This guest post was written by Alex Paik, an installation artist and the juror for “Not a Box.”
I enjoyed looking through the submissions and was happy to see that many artists were trying new things in their studio practice for this exhibition. The work that stood out to me often involved interesting uses of material as well as an awareness of how the work could interact in the physical space of the gallery. The work that was selected often felt like it had a story to tell through the environment — sometimes the story was personal, other times it dealt with larger social issues. Each of the installations that were selected have a distinct voice and also pushed their materials in new and exciting ways.
Tire Swing (artificial flowers, rope, and mirror) by Andy Yoder
Andy Yoder’s Tire Swing does a lot with very little. By using a familiar object (a tire swing) and altering it slightly by slicing it in half and covering it with artificial flowers, he disrupts the way that we look at such a commonplace object and this disruption itself becomes a metaphor for the nature of knowledge and perception. I love how such a simple gesture can be visually arresting as well as layered with meaning. This graceful installation was a clear standout for me, which is why I was thrilled to award it Best in Show.
Drop Your Axes (mixed media) by Rosemary Luckett
Drop Your Axes (detail)
Rosemary Luckett’s Drop Your Axes combines poetry, photography and sculpture into an installation that uses the artist’s personal history as a way to investigate humanity’s collective impact on forests. I was especially impressed with how the all of these disparate media were integrated seamlessly into each other.
Can’t I (wall decals) by Clare Winslow
In Can’t I by Clare Winslow, we are presented with both a painted version as well as a vinyl decal of an abstract doily-like pattern. It calls attention to the slight differences in surface between the mediums as well as wrapping around the corner of the wall, threatening to continue to grow. I loved how such a small gesture could take over a huge visual space.
Marble Machine Magic (wood) by Joan Woodill
Joan Woodill’s Marble Machine Magic takes the classic child’s toy and makes it monumental. I was intrigued to see how taking a simple child’s toy and expanding it into a larger, more ambitious scale would transform into something else.
Tunnel Vision (photographs, fishing wire, “pony tail” of hair, gold paint, Rogaine cans) by Lizzy Lunday
What interested me about Lizzy Lunday’s Tunnel Vision was the way that Lizzy uses photographs as a wall to manipulate and alter the gallery space. The claustrophobic hallway of photographs mirrors the obsessive, interior headspace of someone who is losing their hair.
Social Hour (black coated copper wire) by Michael Price
Social Hour (detail)
Michael Price’s Social Hour spreads out across the wall, each small wire portrait spaced according to the person’s closeness with the artist. I was drawn to this piece because the individual portraits seemed interesting as both singular 3d line drawings while at the same time being part of a larger piece. I’m curious and excited to see how the shadows interact with the line drawings.
R&B2GO (acrylic mixed media on cradled board) by Marsha Staiger
R&B2GO by Marsha Staiger also uses the space between things as a compositional device. Each time she shows this piece it is altered according to the wall as well as to how she feels that day, adding an element of improvisation and play to her geometric forms. I was attracted to how variability and performance were built into the concept of her installation.
In Your Shoes (mixed media) by Jinny Isserow
Jinny Isserow’s In Your Shoes is one of the most intimate installations in the show. Instead of sprawling outwards, this work invites the viewer into a small, dense space.
Night Windows Gallery (acrylic, wood, plastic, glass, LED electronics) by Sam Miller
Night Windows Gallery (detail)
Similarly, as viewers pass by Sam Miller’s Night Windows Gallery, their motion will turn on the lights in the miniature landscapes and windows. Again, this installation invites viewers to look closer and the small surprise of the motion-sensor lights adds an element of interaction to the work.
One Week (found objects) by Rose O’Donnell
Drone Free Zone (mixed media) by Beverly Ryan
Several artists used their installations to talk about larger social issues. Rose O’Donnell has created a shrine to one week of her family’s waste in One Week, drawing attention to the amount of waste the average family creates, while Beverly Ryan’s Drone Free Zone speaks about surveillance, privacy, and our military’s drone program.
Ritual Markings of Moon Goddess (cotton, linen, fiber-reactive dye, coffee and tea stains) by Maikue Vang
Ritual Markings of Moon Goddess by Maikue Vang uses the language of abstraction to talk about the stigma surrounding menstruation. I’m excited for the way these panels of cotton will move slightly as viewers walk past.
a habitation of bees (found objects, recycled christmas lights, recycled books, yellow pages, leftover theater lighting gels) by Lisa Schumaier
a habitation of bees (detail)
Lisa Schumaier’s a habitation of bees uses recycled materials to create an installation of bees and their hives. By using recycled materials, she highlights both the destruction of bees due to man-made environmental changes as well as casts a light on our own impact on the environment.
About the juror: Alex Paik is a Brooklyn-based artist using cut and folded hand-colored paper to explore reflected color, visual counterpoint, and repetition as a tool for development. His work is influenced by his childhood training as a classical musician and his interest in polyphonic musical structures. Paik’s work has been exhibited in galleries and art fairs both nationally and internationally, and one of his wall installations was recently featured at Art on Paper. He is represented by Gallery Joe in Philadelphia and is the director of Tiger Strikes Asteroid, a network of artist-run spaces with locations in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Los Angeles.
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