Thursday, June 01, 2017

Ironic Designs at the Gadsden Museum of Art in Alabama

(Above:  Vignette from The Wall of Ancestors for Ironic Designs, an in-house curated exhibition at the Gadsden Museum of Art ... me with exhibition coordinator Blake Dodgen.  Click on any image in this post to enlarge.)

Yesterday was an adventure!  Steve and I headed west to Alabama before 6:30 AM in order to deliver artwork to the Gadsden Museum of Art for their upcoming exhibit Ironic Designs. The show was curated by Blake Dodgen, exhibition coordinator and the museum's curator Ray Wetzel.  I saw the call-for-entry weeks ago and submitted The Commode.  Of course, I nosed around the museum's website before submitting.  I found the application to submit a proposal of a solo show.  I sent my PDF for Anonymous Ancestors too.  This began a wonderful bit of correspondence between Blake and me. 

 (Above:  The vignette from The Wall of Ancestors ... hung at Mouse House.)

There's a bit of irony in almost every framed piece in The Wall of Ancestors, which is the "wall art" for my solo show.  How can one not see the irony in a family photo that includes collaged letters reading:  Forgotten Family Heirloom or Our Future is Your Past? Blake wanted an arrangement to fit comfortably on a 14' wall for Ironic Designs.  I worried that this might knock me out of consideration for a future solo show in the museum.  Not so!  The museum went ahead scheduled Anonymous Ancestors for January through February 2019!  I'm so excited!

 (Above:  The vignette of framed pieces ... as a legend/map for wall placement.)

So ... last Sunday I had work to do.  First, I had to select and hang the pieces going to Alabama.  I don't have a empty 14' wall.  I cleared dozens of framed mirrors hanging at Mouse House (my business and the first floor of my house) and measured off 10'.  This would allow a little breathing room on both sides.  When finished, I snapped a photo.  One picture isn't seen.  Why?  Well the only way to get far enough back for a photo was to climb halfway up the staircase.  The newel on the lower landing obscured "From Rags to Riches" (#34).  Oh well!  Using Photoshop, I created the legend/map above.  This was important for two reasons.  1) It explained the inventory for the museum's insurance coverage ... a long list of the individual pieces.  2) It would assist with the actual hanging in the museum.  Ideally, I would get to do it.  Things can happen though, and I wanted to be prepared if I had to hand the job over to someone else.

 (Above:  The Gadsden Museum of Art's main entrance.)

The museum is on the bustling main street in Gadsden.  It is an adorable town with plenty of good restaurants, independent shops, and parking.  Steve and I arrived early, unloaded, met Blake and Ray, and were able to look at the space where Anonymous Ancestors will hang in 2019.

 (Above:  Installation day at the Gadsden Museum of Art.)

The previous exhibit was being dismantled.  Large, very heavy "coffin" cases were being taken apart and moved.  Pedestals for the incoming show were being painted.  Everyone was working.  The section of wall for my vignette was ready!  Steve and I worked together, following the diagram, and hung my pieces with ease.

 (Above:  A vignette from The Wall of Ancestors.)

It looks great!  I took lots of pictures of the space in preparations for 2019 and only wish I could attend Friday night's opening.

(Above:  Equipment for suspending things from the ceiling.)

Part of the museum's space opens up to a height of two stories. There's equipment for that and I'm already thinking about "curtains" for my installation ... something featuring a few anonymous antique images as if French toile fabric.  I don't know if this will work but I know I could hang it!

 (Above:  Pedestals being painted.)

Everything was really, really professional and meant to display artwork to its best advantage ... including new paint on the pedestals.  There was a low one for The Commode.

(Above:  The Commode waiting for its pedestal.)

 (Above:  Working the Land and I Am My Own Worst Enemy at Stitched, a regional fiber exhibition at the Claypool-Young Art Gallery, Morehead State University.)

Speaking of pedestals, above is a photo from Facebook about Stitched: Contemporary Textile Art from Kentucky and Surrounding States juried by Nick DeFord, textile artist and program director at Arrowmont School of the Arts.  Two of my fiber vessels ... sitting on two, nice white pedestals ... were accepted and one won an award!  Couldn't be more pleased!

1 comment:

Sandy said...

Well Done! everything is really looking good. I love the idea of the curtain wall of fabric!