January 2011: Sustainability and the Artistic Vision
“Sustainability and the Artistic Vision,” — SMI’s second exhibit of the season, is a “green” exhibit that connects current artists to contemporary environmental activism.
According to curator Mona Brody, the show’s six artist demonstrate “how theoretical insights, concrete practices in art, and the use of sustainable materials coincide with hard realities and materiality for political action, artistic theory and practice, and sustainable living the in the 21st century.”
The featured artists are Marion Held, Peter Jacobs, Keely McCool, Donna Moran, Paul Sionas and Donna Usher. The exhibit runs from January 21 – April 29, 2011, in the SMI Gallery @ Academy Square on the first floor of the new Academy Square office building.
Each artist employs materials from pre-existing sources or uses media that create the least impact on the environment. Marion Held’s work titled “From an Ancient Well” shows well-water bags, made from rubber tire inner tubes. Each day since March 31, 2005, Peter Jacobs has created a 9-by-12-inch collage using that day’s local newspaper. Keel McCool uses twigs and mud in a conscious effort to use resources from nature. Donna Moran has worked for at least 15 years in water-based materials and often recycles editions of prints into new work. Paul Sionas is the architect of the Academy Square building, whose sustainable renovations helped the building receive its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification through the U.S. Building Council. Donna Usher looks “for sustainable inspiration from indigenous art, such as Aboriginal dot paintings and primal forms in nature such as microscopic cells, egg sacs, black holes and galaxies found in deep space.”
Here’s a preview of the show:
“I was an invited artist to TDG4, a project of artistic exchange between three cities (Tambacounda, Dakar, Geneva), held in Tambacounda, Senegal, December, 2004. My work, ‘From an Ancient Well,’ was installed at the Cultural Center in Tamba. This image shows well water bags, made from rubber tire inner tubes, which are sold from souks along the main street of the town. By using a commonplace material in Tamba, my work seeks to engage the community, and to speak to the fragility of our essential common resources.”
— Marion Held
“On March 31st 2005, I created a 9-by-12-inch collage using that day’s local newspaper, and have continued that process without interruption every day since. These works say a lot about who I am, the world we live in and how we perceive and process media.”
— Peter Jacobs
“I find that using natural materials such as twigs and mud is a conscious effort in using the resources that are given. Anyone can obtain their artistic approach with the resources from nature. The supply is unlimited; it’s very accessible, safe, and free for all. I use natural materials in my work so that others will rediscover its beauty, shape, color and history.”
— Keely McCool
“There are two rather mundane contributors to sustainability that have been part of my studio practice for at least fifteen years, one of them is to work only in water-based materials and the other is to print over and reuse editions of my prints that I no longer want to exhibit.
“A less mundane contributor came from an exploration of what might be harming us physically in our environment.”
— Donna Moran
“I look for sustainable inspiration from indigenous art, such as Aboriginal dot paintings and primal forms in nature such as microscopic cells, egg sacs, black holes and galaxies found in deep space. In addition, the interaction of vibrant color within my paintings is used to evoke sensations of the sublime to meditate on and renew the spirit.”
— Donna Usher
“Sustainability and the Artistic Vision”
Featuring the work of Marion Held, Peter Jacobs, Keely McCool, Donna Moran, Paul Sionas, and Donna Usher
Exhibition Dates: January 21 – April 29, 2011
Artist Reception: Friday, January 21, 2011 from 6 – 9pm
THE SMI GALLERY @ ACADEMY SQUARE – Ground floor of the building.
Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm or by appointment
Address: 33 Plymouth Street, Montclair, NJ ~ 07042 ~ 973 744 1818
Gallery Director: Rachel Leibman
Assistant Gallery Director: Pam Cooper