EXTENDED UNTIL AUGUST 11th Artist Talk August 3rd at 5pm
An exhibition of works by Stephen Lawson Opening reception May 25th, 6-9pm as part of Thomas Art Walk – ArtSpring Edition
Artist Statement: The photo-based works grow from my background as a sculptor. These are four dimensional in concept and execution, but only two in the presentation. The concept of space and time is reconstructed in the mind of the viewer. Almost thirty years ago, I based myself in rural West Virginia in order to be involved in “Earth-art,” that is, art that uses the Earth itself as the physical medium of expression. My concern was in conservation, which required me to develop a non-intrusive and participatory means of working in and with the landscape. This led to work in a manner that required photo documentation, and then to the camera becoming the “central tool.” The unique cameras required to produce these time based works have been constructed by me and evolved over the years, one capability leading to the next. The first “rig” was put together in 1980. These have been very labor intensive, built with simple hand tools, hard work and patience, the conceptual skills as with the manual ones deriving from a background in sculpture. The work is presented in a poetic mode that asks one to stand briefly outside the usual flow of time, hopefully causing us to reflect on our “time-in-the-world,” individually, culturally, and even as a species.
About Stephen: Born in 1942 in Scotland, Stephen Lawson was raised in a beautiful, visually rich landscape, in some aspects similar to West Virginia’s, where he has pursued his interest in time and nature’s processes for the last forty years. To capture these images which evidence time’s passage, both momentary and extended over a year, has required him to construct cameras unique to their purpose. Despite the struggles of low-income rural living, his works have found their way to museums such as Eastman and the Victoria & Albert. This exhibition contains a lifetime’s work.
For the January Thomas Art Walk we will add work from Emily Prentice and Gina Mamone to the ongoing exhibition by Kimberly Joy Trathen.
Gina Mamone is an audio engineer & maker living in the coalfields of West Virginia. Mamone engineered and produced some of the first Riot Grrrl albums to come out of the PNW. Up until 2014 Mamone was President of Riot Grrrl Ink. the largest queer record label in the world, with an artist roster of over 200 that ranged from the Gay Ole Opry to Andrea Gibson. In 2014, in an act of solidarity with the emerging #BLM movement and in an intentional act of reparations & redistribution of wealth, Mamone gave RGI to Awqward, the first queer POC/indigenous talent agency. As the Creative Director of the Queer Appalachia Project, they communicate with over a quarter of a million queers & allies daily who call home below the Mason-Dixon through the project. Mamone is also an Editor at the looking at Appalachia Project & is currently collaborating with Nan Goldin’s PAIN project.
Emily Prentice is a forever novice, a devotee to beginnings, and the Zine Queen of Randolph County. Her work focuses on the meeting place of the natural and the supernatural (the ways in which we’re of this world and beyond it), and it exists in the form of quilts, zines, drawings, and teaching. Find Emily’s creative practice online at www.emilyprentice.com.
Solo Exhibition of reclaimed leather quilts by Kimberly Joy Trathen
Opening November 10, 2018 – 6-9pm
The textiles and garments that surround us silently accompany us through the unfolding experiences of our lives. New stories are gathered. New histories are created. The materials become charged with a spirit that is not reproducible – a kind of social life or aura created by its own unique history.
I create new work from old things: new bags from discarded leather coats, wallets from unwanted jackets, quilts from textile and leather remnants. For this body of work, I have woven scraps from previous projects into new works. The result is a charged piece of art, activated not only by my own hands, but from the material’s previous lives. Another layer is added to its history.
The humble roots of this practice – mostly utilitarian work-clothes quilts – fascinate me. They have helped inspire and guide my work in its present direction. The current exhibition explores variations on the traditional quilt pattern, Dutchman’s Puzzle.