Two Point Five Children
September 8th Through October 28th 2017
Opening/Artist Talk: September 8th 6-9pm
Artists: Trent Call, Sam Haring, Bree Lamb, and Nate Stromberg
According to the Pew Research Center, 2.5 is still considered the proximate ideal number of offspring for an American family (whatever .5 of a child looks like). With increased frequency, we consult data to inform us as to how to conduct our lives: how many children, which neighborhood, which career path, what car to drive, which gym to join, which school to choose, which website to trust, which doctor, dentist, mechanic, which tv show to binge, which coffee, yogurt, gym shoe, vitamin…Google, Yelp, Angie, Craig are our personal consultants, with an endless supply of information to aid us in the search for whatever brings us closer to the ideal.
“Two Point Five Children” is a continuation of our discussion of American society, through the lens of representational art. We introduce four new artists, working in paint, pastel, photography and collage, all of whom reveal their fascination with the interior spaces in which we live, illustrating those things which, by curation or accumulation, come to represent some semblance of identity. Americans possess more stuff than that of any other society. We imbue objects and spaces with significance beyond their material heft because their tally offers a tidy accounting of success or failure. Our possessions express attainments and aspirations, yet, with little heed, we will readily declare them obsolete, and turn to Amazon for replacements.
The appeal of this exhibition rests in its lack of pretension. What we see is familiar and accessible, yet, it is a material abstraction of the thing itself, cut from another something, sketched, collaged, objectified, laid bare to appreciation or critique. Through a fundamental manipulation of line, color, materiality and placement, Trent Call, Sam Haring, Bree Lamb, and Nate Stromberg encourage us to look again at what is familiar ,that we may find in their open spaces, naked postures, and everyday objects moments of such honesty that they can only originate in our own experience. They authentically inform our future, and they are the things worth keeping.
Artwork by Trent Call
Through her mastery of pastels, Samantha Haring explores her own professional space, made more compelling through the creative process. It is the residue of her artistic efforts which generate the surprising, almost accidental beauty of the most ordinary of surroundings, things oft used, yet under appreciated. “My work is an intimate meditation on humble objects and the detritus of studio life. I aim to promote a reengagement with the mundane while creating a moment of reflection for the viewer. The artist's studio is full of memory; its history is evident in the residue layered on the walls and floor, as well as the dusty objects scattered around the room. These remnants serve as a metaphor for the imprints people leave behind on each other and on the world. By painting forgotten corners, blank expanses, and abandoned objects, I explore the duality of absence and presence.” Before earning degrees at the Art Institute of Chicago and Northern Illinois, Haring honed her classical skills at the International School of Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture in Umbria, Italy. Haring’s work is frequently recognized in professional arts publications and she is a favorite of Gallery19 collectors.
Through paint and collage, Nate Stromberg reflects upon our past. “The process of making archival images into re-contextualized artworks becomes a means to explore the past and its implications for the present. I am drawn to these images for the multiple ways that they communicate across the span of decades. They have the ability to elicit a wide range of viewer responses, from feelings of nostalgia and longing for lost times to feelings of repression and skepticism. As art objects, the are accessible to nearly everyone and at first glance often appear superficial, but are simultaneously profound in the ideas they explore and the process by which they are made. The iconic object is given new life in a new context to comment on the ever changing American identity.” Stromberg received his MFA from The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, and currently works as an arts instructor in Minneapolis, MN. With a prodigious output, Stromberg’s work is in constant demand for exhibition
Fine art photographer Bree Lamb explains that in her series, A House, A Home, “I isolate ubiquitous household objects as a way to begin to investigate traditions of domestic American life. My observations are rooted in my own personal indulgences, expectations, and questions, as well as how I see myself existing within this larger system. I'm interested in revealing some of the complex layers of this shared cultural vernacular through pairing the familiar with the unexpected and creating anticipation that is never quite resolved. The interventions and style of capture re-contextualize the objects as a way to challenge traditional domesticity and to pose questions about convention, consumption, and convenience as staples of American popular culture.” Lamb is a working artist and photographer based in New Mexico. She received her MFA in Photography from the University of New Mexico, and is a Beaumont Newhall/Van Deren Coke Fellow. Lamb is the Assistant Editor of Fraction Magazine and part-time faculty at New Mexico State University.
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