All in the Family: An Exploration of Familial Creativity

This year is off to an exciting start, in Sarasota, with an exhibition bringing together some of the most highly influential individuals within the Sarasota art community – both as artists and educators. All in the Family is exhibited in the newly established Ice House, located right down the street from the primary colored building that was once John Chamberlain’s Studio. The Ice House was established in 2013 by Alfstad& Productions, with an aim to explore new ways to engage with the art community by reimagining art, exhibition spaces, and the art market. [Disclosure: Alfstad& is a sponsor of ART AT BAY]

Tim Jaeger, who’s mission has been to foster and maintain the local arts community along with his own studio practice (so far he’s been doing an exceptional job), curated All in the Family with artistic familial relationships in mind.  All in the Family consists of Ringling College of Art & Design faculty, as well as, their sons and daughters whom are all accomplished artists – featuring installations, paintings, videos, sculptures, drawings, and prints.

Patrick Lindhardt, Untitled 2, Monotype

Patrick Lindhardt, Untitled 2, Monotype

Master printmaker Patrick Lindhardt and his son Matthew Lindhardt, whom works with photography, address landscape as subject matter, however they each approach land space in broadly differing ways. Patrick’s monochromatic Monotypes convey dramatic landscapes that poetically suggest the beginning or aftermath of environmental disturbances.  Matthew’s photographs are digitally manipulated into industrialized landscape spheres – bringing to mind the fragility and sheer power of our surroundings.

Steven Strenk and his daughter Bianca Rylee’s mixed media works exude a playful approach with colorful and energetic color pallets, inspired by the Floridian landscape. For me, Strenk’s most compelling pieces simultaneously appear to be modern kinetic sculptures and Children’s toys. Each piece looks as though they may come to life upon turning the hand crank, and similarly aesthetically pleasing as static objects. Bianca Rylee presents the viewer with a variety of artistic media including lovely embossed Monoprints with suggestive text, such as “THE ECSTASY OF INFLUENCE”.

Kevin Dean, his daughter Molly Dean, and his son Ian Dean each have a more disparate approach to art making, and yet they are equally arresting in their chosen medium. Kevin Dean’s multimedia assemblages and installations are laden with iconography and symbology – you could literally intellectually deconstruct these works for hours and you’re still left with plenty of questions. Molly’s masterfully executed paintings and illustrations inspire admiration for her highly skilled technical abilities and acute eye for design. Ian Dean’s photographs depict delightfully cluttered, colorful spaces as a clever way to describe the individual that inhabits each space, and in doing so, depicts aspects of the individual’s surroundings on a grander scale.

Mark Anderson, his son Jarrod Anderson, and his daughter Sörine Anderson are really good at creating psychologically probing pieces through their use of space, form, and material. Mark Anderson’s sculptures assert their power by the tension that is created from the details within each piece, as well as the negative space between one form and another. Jarrod Anderson creates beautifully intricate graphite drawings — fragments of his experiences and surroundings — to create visual narratives. In order to create each drawing, Jarrod coats paper with latex paint and carves into the paint with great care to reveal the underlying surface.

Sörine Anderson, If you let them, they'll destroy you, 18K gold cast finger nail shards

Sörine Anderson, If you let them, they’ll destroy you, 18K gold cast finger nail shards

With the use of metaphor, and historical and modern mythologies as a catalyst for creation, Sörine Anderson creates intriguing sculptures that look as though they could be an ancient artifact. In this exhibition Sörine’s pieces include a melted candle made of glass, a human jaw with lead teeth, and 18K gold cast finger nail clippings.

What a pleasure to experience a show that celebrates such important figures within the Sarasota art community and the gifts that have been passed down to their children, and shared to enrich the community as a whole. Furthermore, I am delighted by the fact that the Ice House makes available a beautiful  large space that proves to give artists’ the opportunity to utilize it to its full potential, as well as give artists the ability to get quite ambitious with their medium of choice – or offer enough space for quiet contemplation.  I’m looking forward to observing Ice House’s development and impact on the arts. Welcome to the neighborhood!

All in the Family runs through Sunday, January 19th from 12 pm – 6 pm. There will be a presentation by Kevin Dean entitled “The History of Artist Relationships”, January 15th, 7-8:30 pm and a panel discussion and Q&A session with the artists on January 16th, 7-8:30 pm (both not to be missed!). Curator Tim Jaeger will be the moderator.

The Ice House is located two blocks east of Tamiami Trail, 1314 10th Street, Sarasota, FL. For more information about All in the Family and upcoming exhibitions you can visit:

www.icehouseon10th.com

Kelly Boehmer Threads the Needle

Kelly Boehmer’s Heart Out at Centre Gallery
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Kelly Boehmer, Flamingo Harpy and the Alligator’s Heart, Mixed Media, 2013

I find myself continually distracted when watching a Hallmark movie, distracted by sentimentality.  Rather than viewing it like any other film, I can’t stop giving attention to the narrative’s mechanisms of emotional manipulation and trying not to get suckered by the emotional cheap shots.  Similarly with visual art, you’ll often find yourself experiencing the piece from without and the art bare of impact.  However, given all of the definite sounding statements above, steering clear of sentimentality while not also emptying a piece of emotional authenticity is still a challenging needle to thread.  It is a challenge artist Kelly Boehmer seems to be meeting with skill.

The last time I had seen Boehmer’s work had been over a year ago at the Dunedin Fine Art Center’s Contain It! show – an exhibit of PODS installations.  Had I known the challenges of storage unit installations that I do now, I likely wouldn’t have been so hard on the show.  That said, her work at the Contain It! exhibit had a certain near syrupy nostalgia that was difficult to see beyond.  This syrupy nostalgia, however, is not to be found in Heart Out, her current solo exhibit at USF’s Centre Gallery.

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Kelly Boehmer, Unicorn Pegasus (Emotional Rescue), Mixed Media, 2013

The gallery space is installed with three sculptural works.  Flamingo Harpy and the Alligator’s Heart dominates the space as the show’s largest piece.  As with the bulk of her work, the piece is composed many contrasting textiles.  Knotty tangles of fabric pile up to create recognizable forms.  A flamingo appears to be pulling the heart out of an alligator, the reptile’s innards caught in the bird’s foot.  The harpy takes its classically mythological form of a bird’s body topped with a woman’s head.  Despite the classical allusion, the scene is clearly that of a lover’s quarrel, albeit a bizarrely Floridian interspecies one.

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Kelly Boehmer, detail of Unicorn Pegasus (Emotional Rescue), Mixed Media, 2013

Near the rear of the gallery is Unicorn Pegasus (Emotional Rescue).  The form of a unicorn type figure is depicted, but not in its typically idyllic way.  Rather, the figure is limp on the cold floor as if it were a carcass that had been heaved across the gallery and dumped.  The feeling of death in the piece is underscored by the animals teeth.  They are not fabric as the rest of the body.  Instead the teeth are real and from the head of an alligator buried in the “mouth” of the unicorn.  As the alligator and flamingo respectively had human-like hair and face, the unicorn possesses exposed human-like breasts.  An atmosphere of animalistic violence further continues into this piece.

On the wall hung the aptly titled Gaudy Gold Frame.  While the piece is a shiny gold, this too is constructed from irregularly stitched fabric.  I found this piece to be the most subtly interesting of the show.  In a way, its quietly meta quality made it the introvert of the bunch: easy to pass over in favor of its louder companions but also concurrently more contemplative.  Interestingly, Boehmer’s “frame” isn’t framing anything at all.  Rather the apparatus for setting an art object’s context, becomes the art object itself.  The piece is pleasantly confusing as it draws attention to an object frequently created with the intention of not drawing attention.

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Kelly Boehmer, Gaudy Gold Frame, Mixed Media, 2013

It may also be this last piece that illustrates Boehmer’s skillfully precise use of bathos in this exhibit.  Heart Out threatens to venture into cheesy sappiness with each step.  However, it never quite does so.  Indeed she says in her artist statement, “Fears of death and heartbreak are reduced to silly scenarios with taxidermy and soft sculpture animals.”  Don’t let this fool you – she doesn’t stop taking her artwork seriously in Heart Out.  As Susan Sontag once pointed out the difference between kitsch and camp is a set of quotation marks.  Navigating this tenuous distinction is a challenging course for artists and a troubling one for viewers.  It is difficult to discern when Kelly Boehmer is holding up air quotes, when she is operating with a certain self-awareness and when we’re being had.  But it is a welcome difficulty that too often many local artists don’t trust their audience with.

There will be a closing reception for the show Fri 9/27 7pm-9pm

Tampa Art Guide 10/03, 04, and 05!

Sometime in the early ’90’s I constantly wore several slap bracelets on each arm.  I did this to maximize the use I could extract from the bracelets before they inevitably fell out of favor with fashion. The Tampa Art scene seems to be packing events into the first half of October as if it were similarly about to go out of style, so to say.  Seriously, though, its only an expression: good art will never go out of style.  But just in case, you better head to all of these.  Consider the line-up for the next three days.

MAZE Gallery, HCC – EMERGE Art Exhibition

Opening Reception Wed 10/03 4:30pm-7:00pm

Gallery 221 at Hillsborough Community College has emerged to be an important gallery in an art scene that feels like it’s just picking up steam.  University galleries can often and easily be dismissed, with community college galleries hardly receiving any consideration at all.  At HCC, though, skillful curating has kept the gallery relevant and interesting.  Wednesday the school celebrates the opening of a brand new venue: MAZE Gallery.  The space will exhibit the work of current students and HCC alumni.  The importance of student galleries in colleges deserves a blog post unto itself.  I’ll just say that this space was a surprising move for a school of this size, but a great decision.  Stop by Wednesday evening to catch some student work in the gallery’s inaugural exhibit.

Tempus Projects – REDUCED5

Closing Reception Thur 10/04 6:30pm-8:30pm

The REDUCED5 juried exhibit ends this Saturday with a reception to close things out.  the black and white themed show is juried by its creator Kurt Piazza.  Honestly, in terms of quality, juried exhibits in our area are usually hit and miss at best.  Perhaps it’s the parameters set on the work, but there is nary a weakling in the bunch here.  Further, much of the work comes with a price tag that could likely fit your budget.  While you’re there keep an eye out for the witty work of freshly gone Ryann Slauson among others.

Box on 5th – Vince Kral: FanAddict

Opening Reception Fri 10/05 7:30pm-10:00pm

The new gallery’s fourth exhibit is a solo exhibit featuring the work of local artist Vince Kral.  Though I haven’t spotted an artist statement yet, I’m familiar with his art.  Kral’s work often deals with complex ideas of pop-culture, consumption of images, authorship, and so on.  However, his art is delivered with an intelligent humor making his work accessible.  Kral often treads some conceptual ground that we don’t often see from local artists.  For example, check out his Sponsor Vince Suit.  Anyhow, you can expect to see an especially engaging exhibit at a venue that has been bringing crowded receptions since its opening.

photo courtesy of Boxfotos and Matt Larson

The Monsters of Mobile Art! Art to Check Out Thursday

Boxfotos

This Thursday the monsters of mobile art converge on Mermaid TavernPhilanthropic Young Tampa Bay organized this event to raise money for the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts as they move to their new location.

Boxfotos, a gallery pulled around town in a shiny Airstream trailer,  will be stopping by the tavern.  The husband and wife team of Matt Larson and Rebecca Sexton Larson are the curators/artists for this traveling alternative space.  Boxfotos features photographic work at a generally affordable price, making it easier for Joe Six Pack to become Joe Art Collector (and also to become Joe Philanthropist this Thursday).  Additionally, if you’re feeling especially philanthropic and have been looking for a way to show your love for Art at Bay, you can pick me up one of Boxfotos’ awesome Starbucks pinhole cameras.

Bluebird Books will also be rolling in for the fundraiser.    If you haven’t yet climbed into the bright blue short bus you’ll quickly notice Mitzi Gordon of Bluebird acts more like a book curator than a book seller.  Bluebird serves up a particularly appealing selection of books in a visually pleasing arrangement (or rad books that look rad).  There’s something about used books that culls money out of my wallet and if you’re reading this blog chances are you’ll feel similarly.  The collection on the bus is chosen carefully and is likely to focus on photography this Thursday.  The Sasha Rae photobooth will also be joining the fun for the Bluebird Undercover project.

I know it isn’t exactly the weekend but I encourage you to reach deep down into your Id and pull out the wild child that’ll bring you out on a Thursday.  It’s encouraging to see the art scene support its own.   Add to your art collection, your library, and long list of good deeds.  The event takes place this Thursday, 2/09 at 7pm-9pm at the Mermaid Tavern.

Christian Marclay and Shelley Hirsch Performance at USFCAM

This Thursday (1/26/12) the USF Contemporary Art Museum will be hosting a performance by Christian Marclay and Shelley Hirsch.  If Christian Marclay’s name is sounding familiar it may be for a couple reasons.  Marclay is featured in Tempus Projects’ Things Not Seen Before exhibit but you may know him from winning the Golden Lion at the 2011 Venice Bienalle.  If you’re unfamiliar with the Golden Lion, that’s like winning the World Series of art (if by ‘World Series’ they really meant the world and not just the US and Toronto).

Christian Marclay, Manga Scroll, 2010 (detail).

Vocalist/composer/performance artist Shelley Hirsch will be interpreting and performing Marclay’s Manga Scroll (above), vocalising the onomatopoeic piece.  The two artists will also perform Zoom Zoom (I bet you’re already thinking of Mazda) where Marclay displays images of onomatopoeia’s generally found in advertising and packaging while Hirsch vocally responds.

Christian Marclay performing Zoom Zoom

A night of out-loud onomatopoieas – you know this is more fun than what you had planned for Thursday.  If you’re planning on going tickets are $15, $10 for staff, and free for students with an ID.  I heard the tickets are selling quickly so pick them up as soon as you can and have a great time…POW!

Warm Up the Skinny Jeans, Kids – Art to Check Out This Weekend!

Select your hardiest pair of skinnies this weekend and plan on wearing them through Sunday – we’re partying at the museum and meeting Peter Max.

Tampa Museum of Art – Art After Dark       Fri. 1/20  8pm-11pm

Like bowling, art can be more fun after dark, especially when tastefully coupled with lasers and fog machines.  Though the TMoA won’t be rocking it black-light-and-Pink-Floyd style, you can still expect their quarterly Art After Dark to be a fun night at the museum.  Local neo-shoegazers, Sleepy Vikings will be providing the music while you check out what’s described as “live outdoor art installations”.   A cash bar and Retro TV dinners from Sono Cafe will be around to complete the party.

This weekend’s Art After Dark exhibit celebrates the museum’s upcoming William Pachner, Romare Bearden, Don ZanFagna, and John Cage exhibits. For those of us art-nerds that float farther to the ‘nerd’ end of the continuum, this is as scene as anything here in the Bay area.  Have a good time, head to the after party at Collage, fall asleep with your wrist band on, and brag about the whole thing to your regular-nerd friends the next day.  This is what I’ll do.

Syd Entel Galleries – Peter Max      Sat. 1/21 7:30pm-10pm    &    Sun. 1/22 1pm-4pm     RSVP requested

Peter "to the" Max

This one caught me off guard – Immensely popular graphic artist and painter Peter Max will be attending the reception to his new exhibition at Safety Harbor’s Syd Entel Galleries.  He’ll be exhibiting various recent work featuring Texas themed paintings and celebrity portraits (including the Taylor Swift featured on her album cover and the gallery’s website) that have never been exhibited.  The exhibit is scheduled in connection with the announcement that Max would be painting the hull  of a Norwegian Cruise Lines luxury cruise liner – the Boeing 777 he painted for Continental being a mere appetizer.

While this work may not be the cosmic 60’s icons you’ve come to know and love, the exhibition will definitely be a good opportunity to meet the artist.  You can at least bounce your nickname ideas off him – Peter “to the” Max, Peter Max Head Room, and so on.  The receptions on Saturday and Sunday are free.  However, Syd Entel is requesting you RSVP if you plan on attending.

Art to Check Out Friday

Start up the Segway and double knot your shoes – there’s a lot of art to check out this weekend on both sides of the Bay.  Here’s your guide to Friday, 1/13.

C. Emerson Fine Arts – Have Your Cake and Eat it Too…Remix Edition       Fri. 1/13  6pm-9pm

Disclosure (and/or self-aggrandizement): I’ll be showing a piece in this exhibition.

January is proving to be a busy month for CEFA.  This Friday they’ll be hosting the opening reception for Have Your Cake and Eat it Too…Remix Edition celebrating, the galleries 6th anniversary.  The exhibit highlights the gallery’s reputation for experimentation, unconventionality, and play.  There will be quality work from some CEFA regulars like Kim Anderson, Daniel Mrgan, Jason Snyder and your faithful blogger as well as artists Caui Andeson, Gil Demeza, Neverne Covington, Lew Harris, Regina Jestrow, and June Kim.  I was able to sneak a glance of June Kim’s work while setting up my piece –  her series of photographs I Wolf is touching and powerful.  I’m also particularly excited to see the textile work of Regina Jestrow.  She produces the type of  amazing crafty art one would expect to find down the street at the Craftsmen Gallery but fits in well with this exhibition.  Florida State University’s Working Method Collective will be performing Friday as well.  Little specifically has been said about the performance art of Working Method Collective but it sounds like it’ll be particularly interactive with the audience.  The exhibition runs January 13th through February 25th.

USFCAM – Mark Dion: Trouble Shooting      Fri 1/13 7pm-9pm

Mark Dion, The South Florida Wildlife Rescue Unit: The Uniforms, 2006 Two mannequins, clothing, custom patches, assorted gear; Dimensions variable Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Lin Lougheed

If you’re spending your Friday evening in Tampa, the USF Contemporary Art Museum is throwing its opening reception for the upcoming exhibit Mark Dion: Troubleshooting from 7pm to 9pm.  Prior to that, at 6pm-7pm in USF Theatre2, will be a discussion with Mark Dion, Miami Art Museum Curator Rene Morales, and USFCAM curator Jane Simon.

I know what you’re wondering, and the answer is ‘yes’.  In case you didn’t know, you were asking “Is that the same Mark Dion from the PBS series, Art21?”  Again, the answer is yes.  Mark Dion, known for building incredibly detailed politically conscious installations, will be exhibiting work that address particularly Floridian concerns.  USFCAM has done an impressive job bringing an important contemporary artist and ultra-relevant issues to the Bay area.   With that in mind I’m going to shoot straight with you here: If I don’t see you in St. Pete Friday, I’m going to assume you’re at USFCAM, because you are abundantly awesome and an exemplary arts citizen.

Warm Up the Skinny Jeans, Kids – Art to Check Out This Weekend!

Taco Bus, warm up my burrito because I’m coming to down to the ‘Burg this weekend!  With the winter holidays behind us downtown St. Pete is kicking off the second half of the art season.  Here are two things to check out this weekend.

C. Emerson Fine Arts – Films for One to Eight Projectors     Friday, 1/06 7pm

The show at CEFA this Friday is being described as  “multi-projector experiments by Roger Beebe“.   To say that Beebe will be showing five films is an understatement if not inaccurate.  Beebe acts as more than a film maker or even a video artist.  Using antiquated equipment and multiple film projectors simultaneously almost makes the event verge on performance art.  You can expect this to be a great show.  All of you Tempus people would definitely dig this.  Anyhow, its good to see some more not-hanging-on-a-wall art.  I spoke with Beebe and will be posting the interview shortly.

Mindy Solomon Gallery – Rock-Paper-Scissors     Saturday, 1/07 6pm-8pm

Oliver Lang, People, Series of 78, 2005, 60 x 80 cm, Lambda-print on aluminium (1mm) with mounting

Rock-Paper-Scissors is a group exhibit curated by Isabel Balzer of balzerARTprojects.  While the name of the show has a loose relationship with the work (as it seems every good group show does) it should tell you about how fun this exhibit promises to be.  To be fair, though, the show’s name really references the universality of art and versatility of paper.  balzerARTprojects is a great curatorial project/gallery based in Basel, Switzerland and known for exhibiting talented emerging international artists.  This exhibit will be featuring the artists Andi Bauer, Domenico Billari, Tom Fellner, EddiE haRA, Mimi von Moos, Nici Jost, Oliver Lang, Sebastien Meija and Olga Vonmoos.

Warm Up the Skinny Jeans, Kids – Art to Check Out This Weekend!

Fine time I chose to start an art blog!  The holidays make for quiet art weekends.  I suppose galleries have better things to do this time of year than give me free hor d’ ouerves and watch me not buy anything.  Anyhow, bear with me – January is shaping up to be a very exciting month.  With the galleries quiet for the next two weeks now might be a good time to catch up with some of our museums.

Janet Biggs, Fade To White, 2010. Single channel video with sound (Production still)

I’m starting with the Tampa Museum of Art because I hear they have awesome falafel.  Also, the TMoA has what they call ‘Art on the House’ (or what I affectionately call ‘Poor People Museum Time’): free admission every Friday between 4pm and 8pm.  The museum has a couple of exhibitions that you may want to catch before they end in the next couple weeks.

Specifically, the exhibition No Limits: Janet Biggs, ending January 8th, is a survey of video art from the NYC based artist.  Biggs’ video work depict people engaged in extreme activities often in grand landscapes.  Her pieces present the physical boundaries some push to actively form identity within and without social structure encouraging the viewer to reevaluate gender stereotypes.

I haven’t actually had a chance to make it yet but these two ignorant single star comments on Creative Loafing make me think it might be a good exhibition.  If you’re looking for something to do Friday night check out the exhibition before its gone and spend the money you saved on falafel.

Warm Up the Skinny Jeans, Kids – Art to Check Out This Weekend!

Tempus Projects – Pale Blue Dot      Fri. 12/16  7pm-11pm

Ok, there’s little art-wise to warm up the ol’ skinnies for this weekend.  However, Tempus Projects has once again given me reason to put my pants on and head out the door.  If you showed up to Tempus Projects’ last show you probably don’t need to read the rest of this post to be convinced to turn out again this Friday.

Pale Blue Dot is being billed as an art exhibition of the work of Ryann Slauson (of “southern shoegaze” outfit, Sleepy Vikings).  While I can say Slauson’s music with Sleepy Vikings is great, I’ve never seen his visual art.  However, if Tempus Projects is exhibiting him I’m sure its worth taking a look.  (I hate to make blanket positive judgements like that but its true: Michael Bay gives us explosions, Polk County gives us meth labs, Tempus Projects gives us quality.)

The Animal Collective-ish “experimental pop” set Diamond Man will be performing.  Diamond Man makes some exciting music that will fit well with the space.

A screening of video work from local artist Kurt Piazza is the real reason I’m lacing up the pants (that’s right, I tie my pants just like my shoes and tunic).  Piazza will be showing his video   PROJ(01)10:09.  Piazza’s work in video conveys the connection between place and narrative strangely well.  Not to mention the high contrast black and white work will look awesome projected outside on the wall at night.

In the words of Biggie Smalls, If you don’t know, now you know.  The whole show will be free and you may also be able to find some PBR.   If that’s not good enough for you, we have a bit of personal evaluation to do.