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Last Chance For Good Neighbors

Last call for my current exhibition Good Neighbors. The show will be on view through December 5th, 2014 and I am proud to report rave reviews from The Clarion, the student newspaper at Brevard College. 

If good press is not enough to entice you to visit, I've included a sampling of images from the exhibition below. 

 

The show is on view in the Spiers Gallery located within the Sims Arts Center at Brevard College. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. I hope to see you there!


The exhibition Good Neighbors features original prints, drawings, and installations from two ongoing projects, Good Neighbors and Almost Nowhere.

Inspired by the 1914 Robert Frost poem “Mending Wall,” the Good Neighbors project investigates the complex role of boundaries in individual and community place making, as evidenced by common domestic structures.

For the past eight years a vital aspect of my artistic practice has been the daily walk I take with Clutch, a contender for world’s largest miniature schnauzer. The pace of walking compliments my slow, contemplative nature. It can takes months of daily walks through a neighborhood before I really start to see the beautiful quirks that compose the place.

As I walk, I find that the ideas of identity, culture, property, and community foreground my thoughts. These are the same ideas laced throughout Frost’s “Mending Wall”; ideas that remain relevant 100 years after publication. In this project I aim to create a suite of works that reflects the intricate conceptual ambiguities and deceptively simple presentation found in Frost’s poem.


Almost Nowhere is a project aimed at visually and conceptually exploring the staging of entry-level real estate to create a domestic environment that appeals to the widest potential audience. The project investigates what such staged spaces can reveal about local assumptions and aspirations surrounding first-time homebuyers, and the connection of homeownership to the national vision of the American Dream.

Starting in the summer of 2012, I attended weekly open house events throughout Iowa City, Iowa in character as a first-time home buyer. I quickly discovered that I was extremely uncomfortable posing as a serious first-time homebuyer and chose instead to overcome this describing my intentions as “looking to see if I am looking.”

At first, I found myself conceptually stalled when my research visits to the open house events did not show extensive staging, but rather, focused on the depersonalization and neutralization of the spaces. Moving beyond the typical expectations of staging and strategic editing in, what can best be described as an emptying of space, these attempts to create a neutral environment served to highlight the smallest of deviations (or character) and render the spaces as incredibly strange.

I found that this practice of emptying the space with a forced focus on meeting the expectations of neutral color and ‘correct’ materials, the attempts to fit in while hoping to stand out, left me with the impression that the space had been compromised. The sameness contributed to an overarching sense of displacement as all of the properties I visited began to meld into one unremarkable space in my memory.


This project is supported in part by a grant from the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and from the National Endowment for the Arts.

(This project is supported in part by a grant from the IAC because that is how long it has taken me to carve the woodblock for If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home Now! I started working on that print in 2012!)