Saturday was the Art + Movement reception and juror’s talk at GearBox Gallery in Oakland. For almost a decade, my artist studio was located in West Oakland. Art resurrects memories and provides opportunities. The exhibition featured emerging and established artists throughout the Bay Area.
Movement elicits diverse interpretations. From the gallery’s website: “…Art movement is defined as a tendency or style in art with a specific common philosophy or goal, followed by a group of artists during a restricted period of time. Art history points to how various movements in art, referred to as isms (impressionism, cubism, fauvism, expressionism, surrealism) were reflections of the views of their time. Additionally, of course, movement also refers to a principle of composition in art and can be used to cause a visual tempo or beat.”
During the juror talk, Maria Porges discussed the selection process and current contemporary practice. From GearBox Gallery: “Maria Porges has pursued dual practices as an artist and a writer, teaching in both areas at CCA, principally in the Fine Arts graduate program since the late ‘80s. Her exhibition career of image/text sculpture and drawings has included solo shows at galleries, museums and alternative spaces. Her critical writing has appeared in many publications, including Artforum, Art in America, Sculpture, American Ceramics, Glass, the New York Times Book Review, and a host of now-defunct art magazines…”
My clear braille on polymer artwork titled FAKE NEWS was selected. Description: Lady Justice is a symbol of impartiality in our judicial system. Standing stoically with a scale in one hand and a sword in the other, she is blindfolded representing that power, status, or money has no influence. A standard braille sign becomes repurposed by altering its function. The art serves as a marker questioning how special interests have weakened the fundamental principles of democracy. Citizens must not blindly follow but question, organize, and demand the highest standards preserving truth and justice.
A minimalist aesthetic on the human condition can be found in Terry Mason’s Wall plate #3 (urethane), Penelope Anstruther’s Isochronal Series II (paper pulp, metal wire, metal wire, and metal screen), and Sara Lee’s Unprotected (clay, quail eggshells, and shredded important documents). Aunstruther’s website: “My work is generative, self-reflective and often site specific, focused on the parallels between physical and mental landscape: memory triggered by form.”
Jose Guerrero’s The Dream Is Not For You (oil paint and newsprint on canvas), Elizabeth Bennett’s Reserved For (7 parking signs on U channel posts with concrete bases), and Margaret Elmer’s Frosted Messages (photography) highlight the power and consequences of words. According to Bennett’s artist statement: “The through line in all my work is the human search for meaning through order, and the arbitrary nature of the order we create. My work spans and interweaves mediums and processes as I roam freely between being an introverted analytic formalist and a socially engaged trickster.”
Art + Movement delivers a powerful message. Maria Porges: “Art is to be always be there.” Venues like GearBox Gallery must be supported and celebrated. Artistic output and acknowledgement thrive in a vicarious partnership.