#Awkward and Here’s Some New Stuff

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Here is a roundup of #Awkward and Here’s Some New Stuff, our show from September 19 – October 25, 2014.

#Awkward, a group exhibition featured the work of five artists: Eric Conrad, Andrew Dickson, Brooke Inman, Lilly McElroy, and Lee Walton. #Awkward showcased work that explores uncertainty and discomfort in human relationships. Calling attention to the inelegance of communication, as well as the ungainly, the embarrassing and the absurd in the human condition.

Here’s Some New Stuff showcased Mike Erickson’s idiosyncratic paintings as a reminder that art can be serious, playful, absurd, and tragic. Erickson paints vaguely familiar images with striking immediacy that rely on a highly particular visual language that weaves together personal, political, cultural, and art historical references. The context of Art is often present – evoking elements of painting or the artist himself, and the process of creating. Seen as a whole, Erickson’s oeuvre was a complex system of interconnected narratives that revealed the artist’s engagement with the world and the quest for critical examination of one’s life.

#Awkward received yet another fantastically focused review from the Informality Blog, http://informalityblog.com/awkward-addressing-discomfort-thru-a-social-media-lens/

Andrew Dickson offered life coaching to select audience members during #Awkward:

Capture

Lee Walton created a series of “Happy Birthday” videos for local KC friends of PLUG:

Happy Birthday Bill Brady

Happy Birthday Cara Megan Lewis

Happy Birthday Dylan

Happy Birthday Julie Dalgleish

Happy Birthday Scott Dickson

And to conclude, we hosted a critical writing workshop with Dr. David Cateforis, professor in The University of Kansas’ Art History Department. Here are a few of the participants’ reviews of the work in both shows:

Milica AcamovicLucas WetzelJessica Kincaid

Best of KC Award

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We are honored to have received the “Best New Place to Take in Local Work” for the Best of KC Awards. The following description was included on the Pitch’s website:

“Plug Projects’ repertory just keeps expanding. This year, the collective christened its new Solo Space, a gallery reserved for solo exhibitions from local artists. The strength of the inaugural shows suggests that this space is already here to stay: Julie Farstad alternately skeeved us out and delighted us with her doll-themed exhibition, Under the Orange Sky, and Madeline Gallucci’s views of urban Confectionary had us fawning over oil slicks. Cheers to Plug for providing a space to recognize what we knew all along — that some of the best art in town is made here.”

The full article can be seen here:

http://www.pitch.com/kansascity/best-new-place-to-take-in-local-work/BestOf?oid=4947772

We are incredibly thankful for the support and encouragement!

Planning Retreat 2014: Saint Louis

PLUG Projects took on their annual planning retreat this August in Saint Louis, Missouri. The planning retreat allows time and focus for PLUG members to brainstorm and discuss exhibitions, workshops, critical writing components, and fundraising for the coming year. While in Saint Louis we explored only the surface of St. Louis by touring  The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts with Jennifer Baker from their curatorial department, visiting The Contemporary Art Museum, checking out The Luminary‘s new space,  eating at Osage Cafe at Bowood Farms, and we finished off by meeting with artist Ann Maree Walker in her home studio. Thank you to those who graciously accommodated our stay and helped guide our visit through marvelous location and food suggestions.

Shapeshifters and Confectionary

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PLUG Projects opened Shapeshifters on July 18th, 2014, a group exhibition featuring the work of Stacy Fisher, Matt Jacobs, Matt Rich, and Cordy Ryman. The work in this exhibition focuses on artists that investigate abstraction through a material-based approach. Included in the exhibition are a combination of paintings, sculptures and site specific installations made up of irregular shapes, glops of paint and unconventional materials.

About the Artists:

Stacy Fisher has exhibited widely in New York at galleries such as Jeff Bailey, Thierry Goldberg Projects, Horton Gallery, Regina Rex, Cleopatra’s and BravinLee Programs, among others. Her two-person exhibition at Regina Rex was a Critics’ Pick in Artforum. Fisher has received fellowships from the Edward F. Albee Foundation and The Vermont Studio Center. She lives and works in Brooklyn.  http://www.stacyfisher.net

Matt Jacobs is currently pursuing his MFA at Tyler School of Art, he received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2010. His flexible practice, which includes sculpture, painting, drawing and installation, is centered on exploring the aesthetics of misuse, play, and intuition. His work has been show at The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha; Glass Curtain Gallery, Chicago; The Masonic Lodge, Marfa; Dolphin Gallery, and the Epsten Gallery in Kansas City. In 2011 he was awarded an artist residency at The Skaftfell Center for Visual Arts in Seydisfjordur, Iceland. His work has been featured in Beautiful Decay and It’s Nice That, and cited by The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Reader, and The Kansas City Star.  http://www.thatmattjacobs.com

Matt Rich received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a BA from Brown University and has attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He has had solo exhibitions at Project Row Houses in Houston, devening projects + editions in Chicago, the Suburban in Oak Park, IL, Samsøn Projects in Boston, MA, VOLTA NY art fair and Halsey McKay in East Hampton, NY. Rich’s works are held in the collections of the List Visual Arts Center at MIT and The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City. Rich has received fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Terra Foundation for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. His work has been reviewed by Modern Painters, Artforum, Art Papers and the Boston Globe. Matt Rich lives and works in San Diego, CA.
http://matthew-rich.com

Cordy Ryman received his BFA, with honors, from the School of Visual Fine Arts/Art Education in 1997. His work has been exhibited widely at public institutions including PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island, NY; Visual Arts Center, New Jersey, NJ; Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL; University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT; Bronx River Art Center, Bronx, NY; Esbjerg Museum of Modern Art, Esbjerg, Denmark. Gallery exhibitions include DCKT Contemporary, New York, NY; Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York, NY; Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin, TX; Kavi Gupta, Chicago, IL; Stalke Galleri, Kirke Saaby, Denmark; Thomas Rehbein Galerie, Koln, Germany; and Loyal, Stockholm, Sweden. Ryman was the 2006 recipient of the Helen Foster Barnett Prize from the National Academy Museum. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, Frieze, BOMB Magazine, Artforum, Art in America, and Time Out NY. Cordy Ryman – Dodge Gallery

 

Confectionarys, a solo exhibition of Madeline Gallucci’s work, opened alongside ShapeshiftersConfectionary is a culmination of Gallucci’s two years in the Charlotte Street Urban Culture Project residency, in which her studio was situated on the 6th floor of an office building located in downtown Kansas City.

Gallucci’s work explores, dissects, and reinterprets our everyday environment by means of vibrant drawings, whimsical paintings, and digital prints. Through documentation of patterns in sidewalk markings, window reflections, neon signs and discarded debris, she begins to investigate the ambiguity of what we recognize as mundane. The physicality of drawing, painting, and collage emphasizes the curious nature of her findings. From these practices Gallucci is continually building a new, oddly familiar landscape. Confectionary is the second show in PLUG Projects’ new gallery, Solo Space. The focus of Solo Space is to feature solo exhibitions from artists living in the Kansas City region. The exhibitions in this space follow the same timeline of the exhibitions in the front gallery space, a total of six 5-week exhibitions over the course of the year.

About the artist:

Madeline Gallucci received her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2012 with an emphasis in Printmaking. Since coming to Kansas City, she has traveled and performed with Whoop Dee Doo and shown her work at a wide variety of galleries and venues. She currently works at Kansas City Art Institute as the Campus Activities & Housing Coordinator, where she plans and coordinates events such as the annual Drag Show and Field Day celebrations. www.madelinegallucci.com

Book Fair 2014

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At PLUG, our front gallery space transformed over Independence Day weekend into the second annual Art Book Fair with zines, artist-made books and publications from across the United States.

The list of contributing individual artists includes: Alex Savage, Andrew Dickson, Brandon Frederick, Brooke Inman, Bryon DarbyCarissa PotterCharlie MylieChrista DonnerElizabeth Allen-CannonGary KachadourianHannah LodwickJennie FrederickKerri ShadidKim Eichler-Messmer, Kim Foster, Laura IsaacLucas WetzelLuke RochaMarc SavianoMaria CalderonMatthew GualcoMaura Cluthe, Melissa, Powlas, Paul Shortt, Rachel Allison, Rachel Krause

The list of contribution publishers includes: BodegaColpa PressGingko PressGreen Lantern PressHalf Letter PressHassla BooksImagine That!, Infoduct, Issue PressJukebox ComixKC Zine CollectiveKiosk GalleryLa CucarachaMixed MediaNoThoughtsPaper MonumentPIECRUSTPioneer PressPM PressPrimary InformationRed Legger Studio, Red Shorts Bindery, SHIFTERSmall EditionsSoberscove Press, Tea Time Publishing, The HandUgly Duckling PresseUndercurrent KCVice VersaWhite Columns

This year we also hosted a workshop, performance, and the Pioneers Press Zine Mobile library.

At Poetry Stand, Oklahoma City poet and artist Kerri Shadid wrote free, customized, spontaneous poems for visitors. Shadid has performed Poetry Stand at Momentum OKC 2014, an exhibition sponsored by the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition for young artists. As well as various events and venues around Oklahoma City, including The Project Box, an art gallery in the Paseo Arts District, during several First Friday Art Walks.

In a 2 hour workshop, led by Kendell Harbin and Frederick Vorder-Bruegge  participants created a site-specific booklet, learning everything from pre-production to distribution of the final product. The workshop included (but was not limited to) collaborating, collage, walks around the West Bottoms neighborhood, and problem solving as technical difficulties shifted Kendell and Fred’s original plans.

Thank you to all who participated and supported this event, we are looking forward to next year!

 

Reviews: Christa Donner and Julie Farstad

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Christa Donner’s solo show HOM/EMBODY exhibited May through June 2014 alongside PLUG’s new Solo Space gallery with a show by Julie Farstad entitled Under the Orange Sky. Below you will find descriptions of Donner and Farstad’s work along with three reviews from the Pitch, INK KC, and Informality Blog.

Embedded in Donner’s work is an ex…change between individuals and communities. These interactions, which take the form of interviews, small-press zines, and collaborative events, provoke us to consider our relationships with our bodies and each other. Donners believes, “My speculative work in the studio is amplified by the community of creative thinkers and cultural workers raising small children that I’m helping to organize, educate and advocate for and with. It exists both virtually and physically and will continue to evolve as its participants grow and change.” Donner hosted a short artist talk on the exhibition and led a generative workshop combining interview and collage to create a collaborative zine.

Farstad seeks to explore themes of childhood, religion and mysticism. Her paintings, both in oil paint and fabric, focus primarily on the doll as subject. She uses children’s toys, art history, and landscape references to create images that are about identity development, rites of passage, and the longing for divine revelation. Recently, Farstad has begun to explore quilting and embroidery processes in her work because of her interest in their warmth and flexibility as well as the surprising relationship that hand-quilting has to her painting practice. This media introduces a new discourse on comfort and craft into her existing conversation.

Informality Blog

INK KC

Pitch

Temporary Art Review: Lost and Found

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“Lost and Found” was an exhibition that opened November 2013 and recently recieved a review at Temporary Art Review.  Temporary Art Review is a publication that engages the conversation about contemporary practice by highlighting projects that take place outside of traditional art centers.  They serve as a resource to better the art community as a resource and an alternative perspective engaging in a discourse driven by collaboration.

Lost and Found features artists Sarah Bostwick, Nuala Clarke, Emily Connell, Ethan Greenbaum, Elana Herzog, Alex Lukas and Daniel Shea. This show considers the fossils or remnants of the present day, using a wide variety of media including fiber, sculpture, photography and drawing. This exhibition features work that evaluates remnants through a discovery process, as well as work that utilizes found objects and detritus. There is a simultaneous past, present and future established within Lost and Found, as some works are steeped in the history of their past while others are contingent on their future potential. The culmination of these works seeks to ask, what will be left behind for future generations to define us by? Are these remnants an accurate portrayal of our society?

 

Lost and Found at PLUG Projects

 

February Critique Night

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On Thursday February 27, we continued our Critique Night series.  PLUG PROJECTS regularly hosts critique nights in between exhibitions. The 2013-2014 Critique Night series is moderated by Julia Cole, accompanied by a small rotating panel of artists and art professionals in the community who participate in dialogue with local artists about their work, which is displayed in the gallery space live for the critique. Up to three artists are chosen to participate in each Crit Night. Each artist is asked to bring no more than five works for discussion. There is 30 minutes allocated per artist for group discussion of their work. Critiques are open to the public to engage in dialogue as well.

This Critique Night featured two guest moderators, April Watson and Davin Watne.  The Featured artists were Meagan Stracy, Aaron Dougherty, and Mark Allen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maegan Stracy graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2012 receiving a double major in Fiber and Art History. Stracy’s work focuses on material investigation and tactility while exploring our instinctive need for touch. Her work ranges from installation based pieces to wearable garments, bridging the gap bewteen fine art and fashion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aaron Dougherty is a photographer and recovering architect; and taught one year of high school chemistry. Graduated from the University of Kansas with degrees in Architecture and Environmental Design, he studied sculpture briefly at Kansas City Art Institute and received certification in secondary education at Avilla College. His work has been exhibited at various venues in and around Kansas City, and has been published in several periodicals including Architect, Architectural Record, ArchitectureBoston and Photo Review.

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Allen is a multimedia performance artist based in Kansas City, MO who recently graduated from Pepperdine University with a degree in Painting. His work has been seen around the globe with illicit performances held at the Tate Modern in London, Times Square in NYC, and Art Basel Miami Beach. From creating a condom-balloon installation in his high school, to faking his own death last year and burning all of his artwork, Allen is a notorious press monger. Currently, he has a line of designer bodybags (made from vinyl leather and faux-fur) and a series of ambiguous yet provocative silkscreened apparel.

Frames Per Second: Nathaniel Dorsky

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As part of Plug’s continuing FPS program, Nathaniel Dorsky’s films “Arbor Vitae” and “Song” were screened on their original 16mm.  Dorsky’s films create singular and transformative experiences when screened. Dorsky’s life-long project of creating a “Devotional Cinema” has been likened to the laborious practice of creating medieval illuminated manuscripts and prayer books, and his cine-poems have long been regarded as pinnacles of film form.

Nathaniel Dorsky is a filmmaker of singular devotion to his craft. He has created 29 films in over 50 years of filmmaking with rigorous self-imposed restrictions and a meticulous personal vision. Making and exhibiting films only on 16mm, he is interested in the ways in which the mindful viewing of cinema can have a transformative effect on the health and consciousness of its audience, seeking to produce the ‘elemental glory’ of film. According to Dorsky, watching a film “has tremendous mystical implications; it can be, at its best, a way of approaching and manifesting the ineffable.”

Mathew Kaney Conduit: This is the United States Calling

For Plug Project’s Conduit programming, we invited four local musicians to compose a piece that was inspired by Kaney’s video games.  This was a collaboration with Patrick Chan, Cody Kauhl, Scott Steele, and Russel Thorpe.

Audience member playing the game while the performance is going on

Examples of sounds played during the one hour event included drone strike noises, coin dropping sounds, and button noises.  The musicians employed both acoustic and electronic sounds as well as composed and improvised music.

Conduit programming manifests itself differently on a per-show basis, but the goal in each case is to bring community members with interests related to the exhibition in conversation with the artists exhibiting and/or expanding discussion of the exhibition themes beyond the work on display. Examples might include studio visits, alternative approaches to lectures, site-specific talks, and other casual gatherings of smaller, more intimate groups.

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