fiber and film. We're thrilled to see her work up close, on view until August 31st!
A former student of notated scholars Jacques Derrida, Hélène Cixous, and filmmaker Agnès Varda, MacAllister is an award winning multimedia performance artist. Her work has been showcased at Riverside Library (Lincoln Center), Boricua College (Manhattan), the Delaware Art Museum, et al Projects (NY), Glenview Mansion (MD), Commerce Square, and the swag bags at the 55th
Annual Grammy Awards. She has showcased her films and music through Classwar Karaoke (UK), the Leap Second Festival (Norway), University of Sussex (UK), Kongo Kanvas (PA), and at the Kyoto Hotel (Los Angeles). MacAllister has performed at Sandy Spring Museum (MD), New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), Raandesk Gallery (NY), Highwire Gallery (PA), the Rotunda (University of Pennsylvania), Cat Cat Club (Paris), Pterodactyl Gallery (PA), and Le Grand Fromage (NJ). She has received grants from the City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce, a Fulbright-Hays award (Ethiopia), Teach for America Fellowship (2008), and a fellowship award to Lyon (2010).
Brand Library & Art Center is pleased to present the artwork of Amabelle Aguiluz, Sarajo Frieden, Wakana Kimura, Karin Lanzoni and Hiroko Yoshimoto in an exhibition that embraces the fluid and instinctive nature of each artists’ practice while honoring the sophistication of their invention.
Exhibition dates| May 13th - July 1st, 2017
Opening Reception | May 13th, 6pm
Brand Library & Art Center
1601 West Mountain Street
Glendale CA 91201
Dustin Harewood brings to canvas colliding worlds, where east meets west, both above and below sea level. His works mesh the importance of our climate and the heavy hand that media has, using the imagined to discuss our human footprint. Heavily influenced by the submerged landscapes, Harewood has used his memories to create a vibrant and elegant world.
by Nazish Chunara
The things I paint/draw are mostly made up; ideas of what these deteriorating reefs would look like. In the beginning I collected a bunch of reference pictures and tried to make studies of them. I lost interest in doing that pretty quickly.
The element of media in these studies says a lot about how we, as humans, treat our environment. Why did you decide to include Japanese newspapers, and what does it signify?
My wife is from North Japan. We met at an art store here in Florida that she once worked at. I’ve made several trips to Japan to visit her family over the past few years. When I go I collect newspapers during the visits. After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, I remember being asked by many American/Barbadian friends and colleagues whether or not I would cancel my trips to Japan. I haven’t.
Japan consumes a large portion of the world’s seafood. I’m still not fully aware of what consequences the large amount of radioactive material dumped into the Pacific would have on them or the ocean.
The intrusion of the Japanese newspapers signifies their (as well as our) incursion on these underwater landscapes.
So it is very much about Florida, Japan and Barbados. All places with a lot of coastline.
I also just find them to be more elegant and visually softer in their presentation.
What is your preferred medium?
When I teach painting at College I prefer to use oils. When I’m working on my own stuff I prefer acrylics. I need for things to dry as quickly as possible because applying multiple layers to the surface is very important for what I’m trying to achieve.
What classes do you teach, and where?
I teach Painting, Drawing and Computer Graphics classes at Florida State College at Jacksonville.
What kind of response have you received about your work from your students?
My students usually say that they love my work... but what else could they say to my face?
The real question is, what do they say about it when I'm not around!
If there was one place in the entire world you could paint a mural, where would it be and what would it be of?
That's a great question. I'd love to do a dead reef mural in Aoyama Tokyo.
Tallahassee’s cultural scene is in many ways an artist refined do-it-yourself community. Everything from the bright, bold and anonymous folk art of local tradition to the beautifully blended dynamics of poetry and hip-hop becomes a reflection of expressive resourcefulness. The city’s flowing demographics and overall amount of creative variety cultivates unique curiosities with inspirations pulled from various ethnicities and geographic backgrounds. This blend of thought and personal origin emits a strong unique glow that’s easily noticeable as outpost here in northwest Florida. Ironically, the DIY definition is very communal with artists curated exhibitions hosted at random geographic coordinates, abandoned
guest chefs, resulting in memorable artist-rendered concoctions. FOOD quickly became known for Matta-Clark’s, Matt-Bone” soup, which featured oxtail, roasted marrow bones, frogs’ legs among other bone-type of entrees. Finishing the bowl, the bones were scrubbed then strung together as a necklace of leftovers the participant could bring home.Here at the intersection of art, performance, and social engagement, participants found that something as a bowl of soup could leave an imprint to last a lifetime.
SOUP has developed in response to the artistic vision and spirit behind FOOD, and though we’ve put forth a menu of decidedly less edible offerings, we are looking forward to the years ahead and all the possibilities they might bring. At the heart of it all is the spirit to strengthening our community. For us, this means exploring creative ways to form connections between all kinds of people and projects that might, on the surface, appear to have little in common, yet stirred together, produce something of delicious substance.
Tallahassee’s supportive atmosphere has allowed us to extend nationally to where we are today and, it’s amazing to see how this seed of an idea has taken root and begun to thrive beyond what we could have predicted. It didn’t feel quite like a seed at the time – in fact, it felt huge – but in hindsight, we can recognize that it was still just powerful potential that could only take shape through the resourceful act of collaboration and participation. Today SOUP is a blend of all these inspired efforts, simmering together to create a space of creative nourishment and free expression.
-Ashton Bird, Chelsea Raflo, Victoria DeBlasio
SOUP's Anywhere But Brooklyn
The opening reception flew by in seconds, and I remember Lucia, Matthew, Brittany and myself crouched on cheap folding chairs in the front. We popped a bottle of champagne, sipped and soaked up our accomplishment. I don’t think I will ever forget that night.
To be completely honest, at the time of selecting the two artists to exhibit –the selection was based more on my personal intuition and how the artists knew each other. Brittany’s installation displaying the inner-world of consciousness or lack of had a similar metaphor as Lawrence’s; both, the installation and paintings complimented each other very well.
After the next few months, we quickly realized we needed reliable assistants, coordinators and volunteers. We started off with five people and now we are at 18. SOUP experimental, including myself is a volunteer ran space that is exuberantly growing through people passionately believing in the idea of resourcefulness and experimental creativity. We’re scrappy. SOUP has grown to have gallery exhibitions, performance and music nights, open-mic, facility rental, a touring exhibition, an off-site exhibition, written artwork opinion and artist interviews.
The exhibitions are ultimately selected by me, but our coordinators do have a huge influence on the final decision. Beyond the exhibitions, each section of staff delegates what events we should manifest or who we should interview.
We are all artists, which I believe makes communication much more understanding. I definitely wouldn’t say we all think the same though, which is even better –all of us have a flavor the other doesn’t, and each very much so complements one another. It’s been amazing being able to see what and how much we’ve been able to do.
-Ashton Bird, Director
Join Verge PDX this Sunday for the opening reception of Danielle Schlunegger-Warner's solo exhibition at the Red Fox in North Portland on Sunday February 12th, 7-9pm.
This solo exhibition will be on display at Red Fox during regular business hours for the month of February. If you aren't able to make the opening, be sure to stop by during the month.
About the Artist:
Danielle Schlunegger-Warner grew up amongst the shell shops and sand dunes of Ventura, CA. Her artwork is strongly influenced by 18th century Cabinets of Curiosity and early explorers.
Inspired by natural history and the museums that house it, Danielle creates her own worlds within this established context. Her new work presents a vision of exploration and conquest during the Age of Discovery in the Americas, searching for the misguided promise of untouched land and wild creatures from the perspective of naturalists and scientists, who are themselves invaders.
For her solo show at The Red Fox, Danielle presents a series of bear trophies that span the geographical history of the American Continent. In this new work she uses the addition of museum style info graphics to tell the story of the complicated relationship humans often have with the natural world. Pages from a used copy of "The Rise of the American Civilization" by early 20th C. historian, Charles Austin Beard, are just visible underneath the faux fur of the sculpted heads, linking their endangerment and extinction to parallel moments in American history. In addition to this series, Bobcat specimens from her natural history project, The Marcus Kelli Collection will also be on view.
About Verge PDX
Verge is a Portland-based curatorial project. We regularly rotate art from talented emerging artists in Portland businesses. Find out more: http://vergepdx.com/ or @vergepdx on Instagram
Instagram & Twitter: @naturalistandco
The Red Fox
5128 N Albina
Portland OR 97217
3pm - 1:30am daily
The Red Fox is 21 and over.
Vieno James's body of work, Glory, opened at Offsite Gallery inside the World Trade Center in Norfolk, VA last week. His work is a mixed media study of history that compels me to dive deeper into those history books, and ask, what kind of history are we creating right now? I was so happy to be able to talk to Vieno about Glory, and several other interests!
Q&A by Nazish Chunara
First, I want to ask why. What drew you to discuss the US and war? Is this a subject you were always drawn to?
My experience in Japan made me realize that a large chunk of the world views America negatively. I also realized that during my stay, I was somewhat a representative or ambassador of the American people. I knew that the United States exploited many countries in the name of “democracy”, and something in my gut told me that it was time to examine this subject. I wasn't always drawn to this subject in particular, I'm interested in anything that my heart tells me to examine. I needed to draw the work from my system and bring it into the physical world.
What is your research process like?
I just go to the library and get lost. I walk almost unconsciously through the isles, stop when my spirit tells me, and grab the book that I'm “looking” for. After gathering about 10 books or so, I have everything to help me come to a conclusion on what I want to say in my work. After the books, I speak with “random” people in my community to get their opinions and ideas about the whatever the topic is. Funny enough, this usually confirms my thoughts. After that, I watch documentaries and news stories to inform myself visually and to stay up to date.
In what ways have you found that we glorify war?
Glorification of wars and war heroes are all around. I see it in movies like Troy and 300. Kids are getting rewarded for kill streaks online everyday. I saw many Republicans during the campaign bringing veterans on stage to talk about our nation's good vs the evil brown people of the Orient. Our president, Trump, is trying to fight a war of attrition against ISIS, another good v. evil case. ISIS glorifies its martyrs and soldiers in this so called “holy Caliphate v evil Crusaders” war.
Haha, anyways, I used mud, blood red paint, and spit in the areas that represent the battlefield. The blue areas are filled with glitter and the figures are almost like constellations in the night sky. To me it's a timeless heaven and earth view of the Battle of Gaugamela plains, Iraq and the current battles going on in the same area of Mosul, in our times.
The figures in the work are holding the traditional weaponry of Persian and Macedonian warriors. In many areas you can see the Macedonian battle technique of the phalanx being used by the figures. There are other symbols in the work, and they refer back to Picasso's Guernica; the fallen horse, the slain warrior with the broken blade, the flowers and the black bird in the top right.
What would a battle stage map of the last decade look like for the US? What materials would you use to represent this?
Great question! I'm actually about to take a hard look at America with my next series. The work I'm thinking about creating most likely wouldn't be a battle map. The works will look like ancient Egyptian artifacts. It would be made of scrap metal, concrete, wood, denim, old auto parts, American flags, anything that could represent the absolute death of America's Industrial Age. I'd also like to talk about big businesses, gangs violence, American history and ideology; our role in the world. It would be riddled with transfer prints of the recent riots in this country, and figures and images of old industrial cities like Detroit. My ideas are pretty rough at the moment, but that's the direction I want to head in next. It'll probably be a 2 year project made out of multiple bodies of work that focus on different subjects like industry, agriculture, ideology, race, politics, and societal movement.
You've scattered silhouettes throughout this body of work, as if they're peering into our world. Tell me a bit about mixing the abstract with the figurative.
Haha! They're there to watch the viewers. I only include them when the time is right though. Like when a brush stroke does not carry the emotional weight of seeing a human locked in combat.
What was it like preparing for your solo show Glory at the Offsite Gallery inside the World Trade Center in Virginia? It looked amazing!
Thank you, Nazish! Soooo many all-nighters in the studio. A lot of "Watch the throne." And a ton of frustrating moments. It was fucking amazing! I like having a fire under my ass when I work.
I’ve noticed, looking through all the work on your site, you’ve touched basis with many important subjects: environmental, printed (press), war, race and more. Is there a subject that you haven’t covered but would like to?
Thanks for taking a look at everything, Nazish! This is going to sound boring, but agriculture, hunting, and food is my dream subject! I want to cover it so badly. If you control food, you control the world. I believe that crops and livestock are the only thing on this planet with intrinsic value. One ear of corn can produce fifty more. I'd probably talk about farming throughout history, slaves from around the world, what people grow all across the planet, hunting, gathering, and how it's shaped their food, culture, and modern society. It'd be a lifetime's journey around our planet.
It was a pleasure speaking with you, Vieno!
San Francisco-based curator A.R. Vazquez-Concepcion untangles threads of history, knowledge production, and colonialism in Bestiario/Menagerie, a vibrant, 10-person group exhibition on view at Adobe Books Back Gallery through January 28.
Bestiario or “bestiary”, roughly translated, describes a compendium of animals – imaginary and real – that was bound in book or illuminated manuscript form. Dating to second century Greece, bestiaries reflected a desire to understand the natural and spiritual worlds through collecting, categorization, and comparison.
Review by Roula Seikaly
Centuries on, cabinets of curiosities were amassed as Enlightenment thinking and imperialist expansion brought western Europeans into contact with worldwide civilizations. Through dedicated study of physical artifacts, it was believed, a civilization’s value could be assessed. The sinister footnote to that ambitious effort is, of course, that colonized societies were treated as foreign, as the other, and in need of “civilizing” through paternalistic intervention.
The artifacts that were assembled in personal and later, public curio collections, were regarded as representations of the unfamiliar, and knowledge derived from observation was passed generationally as authoritative. In Bestiario/Menagerie, the objects and the artistic practices that produce them reject containment and the purported “authority” of knowledge through provocative juxtaposition.
Vazquez-Concepcion makes the most of Adobe Books’ intimate gallery, spacing each object to hold its own and, when considered relationally, deliver a deeper and decidedly more troubling understanding when viewed together.
Marcela Pardo Ariza’s “Dissident” (2016), in which a humorously unruly pencil line interrupts the banal familiarity of a Post-It note, is both funnier and more frightening next to Fernando Pintado’s “Non Nobis Domine Non Nobis” (Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us) (2016). Its title excerpted from a short Latin hymn that expresses humility and thanks for spiritual blessings, this four-panel charcoal and paint piece portrays crusading Knights Templar who waged multiple wars to reclaim Jerusalem from Muslim invaders. In this pairing, notions of rebellion expand and align an innocuous graphite mark and state-sanctioned terrorists bent on delivering apocalyptic violence in the name of Christianity.
Stretching diagonally across the gallery, Santiago Insignares’ colorful biomorphic sculptures “Restriction”, “Implication”, and “Posthumous” (2016) address traumatic experiences and how memory enforces such events as mile markers in our lives. Without knowing that the meat of Insignares’ inspiration includes systematic massacre, displays of tortured bodies, and domestic violence, these sculptures might earn little more than a passing glance. Insignares interrogates authority’s unchecked abuses, and how knowledge is obscured to mask the gravest offenses.
The motley assemblage that is Bestiario/Menagerie demonstrates both the best and worst of human inclinations: curiosity is an evolutionary gift. Building knowledge through collecting, comparing, and analyzing has helped the human species amass a compendium more comprehensive than any bestiary or curio cabinet could contain. When knowledge, or presumed knowledge, is used to subjugate others, we lose our humanity. Through these objects and the juxtapositions they activate, the knots of history, knowledge production, and the ever-present danger of using it to exploit others begin to unravel.
How often do we get out work done a week or so early? Not often, in my experience. Luckily Camilla completed her works for Meager Form early, and we got to reap the benefits. Here's a look into my studio visit with her!
Meager Form is comprised of sculptures and collographs that depict the relationship between strength and vulnerability. Camilla, who has been greatly influenced by TS Eliot for this series, spoke with me for about an hour and we discussed everything from art, to neighbors, family and social trends.
Preview by Nazish Chunara
Camilla used her own hands as a guide for these sculptures and was able to vary them in size and gesture. They're beautfully depicted, all the way down to the lines in the palms which are curiously detailed. The weight of hands versus the weight of hair provide a little fight. You only have parts of a body to create an identity, if that's even what you want to do. Camilla's works are intentionally left unidentified which leaves ample room for wonder. Whose body could be attached to these hands or feet or braid of hair? It could be yours, mine, your professor's, maybe your mom from a few years ago or the hand of someone you have yet to meet. It's pretty magical to think about.
Though these limbs leave room for you to elaborate on, they are also representative of the things we potentially have in common. We're all ideally born with ten fingers and a set of life lines to get our palms read. The exploration of identity is high right now, which makes Camilla's works stand out even more. There is no eye color, shape, finger nail, or skin color to point out and run with.
Alternatively, there's is much security to be found in There is space all around you. Wrapped in itself, these feet are kept warm, cozy and safe. It's like creating a personal bubble; there's space for yourself provided by yourself, which immeditely led me to the idea of the imporance of self care.
We can have our heads in the clouds, just as long as our feet are on the ground - isn't that how it goes? Camilla's works trigger a number of varying thoughts to tinker with.
Reminicent of etchings, the prints below were made through the process of collography. The images are carved onto board, covered in ink and transfered onto paper. This was my first experience with it. Of course, I asked her if she ever considered incorporating color (I bet she's gotten that one too many times.) I realized that it's unnecessary because the texture created with this technique is so deep, that they are extremely vibrant as is.
Meager Form ships off to Penny Contemporary this week. If you have the chance, I recommend saying hello to Camilla and checking out the work personally!
PS, Camilla has a new system of screen printing and it's with watercolor. Check out the following piece, along with many others in With Liberty and Justice for Some at Walter Maciel Gallery Los Angeles, starting January 7th, 2017.
Thank you for having me over Camilla!
This exhibition of Margaret Smithers-Crump’s work is one of 8 selected from among 137 proposals submitted for consideration for Manifest’s 13th season. It is the first solo exhibition Manifest has ever presented in multiple spaces at the gallery.
Three individual works will occupy two galleries, creating an environment through which viewers must pass, like small prey or symbiotic organisms, in order to experience them fully. As large wall-based installations the works insist upon a visceral, corporeal involvement on the part of the viewer. It is no accident that Smithers-Crump's works function perfectly to bridge, both literally and conceptually, between the two group exhibits also on view at this time.
Of her work the artist states:
"Through its inherent associations to life, death, and renewal, Vital explores water as the source and resource for all living beings and by extension, the vulnerability of the oceans. Acting as metaphors for a fragile existence, the glass-like artworks in this exhibition underscore the vital necessity of water on our planet.
Each installation is made of hundreds of unique hand cut, painted, and chemically bonded units of primarily recycled plexiglas. Individually formed and shaped by heat, these translucent pieces become both membranous and organic.
As glass is easily shattered, each of these plexiglas installations reminds us of the fragility of life on Earth and of the importance of water to its survival.”
Margaret Smithers-Crump is a Canadian artist based in Houston, Texas. She received her BFA in Painting from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio in 1973. For the last twenty years, Smithers-Crump has been exploring the aesthetic potential of Plexiglas in both painting and installations. She has had a series of solo and group exhibitions throughout Texas and the United States including her recent one person exhibitions at the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, Galveston Art Center, Galveston,TX; Imperial Center for the Arts and Sciences, Rocky Mount, NC; Penn College of Technology - Penn State, Williamsport, PA; and Lawndale Art Center, Houston,TX.
Our Venison team uses this blog page to post short articles about events, projects, journeys, and art adventures that we find relevant to the contemporary lives of fellow artists.