Kreuser Gallery is proud to present My Favorite Things by Wendy Mike and Scratching the Surface by Tish Lacy Reed, two beautiful exhibits in its new location at 125 E. Boulder St. Opening reception: First Friday, June 7, 5–9 pm with live music by Ben Hall & Matthew Bondi and a dance performance by Angela Laborde at 7 pm.
ARTIST STATEMENT: WENDY MIKE
The last fifteen months absent of shows afforded the opportunity to create a new body of work. The experience of many failures, messes, and near-misses, coupled with doubt, frustration and fear gave way to a kind of surrender and then to curiosity. One day, something I had made in a singing workshop caught my eye. Casually stowed on our back porch was a Gullah pounding stick. Created for the purpose of striking rhythms while singing in the Gullah traditional of the African-Americans from the Sea Islands off the coast of the US south, the simple wooden staff was decorated with fabric, leather, paper, ribbon, yarn, wire, and festooned with silk flowers. It was created in total freedom and innocence, absent the requirement for meaning and message that concerned past work made for public consumption. That stick revealed what I make when no one is looking. Thus the exploration of my favorite things ensued: “what do I make when it doesn’t really matter? What floats my boat, feeds my soul and thrills me? How do I ‘waste time?/ What are my “guilty pleasures?” What if my work doesn’t mean anything?”
Looking for my favorite things led me to well-known thrift stores I had mined in the past for unique fashion, this time in search of suitable fabrics for sculptural creations. Architectural salvage, friend’s garages, and a keen wandering eye yielded “found objects:” rusty used metal, glass electric insulators, old kitchen tools. A fellow artist whose surfaces I admire showed me how to dye and stamp archival tissue paper. A love of copper and brass wire resulted in “stitching,” spirals and curly-cues, anchored with various metal brads. All of this came on-line, permissible inside of newfound freedom.
ARTIST STATEMENT: TISH LACY REED
The first observation of this body of work inherently explains the title of my show as it relates to the literal translation of the surface and how the texture is graphically apparent. However, I encourage you to look beyond this literal concept to a more empirical feeling. I hope it evokes a deeper observation and experience for each individual.
There is a definite “Urban” feel to this work. And part of my goal is to embrace the movement in society that encompasses the more sustainable neighborhood which is an Urban design model. This 21st-century Urban reform theory moves away from the typical suburban development towards a more continental city lifestyle. Not unlike communal living but within a culturally diverse concept to include reducing a negative environmental impact. This will improve infrastructures and provide resources in a more efficient way for future population growth.
My goal is for the viewer to take a more critical view of social and cultural issues. These works also evoke a graffiti feel that was once considered a rebellious, defiant and controversial art movement. By bringing graffiti into a museum or gallery venue it feeds into this new “Urban” feel and is now considered Fine Art. We might also consider the concept of “Life above the streets” and a growing issue of homelessness and finding a resolution to this ever growing problem.
Oil/Cold Wax medium offers me the ability to incorporate and evoke the emotions on a social level while still delivering fine art. The saying that “Good artwork does not match your couch” is one of my favorite sayings as I feel artwork that you bring into your environment should match “You” not necessarily your design esthetic. Hopefully, this show will help to fulfill that desire while still making you think a bit deeper into these issues that will need resolution hopefully sooner than later.
ABOUT KREUSER GALLERY
Kreuser Gallery opened in the Depot Arts District in February of 2011 and relocated to its current space in January 2019. Its mission is to create and maintain a dynamic, independent forum providing a venue for established and up-and-coming local artists. Kreuser Gallery fulfills the need for personal growth, communication and a sense of community among artists and viewers.
Pictured: Work by Wendy Mike. Image courtesy Kreuser Gallery.