Sweet Heart Series (acrylic on canvas) (contributed image)
Process and materiality are at the center of a new dual exhibition at the Silvermine Arts Center, curated by Deana Haggag and Ginevra Shay of The Contemporary Baltimore. The curators bring a perspective that highlights trends in the contemporary art scene as well as new explorations that transcend any “school” or particular region of the U.S.
Haggag, The Contemporary’s director, chose new work from the Silvermine Guild membership. Jocelyn Armstong’s “Oozing Shadows,” in hand-built terracotta with glaze and paint, and Bob Miranti’s “Triad,” with its ceramic stoneware that reveals itself in fabric-like folds and creases are two of the many highly-textured works from the Guild Show.
Ginevra Shay built a companion exhibit of new work by Baltimore artists whose pieces she felt were in dialogue with the work of their Silvermine counterparts. Shay asked her artists to create new work specifically for this one-of-a-kind exhibit.
“Baltimore is a critically acclaimed city art scene with a do-it-yourself sensibility,” says Silvermine Gallery Director Jeffrey Mueller, who sought out the curators from The Contemporary Baltimore. “Deana was especially interested in materiality, the physical presence of the works.” For Mueller this translates to an ability on the part of the viewer to “see the artist’s hand. You can see an in-tune-ness with the material. It is not a means to an end but integral to the work.” Mueller emphasizes that the Guild show is multigenerational and includes new guild members as well as established members.
Andrew Laumann (contributed image)
Included in the Guild show are June Ahrens (New Canaan), Ashley Andrews (North Salem), Jocelyn Braxton Armstrong (Westport), Diana Chamberlain (Woodbury), Bruce Dunbar (Stratford), Mindy Green (Rowayton), Shelby Head (Madison), Nash Hyon (Wilton), Judith Orseck Katz (Westport), Joseph Madrigal (Decorah, Iowa), Michael Manning (Montclair, New Jersey), Ellen Mason (Sarasota, Florida), Bob Miranti (New Rochelle), Roger Mudre (Weston),Nancy Nikkal (Hastings-on-Hudson), Kiyoshi Otsuka (Bronxville), Anka Pedivisocar (New York City), Connie Pfeiffer (East Haddam), Margaret Roleke (Redding), Marjorie Tomchuk (New Canaan), and Deborah Weiss (Ridgefield).
For Ginevra Shay, the wealth of media and methodologies in the Baltimore show—ceramics, painting, photography, LED light works, and commercially fabricated carpet paintings—underscores the freedom and vibrancy of the Baltimore scene. “This high degree of flexibility coupled with rigorous conceptual discourse are underlying factors that unify the artists in Baltimore, Contemporary Cross Section.” The Baltimore artists featured include Seth Adelsberger, Daniel Conrad, Molly Colleen O’Connell, Duox, Alex Ebstein, Lisa Dillin, Andrew Laumann, Hermonie Only, D’Metrius Rice, Ryan Syrell, Kyle Tata, and David Ubias. Duox is the name of two artists—Malcolm Lomax and Daniel Wickerham. Their work turns on tropes of celebrity; they also explore objects that relate to labor. Duox was recently featured at the New Museum in Manhattan.
The Contemporary has no permanent collection and recently reopened with a redefined mission to expand the idea of the museum as an “incubator that seeks to commission site-specific and subject-oriented projects.” Their work is inspired by the principles that artists matter, collaboration is key, and audience is everywhere.
The exhibition runs from August 2 to September 14 with an opening reception on Saturday, August 2, 5-7 p.m.