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A Series of Site-Specific Contemporary Art Installations at Historic Gadsby’s Tavern Museum Shine Light on Overshadowed Stories from Alexandria’s Past

Baltimore artists Stewart Watson and Lauren Frances Adams are part of Time & Place, a public art series commissioned by the Alexandria Office of the Arts

Centennial of the Everyday: May 15 – September 3

Gadsby’s Tavern: 134 North Royal Street, Alexandria, Virginia

#TimeandPlaceALX

May 2, 2017 – Alexandria, Va. – The City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts partners with Baltimore-based artists Stewart Watson and Lauren Frances Adams for a series of site-specific, all-media installations inspired by the history of Gadsby’s Tavern Museum. Centennial of the Everyday features artistic interventions tucked in among the historic exhibits. It will be on view May 15 – September 3, 2017, at the Museum, located at 134 North Royal Street.

The works reflects the artists’ in-depth research—documented via social media—on the history of women, enslaved people, and anonymous citizens whose stories are overshadowed by other more famous historic figures from the region, such as George Washington and Robert E. Lee.

In Centennial of the Everyday, historic ephemera takes on new contexts. With furniture, stoneware, and textiles as a starting point, Watson and Adams reflect domestic material culture of the past with modern techniques.

For example, in the room of the Female Stranger—an unidentified woman who died in Gadsby’s City Tavern in 1816—the pair created digitally design muslin bedding with a traditional cameo motif that seems to fall away as the pattern continues.

In the Museum’s Ballroom, the artists acknowledge the original Gadsby’s Ballroom, acquired 100 years ago, 1917, by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The woodwork now serves as a backdrop for the Met’s collection of Federalist furnishings in the American Wing.

Watson and Adams seek to turn the archival into the interactive. They identified personal stories of place and family history by interviewing people like the descendants of John Gadsby, as well as Nancy Syphax, an enslaved woman owned by Gadsby in the 19th century. Also included was a Gadsby’s Tavern Restaurant employee who has worked at the restaurant for two decades. In all, they collaborated with seven subjects, focusing on women and people of color. With these narratives, the pair created a fantastical sculptural installation for the Ballroom.

Using period chairs and altered furniture, these sculptures examine the extraordinary within the conventional. The duo’s artistic interventions are positioned throughout Gadsby’s Tavern Museum. Each highlight points from the Museum’s history and public-record archives and parallel the lived stories of present-day Alexandrians and the region’s rich diversity. Architectural fixtures, portraiture of anonymous women, pattern books, and newspaper articles take on new meaning when framed with themes of anonymity, loss, connectivity, and the fragility of memory.

“We hope our project encourages visitors to see history and identity in a new light,” said Watson. “These sculptures and site-specific works evoke the fragility and personal nature of memory.”

“We are thrilled to present our site-responsive work at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum,” said Adams. “Our work foregrounds the underappreciated narratives of many peoples from Alexandria’s rich history.”

This project is part of the Office of the Arts’ Time & Place series, which explores the intersection of contemporary art with Alexandria’s rich and multifaceted history. Using research-based practices and working in a variety of media, Stewart Watson and Lauren Frances Adams—along with Washington-based performance artist Sheldon Scott—have created thought-provoking temporary works that are inspired by the storied past of Gadsby’s Tavern.

Time and Place shines new light on familiar stories and uses the arts to draws connections between past and present,” said Diane Ruggiero, director of the Alexandria Office of the Arts and Events.

Time & Place is a public-art program in partnership with the Office of Historic Alexandria. The goal is to foster exploration and dialogue about our region’s history and its continued reverberations within our community today. Follow #TimeandPlaceALX to join the conversation online. For more information, visit alexandriava.gov/94687.

The City of Alexandria is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request a reasonable accommodation or materials in an alternative format, contact Diane Ruggiero at 703.746.5590 (Virginia Relay 711) or diane.ruggiero@alexandriava.gov.

About the Artists
Based in Baltimore, Stewart Watson is the executive director, curator, and co-founder of AREA 405 and co-owner, founder, and president of Oliver Street Studios. She also teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Watson has received four individual artist grants from the Maryland State Arts Council, two individual artist grants from the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, and was awarded with the 2010 Sadat Art for Peace Prize. Her work has been featured in BmoreArtBaltimore magazine, Outpost JournalThe Washington Post, The Baltimore Sunand ArtFCity. Watson received her master’s of fine art from the University of Maryland, where she was an Anne Truitt Scholar and a Daniel Nicholson Olkhe Award recipient. She earned her bachelor’s of fine art in sculpture from the Pennsylvania State University. She lives at Oliver Street Studios with her husband, son, their dogs, and cat.

Lauren Frances Adams has exhibited at the North Carolina Museum of Art; Nymans House National Trust in England; The Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Conner Contemporary in Washington, and Smack Mellon in Brooklyn. She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and has held residencies at the Cite in Paris, Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, and the Sacatar Foundation in Brazil. She is the recipient of a 2016 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award and the 2016 Trawick Prize. Her work has been reviewed in Frieze, The Baltimore Sun, and Hyperallergic. Adams is a professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

About Gadsby’s Tavern Museum

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum consists of two buildings, a ca. 1785 tavern and the 1792 City Hotel. The buildings are named for Englishman John Gadsby who operated them from 1796 to 1808. Gadsby’s establishment was a center of political, business, and social life in early Alexandria. The tavern was the setting for dancing assemblies, theatrical and musical performances, and meetings of local organizations. George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and the Marquis de Lafayette enjoyed the hospitality provided by the tavern keepers. The Museum offers guided and self-guided tours for individuals and groups. Learn more at alexandriava.gov/GadsbysTavern. Follow @gadsbystavernmuseum on Instagram and @JohnGadsby on Twitter.

About the Office of the Arts

The Office of the Arts promotes the value of arts and culture in Alexandria by nurturing, investing in and celebrating the creative contributions of artists and arts organizations. Through engaging the community, encouraging participation, and facilitating access to the arts, the Office of the Arts works with local artists and arts organizations to build a vibrant community for all of the City’s residents, workers and visitors. The Office of the Arts is a division of the City of Alexandria’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities. Learn more at alexandriava.gov/arts or follow @alexartsoffice on Instagram.

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Contact: Alyssa Ross, City of Alexandria, 703.746.4572, alyssa.ross@alexandriava.gov

This spring my work is featured in four group exhibitions.

‘The Nothing That Is: A Drawing Show in Five Parts‘ @ The Carnegie in Kentucky, March 10 – April 15

Kentucky Derby Party and Auction @ Smack Mellon in New York, May 6

‘Artists in Residence 30th Anniversary Residency Retrospective’, Artspace, Raleigh, NC, May 19 – June 24

Unloaded, traveling group show curated by Susanne Slavick, making stops at the Bolivar Art Gallery at the University of Lexington, Kentucky, and then traveling on to  Portland, Maine at the ICA Maine, and Marcia Wood Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, and other venues to be announced later in the year.

Time & Place: GADSBYS


December 10th, 2016

Above, Gadsby’s Tavern in Alexandria overlaid with the original Gadsby’s ballroom interior, at the Metropolitan Museum in New York

TIME & PLACE: GADSBYS

Time & Place is an initiative of the Alexandria Office of the Arts’ public art program to invite artists with research-based practices to create thought-provoking, temporary artwork at sites managed by the Office of Historic Alexandria. Through compelling art projects in a variety of media, Time & Place will foster exploration and dialogue about Alexandria’s rich history.

The first Time & Place exhibition will take place at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum. DC-based artist Sheldon Scott and the Baltimore-based artist team of Lauren Frances Adams and Stewart Watson began their research in August, 2016, meeting with historians, archaeologists, and community members. Their research will continue through the end of 2016, with opportunities for the public to engage with their research processes.

Sheldon Scott is developing both an immersive performance art installation in the spring of 2017, and temporary art exhibition. Using the history of the harvesting of ice from the Potomac River and the storage and use of ice at Gadsby’s as a starting point, both works will examine the historic relationship of the Potomac River and the people of Alexandria, and the contemporary utility of the river as a resource.

Through their research, Stewart Watson and Lauren Frances Adams plan to develop a series of artworks to be installed at Gadsby’s in the summer of 2017. Their research focuses on women, enslaved peoples, and anonymous citizens whose stories are rarely told in light of the typical fêting of historically famous individuals. They intend to develop artworks will utilize familiar domestic materials such as wood, ceramics, and textiles in period-specific iterations to bring a contemporary understanding to these themes.

Bmore Art Journal #3 : LEGACY


November 20th, 2016

Issue 3 of the BmoreArt Journal of Art + Ideas explores the issue of LEGACY for artists in the Baltimore region. What is our cultural birthright and who are our artistic forbearers? How can we, as creative and equity-minded citizens, learn from the successes and failures of our ancestors in Baltimore?

Issue 3 features cultural leaders like Joyce J. Scott and John Waters, compares generations of makers, and analyzes the history of our cultural landscape. The magazine features writing by Cara Ober, Bret McCabe, Marianne Amoss, Jermaine Bell, Martina Dodd, Kerr Houston, Christopher Llewellyn Reed, Michael B. Tager, Fred Scharmen, and Julie Scharper. Photography for Issue 3 included Chris Attenborough, Kelvin Bullock, Theresa Keil, Rachel Rock Palermo, Justin Tsucalas, and Stephen Spartana. The magazine also featured artwork by Khadija Nia Adell, Lauren Frances Adams, and Linda Day Clark.

You can get a copy via mail here, or in local museum shops and bookstores in Baltimore.

Baltimore Rising @ MICA


November 3rd, 2016

lauren frances adams baltimore rising

Read more here: https://www.mica.edu/Baltimore_Rising.html

Baltimore Rising is an exhibition bringing together a broad survey of works by 15 artists — with significant ties to Baltimore — who address the social, economic, political and racial issues that propelled the city to the national spotlight in 2015.

Artists: Derrick Adams, Lauren Adams, Devin Allen, Sonya Clark, J.M. Giordano, Logan Hicks, Jeffrey Kent, Nate Larson, Nether, Olivia Robinson, Paul Rucker, Joyce J. Scott, Tony Shore, Shinique Smith and Susan Waters-Eller.

On view Nov. 2-23, 2016

Fred Lazarus IV Center for Graduate Studies
131 W North Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21201

Gallery hours:
Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, noon – 5 p.m.

Opening Reception
Friday, November 4, 5 – 8 p.m.
Lazarus Center

Community Forum
After the Baltimore Uprising: Still Waiting for Change
Wednesday, November 9, 7 – 9 p.m.
Lazarus Center Auditorium

Are we any better off today than we were in April 2015? What has changed? What still needs to change? Baltimore Bloc coordinator Ralikh Hayes, #WestWednesday organizer Tawanda Jones, Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson, author D. Watkins and JHU professor Lester Spence (moderator) will talk about where we are now, selective policing and the DOJ report.

Artists Panel
Can Artists Ignite a Revolution?
Wednesday, November 16, 7 – 9 p.m.
Lazarus Center Auditorium

What is the role of the arts in revolution? Photographer J.M. Giordano, visual artist and musician Paul Rucker, multi-disciplinary artist and educator Joyce J. Scott, MICA painting chair Tony Shore and UMD professor Sheri Parks (moderator) will talk about how the arts can serve as a tool to examine society and to amplify the voices that most need to be heard.

Project Statement by Lauren Frances Adams:

This wallpaper installation depicts protests related to the Black Lives Matter movement. Taking a Knee portrays the many athletes and musicians who have kneeled during the playing of the National Anthem at the beginning of sports events during the past two months. The blue striped wallpaper, which has a silver moiré pattern, is interwoven with silver painted figures of those who have chosen to protest inequality and injustice in America.  The variety of figures depicted spans from professional athletes such as Colin Kaepernick, who initiated the protest in August, to college and high school footballers, soccer players, marching band performers, and team coaches. Taking a Knee celebrates the stance taken both on and off the field by this new generation of protesters.

lauren frances adams

Say I Am: Lauren Frances Adams, Caroline Wells Chandler, Pixy Liao, and Yvonne Osei
September 16 – Ocotber 29, 2016
Opening reception, September 16, 6-9pm

PLUG Projects presents Say I Am, an exhibition featuring the work of Lauren Frances Adams, Caroline Wells Chandler, Pixy Liao, and Yvonne Osei. These artists address agency and challenge assumptions within a historically patriarchal heteronormative structure. Providing a contrast to the dominant landscape, deviations from expected gendered, cultural, or racial narratives are presented. Whether speaking from one’s experience or for an individual’s right to self determinism, each artist lends a transgressive hand to support new ways of thinking.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Lauren Frances Adams earned her BFA at UNC-Chapel Hill, and completed her MFA in 2007 at Carnegie Mellon University. She lives and works in Baltimore. She has exhibited at Nymans House National Trust (Sussex, England), The Walters Museum (MD), The Mattress Factory (PA), and Smack Mellon (NY). She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and has held residencies at the Cite in Paris and the Sacatar Foundation in Brazil. She is the recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Award, and a 2016 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award. Her work has been reviewed in Frieze Magazine, The Baltimore Sun, Artslant, and Hyperallergic. Lauren is a founding member of Ortega y Gasset Projects, a project space in New York.http://www.lfadams.com

Caroline Wells Chandler’s brightly colored hand-crocheted works explore notions of queerness and sexuality as well as the art historical canon. His characters are radically queer, and his representations of gender declare queerness as the normative state. Chandler completed his foundation studies at the Rhode Island School of Design and received his BFA cum laude from Southern Methodist University in 2007. He has shown at numerous institutions including: Roberto Paradise (San Juan, Puerto Rico), Lord Ludd (PA), Art League Houston (TX), Zurcher Studio (NY), Field Projects (NY), Vox Populi (PA), Sanctuary (PA), N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art (MI), Open Gallery (TN), and the Stieglitz Museum (‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands) among others. Chandler is a 2011 MFA recipient in painting at the Yale School of Art where he was awarded the Ralph Mayer Prize for proficiency in materials and techniques. He lives and works in New York. http://carolinewellschandler.com

Pixy Liao was born and raised in Shanghai, China and currently resides in Brooklyn. She is a recipient of NYFA Fellowship in photography, En Foco’s New Works Fellowship and LensCulture Exposure Awards, etc,. She has done artist residencies at Pioneer Works, Light Work, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Center for Photography at Woodstock, and Camera Club of New York. Liao’s photographs have been exhibited internationally, including He Xiangning Art Museum (China), Asia Society (Houston), Flower Gallery (NY), First Draft Gallery (Sydney), VT Artsalon (Taiwan), Kips Gallery (Korea), The Running Horse Contemporary Art Space (Lebanon), Format (UK), Noorderlicht (Netherland), etc. Liao holds a MFA in photography from University of Memphis.http://pixyliao.com

Yvonne Osei is a German-born Ghanaian artist living in the United States who is hyperaware of her hybridity. She describes herself as an outsider artist making insider art, referencing her West African roots while acknowledging her close to six years living in St. Louis, Missouri. https://vimeo.com/yvonneosei

www.plugprojects.com

About the Project:

Anatomy of Style in New France: Louis XV/Code Noir

Printed vinyl and three individual paintings (gouache and acrylic on paper, 2014)

2016

Project Statement:

New France was the name of the territory stretching from New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico up the Mississippi River (including parts of Kansas and Missouri) to Canada during the French colonial period (16th-18th centuries). Louis XV was the king of France during this later period, and in 1724 at the age of 13, he signed into effect the second version of the Code Noir.   This ‘black code’ consolidated the French legal framework concerning slavery in North America, restricting the rights of enslaved and free blacks and outlining the religious entitlements of all French subjects. The painted texts in the wallpaper are from this regulatory decree. The pixelated objects depicted in the wallpaper are from the Nelson-Atkins Museum collection of Louis XV style furniture, objects created in a style once popular in France and roughly concurrent with this later era of French trade and settlement in Illinois Country / Upper Louisiana. Collapsing ornament and oppression, the Code Noir textual extracts combined with archival evidence of the monarchy’s finest furnishings offer an acute contrast concerning an important period in the history of Missouri.

Positioned on the background image and hanging as if slightly askew in a genuine and grand domestic space are three paintings from my ongoing series, Decorum. Decorum is an incomplete but growing index of the histories of enslaved people from antiquity to the present. Decorative and textual sources trace the complex structures that surround labor and power inequalities. My sources are frequently found in museum collections, where the museum acts as both witness and author.  Archival remnants of slave narratives, ornament, and my own personal inquiries constitute an open-ended process of asking how the decorative arts participate, either actively or silently, in promoting or reflecting dominant ideologies of social hierarchy, political authority, and cultural fantasy.


Balagandan Moon, gouache on paper, 24″ x 30″, 2016

Brutality Garden is a solo exhibition by Lauren Frances Adams of recent works on paper from the Netherlands and Brazil. The works on display originate from residencies the artist made in Rotterdam and Salvador in 2015 and 2016. Investigating Dutch and Portuguese empire, as evinced in the collections of major museums (like the Mauritshuis in Den Haag and Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, as well as Museu Carlos Costa Pinto in Salvador), these paintings sample from a variety of European golden age painting in the age of colonial exploration. Images from domestic life and nature, such as tile, fruits, and birds, contrasts with the fancy fashion of enslaved Brasiliens and the porcelain of the upper classes. Subjects explored include the desirable pineapple as a colonial vector fruit, azulejos (blue tile) as a theater for dramatic political allegory, and dinnerware ornamentation of the Portuguese bourgeoisie in light of brutal provincial social hierarchies.  Many of the artworks reference the cultural tension between historical colonial ambition and contemporary post-colonial reality.

The exhibition is on view from September 6 – October 6, 2016 in the Delaplaine Fine Arts Center at Mount St. Mary’s University.

Trawick Prize


September 5th, 2016

The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards is a visual art prize produced by the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District that honors artists from Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia. The annual juried competition awards $14,000 in prize monies to selected artists and features the work of the finalists in a group exhibition.

2016 Trawick Prize Finalists
Lauren Frances Adams, Baltimore, MD
Cindy Cheng, Baltimore, MD
Leah Cooper, Baltimore, MD
Sarah Irvin, Springfield, VA
Dean Kessmann, Washington, D.C.
Ben Marcin, Baltimore, MD
Tony Shore, Baltimore, MD
William Wylie, Charlottesville, VA

The 2016 competition will be juried by Stéphane Aquin (Chief Curator Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden),
Hasan Elahi (Associate Professor, Department of Art University of Maryland) and Rebecca Schoenthal
(Curator of Exhibitions The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia).

Selected finalists will have their work on display August 31 – September 24, 2016.

http://www.bethesda.org/bethesda/trawick-prize

Sabbatical Exhibition at MICA


September 3rd, 2016

The annual exhibition features works produced by a small group of faculty members on sabbaticals during the previous year. This year’s show includes painting faculty member Lauren Frances Adams, general fine arts faculty member Pat Alexander, drawing and painting faculty member Dan Dudrow, humanistic studies faculty members Paul Jaskunas and Saul Myers, photography faculty member Nate Larson, and illustration faculty member Shadra Strickland.

August 29 – September 18, 2016

MICA Gallery Hours: Monday-Saturday,10 am–5 pm; Sunday, noon–5 pm; Closed major holidays.

Decker Gallery: Fox Building
1303 W Mt Royal Ave, Baltimore, MD 21217, USA

Appropriating Revolution
A contemporary art exhibition at the Old Stone House & Washington Park

Exhibition Opening: Wednesday, August 17, 6-9 p.m

Exhibition dates: August 17-October 8, 2016

http://theoldstonehouse.org/event/appropriating-revolution/

Hours: Fridays 3-7 p.m.; or by appointment. Call 718-768-3195 or email info@theoldstonehouse.org.

Katherine Gressel, Curator

Exhibiting Artists:   Lauren Frances Adams, Jim Costanzo [Aaron Burr Society], Gen Howe, Robert Gould, Alicia Grullon, Nsenga Knight

With outdoor public art installations by: Gen Howe, Anthony Heinz May

Revolutions have historically been both catalyzed and commemorated by iconic images, texts and actions–often manifested by artists and artisans. OSH itself serves as a powerful symbol of revolution, as a reconstructed Dutch colonial farmhouse on the land where the 1776 Battle of Brooklyn took place. In conjunction with the opening of OSH’s new permanent interactive exhibition, Old Stone House: Witness to War, Appropriating Revolution brings together contemporary artists inspired by the unique history of the House and of other past revolutions in their efforts to address the most important issues of today.

In a contemporary political climate where the term “revolution” (defined as “the overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system”) risks association with either polarizing rhetoric or cynical complacency, is there an especially appropriate role for artists to play by bringing the tactics and triumphs of the past to the forefront of our conversations?

Other Free Public Events:

Tuesday, September 20, 7-9pm: “Why I Shot Hamilton” Performance and whiskey distillation demo /tasting with Jim Costanzo [Aaron Burr Society]

Sunday, October 2, 1-3pm: Performance/workshop: “Pick It!” protest sign making with Alicia Grullon

(ABOVE, F. Schumacher and Co. custom 20th c. wallcovering for the House and Senate Chambers in Washington, D.C., also in the collection of the Cooper Hewitt)

Of the people
Curated by Erin Donnelly
June 17 – July 31, 2016
Opening reception: Saturday, June 18, 5-8pm

92 Plymouth Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
http://smackmellon.org/index.php/exhibitions/upcoming/

Exhibiting Artists:
Lauren Frances Adams
Daniel Bejar
Guy Ben-Ari
Brooklyn Hi-Art Machine (Mildred Beltre and Oasa DuVerney)
Isabella Cruz-Cong
Peggy Diggs
Esteban del Valle
Nicholas Fraser
Emily Greenberg
Jeremy D. Olson
Sheryl Oring
Ben Pinder
Brittany M. Powell
Kate Sopko
Leah Wolff

Public Event Artists:
Alicia Grullon
t.Rutt (Mary Mihelic and David Gleeson)
Martha Wilson
Others to be announced

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For this exhibition, I am creating two special projects exploring recent trends in campaign finance. These site-specific installations of painted architectural ornament mimics the House of Representatives chamber in the U.S. Capitol Building, appropriating the relief portraits, wallpaper, and other symbolic decoration of this quintessentially American political space. Classical temples served as archetypical models for the buildings of Washington, D.C. Statues and friezes with allegorical figures became the models for America’s national symbolism in our burgeoning democracy. Symbols of civic life and learning, strength and endurance as well as classical pagan figures were ideal for the symbolism of the American Enlightenment. In the case of the Capitol’s House Chamber ornamentation, there are 23 marble relief portraits that depict historical figures noted for establishing the principles that underlie American law (such as Napoleon I, Moses, Hammurabi, Suleiman, Thomas Jefferson, Lycurgus, George Mason, etc.). In New Century Lawgivers, I flip these carefully chosen subjects with portraits of contemporary top political financial donors.

These donors (such as Tom Steyer, Sheldon Adelson, and the Koch brothers) reflect a new political reality in which an elite group of superaffluent partisans exert more influence over the campaign landscape than millions of donors of more average means. This project assumes that the massive shift in campaign financial contributions by some of the wealthiest persons are indelibly affecting the political process of the United States — effectively turning our democracy into an oligarchy (or plutocracy, as Noam Chomsky would assert).

Highlighting income inequality and the loss of access to the democratic process by the lower and middle classes, these outsize campaign contributions can dominate policy concerning crucial issues of wealth- and income-protection, as well as public services and policies concerning the environment, labor rights, healthcare, etc. Visualizing these mega-donors through classical architectural symbolism moves their influence into the public dialogue around the state of our shifting democracy.

In the second installation, Dark Money Damask, the historic wallcovering from the Senate and House Chambers, which features images of a liberty cap and liberty bell, has been remixed to incorporate references to recent trends in political spending by SuperPACS and other dark money organizations.

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Friday, June 17, 11:30am-8:00pm: Filibuster #2 by Alicia Grullon
For this live re-enactment of Senator Bernie Sanders’ Bush Tax Cuts filibuster, the interdisciplinary artist will follow strict filibustering rules: continual speaking, no bathroom break, no sitting or leaning and no eating or drinking until the 8.5-hour performance is complete.

Drop In Activity also on Friday, June 17: Make your own political button while supplies last. This event is part of the Etsy Craft Party taking place in the neighborhood.

Saturday, June 18, 4-6pm, Thursday, July 7, 6-9pm; Saturday and Sunday during the run of show, 2-6pm: Campaign Office, performance/installation by Jeremy D. Olson
Campaign Office creates new presidential candidates. Visitors are invited to launch their campaign by announcing their candidacy on camera, and will receive the paperwork necessary to be an official candidate for president.

Saturday-Sunday, June 18-19: T.RUMP Bus
The t.Rutt artist team purchased Donald Trump’s actual campaign bus on Craigslist in the fall of 2015. Since being recast by artists Mary Mihelic and David Gleeson as an anti-Trump rolling art project, it has traveled across the United States during the election season, creating a platform for responding to the presumptive GOP nominee’s outrageous statements and behaviors.

We are offering special members-only tours of the T.RUMP Bus. Join today and support Smack Mellon! Become a member by clicking here.

Saturday, June 18 and Saturday, July 16, 12noon-6pm: Mapping projects #7 and #8by Nicholas Fraser
A series of mapping performances will be conducted that examine the absurdities inherent in the media’s visualizations of the presidential election process.

Thursday, July 28, 5:30-8pm: Silkscreen Workshop by Brooklyn Hi-Art Machine
Come to Smack Mellon to make your own political poster copy. The evening includes a screening the Democratic National Convention when the party’s candidate will be announced.

Sunday, July 31, 3pm: Martha Wilson as Donald Trump – Politics and Performance Art Are One and the Same
Martha Wilson embodies her trademark “invasions” of other people’s personae.

Immediately following performance: Community practices: Art and Intervention Panel Discussion Select exhibition artists discuss their projects of social and political consequence. Participants include Isabella Cruz-Chong, Brooklyn, New York; Sheryl Oring, Greensboro, North Carolina; and lead artist Kate Sopko, Cleveland, Ohio, who will be joined by a fixer from her project; moderated by Erin Donnelly.

Closing Reception: 5-6pm.

I am thrilled to announce that I have been awarded a 2016 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award.

The Pollock-Krasner Foundation was established in 1985 to assist individual working artists of merit with financial need through the generosity of Lee Krasner (1908-1984), a leading abstract expressionist painter and widow of Jackson Pollock.

The Pollock-Krasner Foundation’s dual criteria for grants are recognizable artistic merit and demonstrable financial need, whether professional, personal or both. The Foundation’s mission is to aid, internationally, those individuals who have worked as professional artists over a significant period of time.

Pollock-Krasner grants have enabled artists to create new work, purchase needed materials and pay for studio rent, as well as their personal and medical expenses. Past recipients of Pollock-Krasner grants acknowledge their critical impact in allowing concentrated time for studio work, and in preparing for exhibitions and other professional opportunities such as accepting a residency.

I am an artist in residence at the Sacatar Foundation in Bahia, Brazil, from March 21 – May 15, 2016.

From the press release: Continuing the established tradition of quarterly announcements of the award of Sacatar Fellowships for creative individuals from throughout the world, Sacatar is honored to share the names of the six selected Sacatar Fellows who will participate in a two-month residency session at Instituto Sacatar on the Island of Itaparica, Bahia, Brazil from March 21 to May 16, 2016: animator/filmmaker Elisabeth Zwimpfer (Switzerland/Germany), photographer Gordana Hajinovic (Serbia), visual artist Luciana Magno (Brazil, winner of the 2016 PIPA Prize), visual artist Lauren Adams (USA), choreographer/dancer Maureen Fleming (USA), and filmmaker Meredith Lackey (USA).

With the exception of PIPA Prize winners, all Fundação Sacatar fellows are selected through a highly competitive open call solicitation process that is conducted annually and semi-annually and reviewed by a panel of experts and past Sacatar Fellows. Application for a Sacatar Fellowship is open to creative individuals from throughout the world. For the 2015 – 2017 season, over 650 applications were submitted for approximately 30 residency slots.

About Sacatar: Sacatar was established in 2000 as a non-profit organization to provide creative individuals from around the world the time and physical space to create new work within an international community of artists influenced by the unique culture of Bahia, Brazil. Since 2001, Sacatar has awarded more than 300 Residency Fellowships to individuals from over 60 different countries and has directly supported more than 500 community educational and cultural programs and events in Brazil and abroad. In 2016, Sacatar anticipates hosting 25 creative individuals in four separate 8-week sessions at its oceanside estate, the Instituto Sacatar, on the island of Itaparica, a short ferry ride across the Bay of All Saints from the city of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

The public is invited to meet the awardees at an interactive artist talk called “Conversas com Sacatar” on March 31, 2016 at 4pm at the Goethe-Institut located at Av. Sete de Setembro, 1809, in the Vitória neighborhood of Salvador, Bahia. Admission is free.

http://sacatar.org/

Trove/Trope

An installation by O’Donnell Visiting Educator in Art Lauren Adams, in conjunction with the Sheehan Gallery’s “Scenes and Types: Photography from the Collection of Adnan Charara” exhibit.

Opening Reception, Thursday, March 10 6-8pm

March 11 – May 9 2016

Lauren Adams will be in residence in the gallery February 29 to March 11, and delivering a public lecture on Saturday, March 5 at 4:00 pm in Olin 130.

345 Boyer Ave. Walla Walla, WA 99362

Ortega y Gasset Projects opens the 2016 season with two concurrent exhibitions. A joint reception will be held on Saturday, January 23, 6-9pm.  At a special afternoon event on February 6, Jennifer Coates, David Humphrey, and Glenn Goldberg will play music in the gallery.

On view in the main gallery, Lauren Frances Adams and Jennifer Coates co-curate The Swerve, featuring works by Julia Bland, Caroline Wells Chandler, Glenn Goldberg, Bill Komoski, Joyce Kozloff, Bruce Pearson, Sarah Peters, James Siena, and Barbara Takenaga. The exhibition runs until Sunday, February 21.

The title for the exhibition is based upon a book of the same name by Stephen Greenblatt, which touches on ancient atomistic theory, wherein atoms normally falling straight through a void are sometimes subject to a clinamen — a slight, unpredictable change. It is in this interruption of regularity where the action lies. According to Lucretius, if atoms were not in the habit of swerving, “nature would never have produced anything.” Taking this as a point of departure, The Swerve presents contemporary paintings and sculptures that explore the haptic and conceptual approaches to pattern: how pattern and its rupture are employed in service of meaning.

Joyce Kozloff appropriates the iconic Islamic star to create a richly colored all-over pattern that merges non-Western motif  with an American quilting logic, revealing the political in the decorative. Julia Bland utilizes an eccentric, loose weaving technique to build emblematic, symmetrical imagery that seem to contain hidden meanings, while Caroline Wells Chandler uses crochet to generate soft sculptures: feminist homunculi that merge cartoons with craft. Sarah Peters’ ancient Assyrian hair patterns become almost architectural as they frame and support an open-mouthed female: many periods of art history coalesce into a single head. Barbara Takenaga’s woozy forms radiate from a glowing center, as her carefully tended surfaces create cosmic vortexes. Bill Komoski’s lattices and sculpted holes on canvas leak toxic sludge in tongue-like shapes, as he channels the bodily via the urban industrial. Bruce Pearson’s white-on-white biomorphic carvings also make use of relief, embedding text within them: once your eyes adjust the code is broken. In James Siena’s drawing, a figure emerges from a density of tiny marks, she seems to be trapped within the edges of the paper. Glenn Goldberg makes hallucinatory use of dots to create an atmospheric world from which two tiny birds emerge.

The artists all share a propensity to tease out meaning from complex visual matrices. Images range from figuration to abstraction, but the recurrent theme is an organic wavering between recognizable form and repetition.

On view in the gallery vestibule, Adams and Coates curate Star Upon Star, a site-specific installation by Kirsten Hassenfeld. The piece will be on view throughout the Ortega y Gasset spring exhibition program.

Star Upon Star is constructed from recycled giftwrap, using a system both geometrically precise and intentionally off-kilter. Hassenfeld forces clashing patterns and the associations they evoke to coexist and to coalesce into a sculptural whole.

Educated as a printmaker, Kirsten Hassenfeld makes sculpture from paper and found objects. She has been honored with numerous awards and residencies, most recently the St. Gaudens Memorial Fellowship in 2014. Her work has been featured in Art in America, the New York Times Magazine and Interview Magazine, among others. She lives and works in Brooklyn and the Catskills.

Lauren Frances Adams (Baltimore, Maryland) mines the histories of power, labor, and material culture to make surprising connections that resonate with current sociopolitical issues. Solo exhibitions include Back Lane West, Cornwall, UK; Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; EXPO Chicago; and Conner Contemporary, Washington, D.C. Group exhibitions include: The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Contemporary Applied Arts, London; CUE Foundation, NY; Mattress Factory and the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh.  Residencies include Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and a Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant.

Jennifer Coates is an artist, writer and musician living in NYC. Her ongoing series of paintings – “Total Fat” – explore the sacred architecture and spiritual radiance embedded in processed foods. She recently had a two person show of collaborative work with David Humphrey at Arts & Leisure Gallery and a two person show with Tom Burckhardt at Valentine Gallery, both in NYC. She currently has a painting, PB&J, on view at the Museum at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. She has written art reviews for Time Out New York and Art in America and can be seen playing violin and singing in various bands in the region.

Ortega y Gasset Projects is a gallery curated projects space in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn. Comprised of artists currently living in Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and Tennessee, OyG operates a cross-country collective and an incubator for dialogue and artistic exchange.

For more information contact Lauren Frances Adams at laurenfrancesadams@gmail.com

Open Saturdays & Sundays 1-6pm and by appointment

Ortega y Gasset Projects
The Old American Can Factory
363 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215

ANATOMISING THE MUSEUM: Contemporary Art & Museum Collections

ANATOMISING THE MUSEUM brings together international artists, curators, researchers and museum professionals to probe at the effects of interventions and incisions in museum collections by contemporary artists.

Valand Academy, Thursday 26 November 2015 at 09:00-18:30.

Why are we encountering increased examples of museums engaging artists to work amidst or from their collections? How critical can artistic interventions in collections be when they most often occur at the invitation of the museum? What forms of critical curatorship are authored when museums engage artists to work amidst it practices? Are the procedures of the museum anatomised or consolidated through such projects?

Through convergence of art-criticality and heritage-criticality this seminar investigates interpretation and intervention, critical curating and quasi-curatorial methods as effects and methods of artistic intervention in and through museum’s collections and their practices.

Presenters:

Lauren F. Adams, artist and Associate Professor, Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore (USA), Sara Barnes, independent curator (DE), Christine Borland, artist and Professor at Northumbria University (UK), Mary Coble, artist and Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Valand Academy (SE), Martha Fleming, art and sciences specialist, Reading University (UK), Lisa Sputnes Mouwitz, Director of Gothenburg Medical History Museum, Matty Pye, Curator Adult Programme, V&A Museum (UK), Miranda Stearn, Head of Learning, The Fitzwilliam Museum (UK), and others.

ANATOMISING THE MUSEUM is co-organised by the MFA: Fine Art Programme, Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg and Gothenburg Medical History Museum, Sahlgrenska University Hospital.

Free but limited places. Book by email: denise.mellion@gu.se

For more information: http://akademinvaland.gu.se/aktuellt/e/?eventId=3107746568

Artist Lauren Frances Adams has been awarded a month-long residency in September 2015 at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans.
Based in the culturally diverse and historic city of New Orleans, the Joan Mitchell Center’s mission is to support local, national, and international contemporary visual artists. The Joan Mitchell Center is an artist residency center developed to offer both time and space for artists to create work in a contemplative environment. In addition to the artist residency and local artist studio programming, the Center curates and produces public programming that serves the broader community of New Orleans, and endeavors to serve as an incubator, conduit and resource for partnerships in the arts.

Artists-in-Residence: Fall 2015
Lauren Adams
Xenobia Bailey
Julie Green
Heather Hart
Robert Hodge
Lavar Munroe
Shoshanna Weinberger
For more information: http://joanmitchellfoundation.org/center/artist-in-residence

PRESS:
Artforum, “In New Orleans, Joan Mitchell Center Makes its Debut,” August 26, 2015

I will be in residence at the Montello Foundation in northeastern Nevada in late August 2015.

Montello Foundation is a foundation dedicated to support artists who foster our understanding of nature, its fragility and our need to protect it.

The full list of artists in residence at Montello this summer:

• Lauren Adams, Baltimore
• Tyler Beard, Denver
• Max Bellamy, New Zealand
• Kyla Hansen, Los Angeles
• Regin Igloria, Chicago
• Katie Miller, Seattle
• Soyoung Shin, Los Angeles
• Lauren Strohacker, Scottsdale
• Annie Varnot, New York
• Allison Wiese, San Diego
• Letha Wilson, New York

July 18, 2015 through August 22, 2015
Opening reception: Saturday, July 18, 2015, 7pm-10pm

Guest Spot @ THE REINSTITUTE, 1715 N. Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD

Guest Spot @ THE REINSTITUTE  and TRANSMITTER (NYC) are excited to announce a collaborative group exhibition titled Self-Organized — Aesthetic Politics of The Artist Run.  The exhibition will be on view from July 17th through August 22nd at Guest Spot @ THE REINSTITUTE, with an opening on Saturday, July 18, 2015 from 7pm-10pm. Self-Organized — Aesthetics Politics of the Artist Run will also be featured at a satellite booth in The Artist Run Fair that will run congruently with the show’s opening weekend. The booth will be on the ground floor at The Artist Run Fair (1714 N. Charles Street, Baltimore) Friday July 17th through July 19th. Hours will be Friday and Saturday, 11am-9pm and Sunday, 11am-6pm. The Artist Run Fair is organized by Open Space and BOPA.

“The current economic situation and society’s low confidence in its institutions has suddenly demanded artists become more imaginative in the way they organize themselves. If labels such as ‘alternative’, ‘non-profit’ and ‘artist-run’ dominate the self organized art scene that emerged in the late 1990s, the separatist position implied by the use of these terms has been moderated during intervening years. The new anthology of accounts from the front line includes contributions by artists, as well as their institutional counterparts, that provide a fascinating account of the art world as matrix of interconnected positions where the balance of power and productivity constantly shift.”
Occasional Table – Self-Organized

We are excited for the opportunity to focus our programming around one of the most influential methods of contemporary cultural production, the self-organized initiative. Self-Organized — Aesthetic Politics of The Artist Run is a group exhibition inspired by a published collection of perspectives on this topic, also entitled Self-Organized. The exhibition will feature the work of co-founders and directors of artist run spaces, along with relevant publications from Baltimore, New York City, and beyond. This exhibit module is a survey of influential spaces, examining the aesthetic and political aspirations of the directors’ work and how this influences their galleries’ infrastructure and the broader art community.

As Lafuente points out in Self-Organized, “We live in a time when the structures that historically made it possible to develop a critical relationship to artistic practice, together with the social and political models that supported them, are being dismantled. Because of this, it is now imperative to think of new modes of organization that are neither inherited, nor imposed.”

TRANSMITTER & GUEST SPOT @ THE REINSTITUTE’s programming seeks to further this active dialogue between multiple artistic disciplines.

Artists/ Participants:
Arts & Sciences Projects / New York City / Baltimore, MD
Lauren Adams / Ortega Y Gasset Projects / Brooklyn, NY
Kat Chamberlin /  Common People / Brooklyn, NY
Henry Chung / Robert Henry Contemporary /  Brooklyn, NY
Mathew Crowther / Crusade for Art / Chicago, IL
Hilary Doyle / projekt 722 / Brooklyn, NY
Alex Ebstein / Nudashank / Baltimore, MD
Robert Alan Grand / Kimberly-Klark / Queens, NY
Alexis Granwell / TSA Philly / Philadelphia, PA
Tom Griggs / Fototazo / Medellín / Antioquia / Colombia
Reid Hitt / projekt 722 / Brooklyn, NY
Rhia Hurt / Trestle Gallery / Brooklyn, NY
Bonny Leibowitz / Curator / Dallas, TX
Mathew Mahler / Small Black Door / Brooklyn, NY
Keri Oldham / Field Projects, / New York, NY
John M. O’Toole /  Oranbeg Press / Boston, MA
Norm Paris / TSA NY / Brooklyn, NY
Lauren Portada / Regina Rex / New York, NY
Niels Post / Kunst en Complex / Trendbeheer / Rotterdam, Netherlands
Trevor Powers / Cat Labs / Easthampton, MA
Jacob Rhodes / Field Projects / Brooklyn, NY
Joaquin Segura / SOMA / Mexico City, Mexico
Ginevra Shay / The Contemporary / Baltimore, MD
Conor Stechschulte / Open Space / Baltimore, MD
Julie Torres /  Curator / Brooklyn, NY
Iemke van Dijk / IS Projects / Leiden, Netherlands
Robert Walden / Robert Henry Contemporary /  Brooklyn, NY
Guido Winkler / IS Projects / Leiden, Netherlands
Patricia Zarate / Key Projects / Queens, NY

Hours: Saturdays 1-4pm & Wednesday 5-7pm or by appointment

PRESS:

Uncertainty in Artist-Run Efforts as Station North Develops,’ Rebekah Kirkman, Baltimore City Paper, August 5, 2015

Brooklyn to Baltimore: A Celebration of Artist Run Spaces,’ Michael Anthony Farley, Art F City, July 30, 2015

a handle, a stem, a hook, a ring, a loop

Open Source Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Thursday, June 25 and Friday, June 26, 3-8pm
Saturday, June 27, 1-6pm

Part of Whitney Lynn’s presentation of Rummage, a series of performative installations at Open Source Gallery in the month of June.

Lauren Frances Adams and Christine Wong Yap share interests in how objects and possessions are imbued with meaning. a handle, a stem, a hook, a ring, a loop is a collaborative installation of imaginative objects and paintings that explore desire, loss, and non-attachment.

Garages often serve as surplus storage, but the lack of excess space in NYC inspired Wong Yap to make papier-mâché piñatas of objects that she would like to own but cannot store, such as cooking appliances and woodworking tools. The exhibition culminates on Saturday with a ‘non-attachment piñata party,’ where the confetti-filled piñatas will be available for the public to hit and destroy in a gesture of letting go.

Adams invites strangers to submit a story of their personal desires and burdens to prompt a painting, resulting in a display of the finished artworks that will be exchanged with their new owners after the close of the show. Inspired by the exchange found at garage sales and on internet websites like Craigslist, Adams performs a ‘service’ to solicit the hidden appreciations and antagonisms between strangers and their possessions. To participate, visit this online form: https://goo.gl/forms/a2BJdQKhpS.
Lauren Frances Adams mines the histories of power, labor, and material culture to make surprising connections that resonate with current sociopolitical issues. She is a resident of Baltimore, Maryland.

Christine Wong Yap makes sculptures, installations, participatory projects, and drawings to spark and sustain attention to emotional experiences. A long-time resident of Oakland, California, she relocated to Queens in 2010.

Lauren and Christine are part of Ortega y Gasset Projects, an artist collective that aims to mount exhibitions that provoke interpretation and dialogue, engaging with a wide forum to disseminate aesthetic experience. OyG works collaboratively over geographical distances to extend beyond local communities and forge larger networks of cultural dialogue.

The Nothing That is: a drawing show in five parts
June 5 – September 7, 2015

Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh

Warehouse District 409 West Martin Street Raleigh, NC 27603

CAM Raleigh is pleased to present The Nothing That Is: a drawing show in five parts curated by Bill Thelen. This extraordinary exhibition includes more then 85 local, national and international artists all exploring contemporary approaches to drawing, mark making and gesture. The Nothing That Is will be presented in five parts throughout the museum and also includes drawing projects in the community.

Chapter 1 DDDRRRAAAWWWIIINNNGGG in the Main Gallery curated by Bill Thelen and Jason Polan features a “do it yourself” approach to drawing with an emphasis on emerging artists, illustration, zines, economy, and building community through drawing. These artists’ works all utilize drawing as a prime strategy in their art-making process. Artists will be exhibiting collaborative and singular works embedded with their own unique drawing practices including Tedd Anderson, Joana Avillez, Amanda Barr, Chris Bogia, Elijah Burgher, Richard C., Robin Cameron, Ryan Travis Christian, Casey Cook, Daniel Davidson, Louise Despont, Mollie Earls, James Esber, Joy Feasley, Bill Fick, Nancy Ford, Sarah Gamble, Nathan Gelgud, Lincoln Hancock, EJ Hauser, Harrison Haynes, Kathleen Henderson, Jordin Islip, Rich Jacobs, Spencer Jacobs, George Jenne, Ken Kagami, Tricia Keightley, Thad Kellstadt, Victor Kerlow, Jeff Ladouceur, Matt Leines, Lump Lipshitz, Ryan Martin, Stefan Marx, Rich McIsaac, Hazel Meehan, Allyson Mellberg, Tristin Miller, Lee Misenheimer, Lavar Munroe, Kymia Nawabi, Tucker Nichols, Paul Nudd, Jason Osborne, Jason Polan, Tal R, Fernando Renes, Josh Rickards, Steve Reinke, Louis Schmidt, Christopher Schulz, Stewart Sineath, Damian Stamer, Paul Swenbeck, Megan Sullivan, Jeremy Taylor, Christopher Thomas, Derek Toomes, Michael Worful, James Ulmer, Todd Webb, Neil Whitacre, Eric White, Laura Sharp Wilson and Tyler Wolf.
Chapter 2 Conceptual Approaches in the Independent Weekly Gallery focuses on artists employing contemporary drawing strategies with nods to conceptualism, feminism, queer theory, formalism, video, performance, photography and art history featuring: Lauren Adams, Becca Albee, Leah Bailis, Lucas Blalock, Kellie Bornhoft, Blake Fall-Conroy, Joy Drury Cox, Steven Evans, Ray Johnson/Richard C, Alex Jovanovich, Gary Kachadourian, Pedro Lasch, Stan Shellabarger, elin o’Hara slavick, Deb Sokolow, Stacy Lynn Waddell and Amy White.
Chapter 3 Movement in the Independent Weekly Gallery will show video that reflects the principles of drawing. Videos will all be based on drawing and range from animation to performance. There will be several special screenings throughout the summer. Featured artists include David Colagiovanni, Jerstin Crosby and Fernando Renes.

Chapter 4 Locals Only will feature capsule solo exhibitions by North Carolina artists. These “locals only” exhibitions will rotate throughout the exhibition space and feature regional artists that utilize drawing as a prime strategy in their art-making process including Carol Cole (June), Barbara Campbell Thomas (June), David Eichenberger (July), Chris Musina (July) and Tedd Anderson (August).
Chapter 5 Open Source explores social engagement by featuring projects that utilize collaborative art strategies that extend beyond the museum’s walls. Through community outreach and social practice, there will be opportunities for the community to be involved in the exhibition. Such projects as Jason Polan’s ongoing “Taco Bell Drawing Club” will unite artists of all abilities to draw in a non-hierarchical, non-judgmental setting. Other projects will include the CAM Young Artists Advisory Panel, The Drawn, Elsewhere, Pedro Lasch, Vegan Snake Club and Lee Walton.

PRESS RELEASE

Press:
Frieze Magazine, “The Nothing that Is,” by Mimi Luse, Issue 174 November/December 2015

Puffin Foundation Grant


May 1st, 2015

Thanks to the PUFFIN FOUNDATION for studio support in 2015.

The Puffin Foundation supports “projects that seek to enrich and inform the public on important subjects such as the environment, social justice, civil rights and other contemporary issues facing the country (and the planet), that some organizations might hesitate to fund.”

Leaving Home at Contemporary Applied Arts

89 Southwark Street, London
SE1 0HX

April 17 – May 31, 2015

What happens when site specific installations are moved to a new setting? Does the work either gain or lose significance when it is taken out of its original contextual setting? Leaving Home explores these questions and more in a group show at CAA, guest curated by Matt Smith, Polly Harknett and Caitlin Heffernan. Redeploying contemporary craft objects originally made to be shown in the recent ‘Unravelled’ series of exhibitions at three National Trust properties in the South East, Leaving Home includes work by CAA members Sally Freshwater, Robert Cooper and Matt Smith, as well as a number of guest artists. The show spotlights conceptual explorations in contemporary craft that are not simply exercises in stretching and developing maker practice and current dialogue about the applied arts: the work shown in Leaving Home is also diverse, intriguing and of exceptional quality.

In the words of Matt Smith: “It is easy to assume that objects made for white cube spaces and those created for site specific installations are diametrically opposed.  In reality, the journey of many artworks moves from the lived-in space of the studio, into the white cube public gallery space and then, sometimes, back into the lived-in space of the collector’s home.  The contexts for most artworks are therefore temporal.  We were interested in how these site specific works, commissioned for Unravelling the National Trust, would navigate with these changing contexts – from home to gallery – and in particular with the white cube space at CAA which is, to some extent, imbued with the associations of domesticity that still often linked with the applied arts.”

Featured makers: Lauren Adams, Andrew Burton, Robert Cooper and Stella Harding, Steven Follen, Sally Freshwater, Gav Fry, John Grayson, Penny Green, Caitlin Heffernan, Zoe Hillyard, James Hunting, Agnes Jones, Lisa Pettibone, Matt Smith, Alec Stevens, Julian Walker.

http://www.caa.org.uk/exhibitions/archive/2015/leaving-home/

A multimedia group show that explores historical and social issues surrounding the availability, use, and impact of guns in our culture.

SPACE GALLERY, 812 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

February 13 – April 26, 2015

For more info: http://www.spacepittsburgh.org/portfolio-view/unloaded/

On view through April 26, 2015 with a closing reception during the April 24, 2015, Gallery Crawl.

UNLOADED includes the sculpture Cross for the Unforgiven by Mel Chin that configures eight AK-47s as a Maltese cross. Frozen in perpetual opposition, they are rendered dysfunctional, unable to exact a drop of blood. With ironic sentimentality, the assemblage Baby’s First Gun by Renee Stout commemorates a developmental milestone, while James Duesing’s Dog—a projected video of a hot dog holding a gun—offers a wry rendition of machismo. For the Homeland series, Nina Berman travelled the country photographing military weapons displays, SWAT team training, and drills designed to prepare for hypothetical terrorist attacks, in order to portray the evolution of the “American security state.” Resistance to the power of guns is embodied in Vanessa German’s sculptures, signs, and spoken word performances and in Jessica Fenlon’s ungun, a video composed of degrading glitched images of instruments of violence.

The exhibition features work by local and national artists, as well as artists working in China and Germany. Artists include Lauren Adams, Nina Berman, Joshua Bienko, Casey Li Brander, Anthony Cervino, Mel Chin, Cathy Colman, Dadpranks, James Duesing, Jessica Fenlon, Vanessa German, Jinshan, Andrew Ellis Johnson, Jennifer Nagle Myers, Adrian Piper, Don Porcella, Susanne Slavick, Renee Stout, and Stephanie Syjuco.

Curated by Susanne Slavick


Animalia Agitatus, a group exhibition at Edinboro University, curated by Susanne Slavick

On exhibition in the month of February at Bruce Gallery in Pennsylvania.

Flora and fauna is an expression that usually evokes images of the bucolic and benign. The artists in Animalia Agitatus have other ideas, veering from the pathetic to the provocative to the playful. Anthropomorphized or annihilated, modified or commodified, the fauna in Animalia Agitatus bear  witness to the heights and depths of human experience.

Portrayed  in  an  array  of  predicaments  and  pleasures,  creatures  cavort  around  calamity  and  potential  captivity,  enacting  fantasies  both  farcical  and  ferocious.  They  strain  toward  the  unattainable  or  under  their  own  weight.   Contorted  or  bloated,  they  survey  themselves  and  their  terrain.   Distorted,  they  lose  or  gain  agency  across  historical  generations.  Lauren  Adams’  colonizing  birds,  in  all  their  Elizabethan  finery,  peck  at  “Indian”  corn  or  perch  above  their  territory.  Chimerical  beings  advance  and  retreat  on  Marian  Barber’s  Civil  War  battlefields,  where  soldiers  ride  possums  and  hunters  are  crowned  with  ram  horns.  Monkeys  play  multiple  roles,  challenging  creationism  in  Patricia  BellanJGillen’s  installation  and  critiquing  consumerism  on  the  soles  of  Josh  Bienko’s  Christian  Louboutin  stilettos.  James  Duesing’s  animated  faun  is  born  of  a  genetic  experiment  gone  awry  while  Andrew  Ellis  Johnson’s  hairy  pig  reflects  an  economy  run  amok.  Stephanie  Ross’  costumed  performances  as  animals  explore  the  fluidity  of  gender  and  embody  “ecstatic  failure.”  And  Susanne  Slavick’s  ibises,  both  scavengers  and  survivors,  strut  amongst  political  failure,  the  ruins  of  the  Egyptian  Revolution.   Whether  aggressive  or  passive,  fetishized  or  feared,  the  animals  portrayed  invite  speculation,  revealing  the  vagaries  of  contemporary  socioJpolitical  realities. Initially,  this  menagerie  may  seem  merry,  occasionally  soothing  with  its  decorative  impulses  and  careful  execution.   But  these  works  are  meant  to  exact  a  response.   These  creatures  of  the  sea,  land  or  air  are  agitated  or  agitating,  inviting  us  to  figure  and  fathom  our  own  condition,  to  animate  our  own  stance  in  the  world.

Above statement by curator Susanne Slavick

SPACE/LAUNCH (the publication) was edited by artists Ester Partegás (A ’09), Sreshta RitPremnath (A ‘09, founder, Shifter Magazine), Birgit Rathsmann (A ‘04), Adam Shecter (A ’06), and Roger White (A ’05, co-founder, Paper Monument).  A newsprint edition of 500, it will be available for free.

SPACE/LAUNCH features 39 works by the following artists:

Lauren Adams, A ‘09, Trevor Amery, A ‘13, Nicolás Bacal, A ‘14, Seline Baumgartner, A ‘14, Caitlin Berrigan, A ‘08, Willard Boepple, A ‘63, Katherine Bradford, F ‘09, Gordon Chandler, A ‘74, Sue Collier, A ‘79, Don Edler, A ‘12, Sharona Eliassaf, A ‘11, Amy Feldman, A ‘09, Ash Ferlito, A ‘12, James Benjamin Franklin, A ‘94, Daniel Giles, A ‘13, Hiroyuki Hamada, A ‘98, Shadi Harouni, A ‘13, Jason Head, A ‘07, John Houck, A ‘08, Zerek Kempf, A ‘06, Gwenessa Lam, A ‘04, Martin Landau, A ‘84, Jaeeun Lee, A ‘11, Anthony Lepore, A ‘04, Holli McEntegart, A ‘14, Lavar Munroe, A ‘13, Amy Pryor, A ‘00, Ronny Quevedo, A ‘13, Zizi Raymond, A ‘86, Claudia Sbrissa, A ‘03, Mike Schuwerk, A ‘10, Rudy Shepherd, A ‘00, Rachel Stern, A ‘14, Ceaphas Stubbs, A ‘12, Marc Swanson, A ‘00, F ‘14, Clare Torina, A ‘12, Rodrigo Valenzuela, A ‘13, Mary Walling Blackburn, A ‘11, Claire Zitzow, A ‘11


EarthTwerks and other celestial familiars at SideCar Gallery in Hammond, Indiana
November 15 – January 4, 2015

With EARTHTWERKS & Other Celestial Familiars, the collective of visual artists acts as curators, representing visual art trends across the United States and coming together under the conceptual rubric of the notion of heliograph.

Embodying the communicative nature of the heliograph, a historic long-distance optical communication method for surveying and forest protection work, the exhibition at SideCar seeks to position each member’s practice in light of the networked nature of the group, despite the dispersed physical locations of each member.  As social and cultural space is shifting with the expansion of online accessibility the option to be portable and fluid becomes an alternative to wholesale relocation.

The artists included in the show are: Lauren Frances Adams (MD), Eleanna Anagnos (NY), Joshua Bienko (TN), Clare Britt (IL), Eric Hibit (NY), Fritz Horstman(CT), Leeza Meksin (NY), Sheilah Wilson (OH), Zahar Vaks (NY), Christine Wong Yap (NY).

SideCar Gallery can be found online at: http://gallerysidecar.com. The gallery is located at 411 Huehn Street, Hammond, Indiana, 46327.

Belongings Once Were, curated by Beth Sale at The University of North Georgia, September 22 – October 17, 2014

A two-person show featuring the works of Lauren F. Adams and Jasey Jones.

“In her own words, artist Lauren Adams represents through her paintings situations that “take to task American consumerism”. Similarly, artist Jasey Jones layers images such as vintage advertising and contemporary packaging barcodes to create inescapable references to consumerism. Thorstein Veblen, noted nineteenth-century sociologist and economist, invented the term “conspicuous consumption” to refer to the practice of spending money on luxury goods as statements of economic power. Through their works in the exhibition, Belongings Once Were, Adams and Jones invite their viewers to consider the definitions and aesthetics of luxury vs. need through time, and the price of acquisition and who may have paid it. Most striking in the work of each artist is the frequent juxtaposition of famous paintings or delicate porcelain, objects synonymous with wealth and luxury, with sobering images of slave ships or receipts for the sale of children. Through layers of paint, paper, and porcelain, the artists also layer contrasting definitions of art, product, and the price of wealth. The noted art historian, Leo Steinberg, once famously remarked that all art is about art in a ground- breaking article of the same title. In Belongings Once Were the viewer will recognize iconic artworks such as Gaugin’s French Polynesia, the Palace at Versaille, or English Garden porcelain. The artists, however, invite the viewer to look beyond the familiar images. In Decorum #10, Adams directs the viewer to consider the life of a Polynesian woman pre-European contact prior to her marketing and objectification. Similarly, Decorum #7 invites one to consider the once rare and elegant pastime of taking tea against a representation of the tiles of the courtyard of Versaille, which were laid with backbreaking labor. In a clever and thought-provoking play on words, Decorum #20 depicts luxurious Toile fabric by Brunschwig & Fils overlaid by silhouettes of slaves who helped make the creation of such fabrics possible: toil begets Toile.”

Above text by Deborah Prosser, Ph.D.

American Catastrophe Report

American Catastrophe Report on view at American University Katzen Arts Center August 2014 – August 2015.

For more information: http://www.american.edu/cas/katzen/calendar/?id=5706594

Artist Lauren Frances Adams has created American Catastrophe Report, an installation that acts as both homage and critique of the decorative frescoes in the United States Capitol Building, originally painted in the 19th c. by Italian-born artist Constantino Brumidi. The site-specific artwork by Adams is installed in American University’s Katzen Arts Center, in both the upper and lower rotunda in the center of the building, less than six miles from where Brumidi’s paintings are located. The prints forming American Catastrophe Report have the appearance of paintings due to the unique process Adams uses, where hand-painted originals are digitally scanned then printed for long-term public display. Adams updates Brumidi’s Capitol ornamentation by directly addressing ecological disasters in America that have been caused by human activities.

Visitors to the Katzen Arts Center will see an installation that is a mix of appropriated and invented imagery. Adams adapts Brumidi’s original frescoes in the U.S. Senate Wing that picture landscapes of the sparsely populated western states of the mid-19th century, as well as a variety of detailed images of birds. According to historians, Brumidi copied from lithographs in the Pacific Railroad Report and the Mexican Boundary Report, published in the 1850’s.  It is possible that Brumidi’s incorporation of these landscapes were intended to not only celebrate scenic visions of America but also to promote a comprehensive identity of American geography and inevitable settlement. Further promoting specificity of place, the birds pictured in the Senate wing point to the importance of uniquely American subject matter in Brumidi’s efforts. Assistant curator for the Office of Senate Curator, Amy Elizabeth Burton, writes about the time capsule nature of the paintings, stating  in the catalogue (published in 2014) To Make Beautiful the Capitol: Rediscovering the Art of Constantino Brumidi, “Brumidi’s birds reflect the 19-century surge in westward expansion and federal support for exploration and scientific discovery across the young and developing nation.”

Extending and celebrating this act of copying, Lauren Frances Adams has updated Brumidi’s masterful efforts with similar forms — landscapes and ornithological themes — but with a decidedly different artistic outcome. Reflecting a century and a half of human enterprise since Brumidi’s time, a selection of landscapes in decorative cartouches offers up these situations: Fracking (in rural Pennsylvania), the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Mountaintop Removal Mining (in West Virginia), the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (in the Gulf of Mexico), and Climate Change (specified as glacial retreat in Alaska). Corresponding to each man-made ecological disaster, and pointing towards the totalizing effects of habitat destruction, pollution via chemicals and garbage, and changes in weather conditions, Adams has included several birds that represent the threats to fauna as environmental destruction advances: Scarlet Tanager, Bristle-Thighed Curlew, Cerulean Warbler, Brown Pelican, and the Tufted Puffin.

Other imagery present throughout the rotunda gives depth to the historical relationships between American citizens and our physical landscape. Acting as symbolic prescience, ornamental designs incorporate two birds distinctly absent from America today: the Carolina Parakeet and the Passenger Pigeon, both extinct. Decorative flora in the paintings incorporates kudzu, a non-native species that has caused widespread ecological damage in the United States. Lofted high above, two medallions face one another in the upper rotunda: a war-like eagle and a gentle lamb. Utilizing the neoclassical aesthetic employed by Constantino Brumidi (who was in turn inspired by ornamental Renaissance paintings in the Vatican), Adams incorporates uniquely American identifications, inviting visitors to the American University Katzen Arts Center to reflect upon the conundrum of the contemporary American condition visualized in American Catastrophe Report.

About the artist: Lauren Frances Adams mines the histories of power, labor, and visual culture to make surprising connections that resonate with current sociopolitical issues. She is a 2007 MFA graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, and lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland, where she is a full-time faculty member in painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She has had recent solo exhibitions at Back Lane West, Cornwall, UK; Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; EXPO Chicago; Conner Contemporary, Washington, D.C. and Royal NoneSuch Gallery, Oakland, California. Her work has been featured in group exhibitions including: The Walters Art Museum (as a finalist for the Sondheim Prize) in Baltimore, MD; Nymans House and Gardens, Sussex, UK; CUE Foundation, New York; Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA; and the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA; among many others. She has been awarded Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris residency, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture residency, and she is a Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant recipient. Adams is the co-founder of Ortega y Gasset Projects, a gallery and long-distance artist collective in Bushwick/Ridgewood neighborhood in Queens.  For more information, visit her website at http://www.lfadams.com.

For further press inquiries, contact the artist directly: laurenfrancesadams@gmail.com

The artist would like to thank the faculty and staff at American University who made the installation possible, including: Professor Zoë  Charlton, Professor Tim Doud, Facilities Manager Jason Lurie, Installation team Bonner Sale and Zac Willis, the print center technicians at MICA, and especially The Clark Hulings Fund.

precarious prototypes walters art museum

Precarious Prototypes on view at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, June – August 2014.

At the core of my work are critical explorations of labor and class in visual culture. I draw heavily upon the historical decorative arts to find contradictions within the contexts they originated. In my work, objects such as wallpaper patterns, ceramics, and paintings do not simply reflect the mood of a given culture but are also tools for critique.

Alongside painting and mixed-media installations, I use domestic materials in my research on the construction of political identityThese ubiquitous yet formative objects are of great interest to me—particularly repetitive decorative patterns. In these patterns, I alter and manipulate both the images they depict and the notions of authoritative taste they promote.

My installation here is composed of two related bodies of work: Decorum, an ongoing series of paintings that attempt to trace global histories of enslaved peoples from antiquity to the present, and Precarious Prototypes, a textile installation that responds to and transforms selected objects from the Walters Art Museum’s collection. In this installation of Decorum, the museum becomes a venue for an open-ended but limited investigation of slavery. In considering the relationship between ornament and oppression, my inquiry comprises  appropriation and historic archival research. In Precarious Prototypes, the museum’s own collection has been used to focus on the mannered representation of enslaved peoples and other figures-in-service throughout the history of art and to consider its place in museums and popular culture.

I began this project (Precarious Prototypes) in search of objects in The Walters Museum collection that depicted enslaved peoples.  Expanding my inquiry into the museum as labor archive, Precarious Prototypes ultimately explores the mannered representations of servitude and objectification within the museum’s collection. Select objects are exhibited as well as printed, to understand and unsettle the role of the museum as master narrator. And so, the drapery both reveals and conceals, becoming an index of unstable contradictions. Specifically, I am looking at how depictions of the body as subservient, contorted, dehumanized, grotesque and lacking agency, unravel how art history becomes art as history.

Decorum Walters Museum Lauren Adams
Above, installation view of Decorum

Decorum is an incomplete but growing index of the histories of enslaved people as evinced in historical records. Allusions to slavery in the paintings are juxtaposed with decorative and textual sources in order to trace the complex structures that surround labor and power inequalities. Decorum considers the problems of sufficiently representing the legacy of slavery. Archival remnants of slave narratives, ornament, and my own personal inquiries constitute an open-ended process of asking how might the decorative arts participate, either actively or silently, in promoting or reflecting dominant ideologies of social hierarchy, political authority, and cultural fantasy.

Part of the Sondheim Prize Exhibition at the Walters Art Museum, juried by Claire Gilman, Sarah Oppenheimer and Olivia Shao.

Fore more information, visit The Walters website.

Press reviews:
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BmoreArt
Art Fag City

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