August 11- September 2, 2018
Opening reception Saturday August 11th, 6-10pm
Closing Gallery Talk: Sunday September 2nd, 3-5pm
Calamity Jane: a group show exploring imminent catastrophe, unexpected blows of fate, and female protagonists on trial
Rachel Jones Deris
A Swedish idiom, “there’s no cow on the ice”, means “there’s no need to worry”. The cow in her predicament, however, remains surely hypervigilant. As climate change brings more extreme and unpredictable weather- more floods, mudslides, eruptions, tornadoes, and hurricanes- women must do a lot of skating on thin ice to keep their heads above water. Reportedly, worldwide, women are at risk of dying from natural disasters at rates up to 14 times that of men or children. Yet, women are also known for their longevity and pain tolerance. The longer the footrace, the more likely a woman will win. Women as mothers and caregivers are known for their vigilance and yet are vulnerable to serial mishap by dint of economic disadvantage and misogyny.
Odds are stacked, and so are boobs, and Fate comes for us all, regardless of gender. Hard luck, dodged a bullet, last resort, a narrow squeak, certain curtains, up a creek, ill wind, out of the woods, and into the drink. Love and lose but kick against the plunge.
See Jane persevere (despite perseveration).
See Jane endure.
“Calamity Jane” is third in a linked series of group shows curated by Lee Deigaard at the Front, including “Latin for Crab” which explored the female body- its armor, its flesh- from perspectives of illness and recovery and “Enscribe”, about processes of memory, inscription, entanglement, and the ways life and loss write themselves indelibly into us.
An artist member of The Front since 2010, Lee Deigaard has shown and presented her work nationally and internationally and was a 2017-18 Artist in Residence at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans. Her work has been in solo shows at The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Contemporary Art Center, and Arthur Roger Gallery. Her writing and photographs have appeared in Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture, National Geographic's PROOF, Lenscratch, and Oxford American, and she was recently featured in "Pride of Place" at the New Orleans Museum of Art. She graduated with honors from Yale University and holds graduate degrees from University of Texas at Austin and University of Michigan School of Art and Design.
Rachel Jones Deris
A native of Antlers, Oklahoma, Rachel earned her Master of Fine Art Degree in Drawing and Painting at the University of New Orleans in 2008. Rachel has shown her work nationally and internationally, and in 2009 she was invited to mount a solo exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Her work is part of that museum’s permanent collection, as well as many other private collections. Rachel’s work has been reviewed in national publications, including ArtForum, Art Papers, the New Orleans Art Review, and TimeOut Chicago. Rachel was a founding member of The Front.
Ana Hernandez is a painter and sculptor currently living and working in New Orleans, LA. She is a founding member of Level Artist Collective and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Artist-in-Residence recipient. Most notably, she has exhibited in New Orleans, LA at The New Orleans Museum of Modern Art, The Contemporary Art Center of New Orleans, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, A Studio in the Woods, and in Philadelphia, PN at Tiger Strikes Asteroid, The Schuylkill Center, and The Nickels Building as well as in Durham, NC at Pleiades Arts and The Carrack.
Norah Lovell (b. New York City) is a visual artist whose practice includes works on paper, paintings and related ephemera. She received her MFA from the University of Chicago and BFA from the University of New Mexico. Residing in New Orleans since 2008, she was a resident at the Emily Harvey Foundation (Venice, Italy 2015), the International Scholars and Curators Program (Brooklyn, 2015), and at the Joan Mitchell Center, (New Orleans 2013-14). Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions nationally including the Clemente (NYC, 2017), Gulf Coast State College (Florida, 2018), Grand Rapids Art Museum (Michigan, 2015), and at the Contemporary Arts Center, and The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, in New Orleans. She is represented by Callan Contemporary in New Orleans, and is a member of Staple Goods Collective.
Jennifer McClure is a fine art and documentary photographer based in New York City. After acquiring a B.A. in English Literature, Jennifer began a long career in restaurants. She returned to photography in 2001, taking classes at the School of Visual Arts and the International Center of Photography. She was named one of LensCulture’s Top 50 Emerging Talents of 2015 and awarded CENTER's Editor's Choice by Susan White of Vanity Fair in 2013. Her work has been exhibited in shows across the country and featured in Lenscratch, GUP, Feature Shoot, L'Oeil de la Photographie, The Photo Review, Dwell, Adbusters, and PDN.
Tammy Mercure was named one of the “100 under 100: The New Superstars of Southern Art” by Oxford American magazine. She is one of the fifty photographers represented in the upcoming traveling exhibition “Southbound: Photographs of and About the New South” originating at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, SC. Her work has been exhibited at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, the William King Museum in Abingdon VA, and Tracy Morgan Gallery in Asheville. She has been featured on CNN Photos, VICE, Daily Mail, GQ, NPR Big Picture Show, and more. She was published in the Southern Cultures, Guardian UK (Big Picture),Oxford American and in the book “Place, Art, and Self” by Yi-Fu Tuan. She has a BA from Columbia College Chicago and an MFA from East Tennessee State University. She lives in Violet, LA (outside of New Orleans) and is a member of Antenna, an artist run collective.
Laura Richens was born in Memphis, TN, and has made New Orleans her home for 25 years. She received her BA in Studio Art from Rhodes College, and her MA in Art History from the University of Memphis. She has worked in various museums and galleries, including the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art; the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans; and the Carroll Gallery of the Newcomb Art Department of Tulane University, where she currently serves as Curator and teaches as an Adjunct Professor. She has taught letterpress and printmaking at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, and has led many workshops for children and adults throughout the New Orleans area.
Jennifer Shaw is a fine art photographer whose work is based on both a world observed and a world constructed, often focusing on the fleeting and personal within the sphere of her immediate surroundings. Her photographs have been featured in Oxford American, Shots, Black + White Photography (UK), NPR, Lenscratch, and PDN, and are published in two monographs: Hurricane Story (Chin Music Press, 2011), and Nature/Nurture (North Light Press, 2012). Shaw grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, studied photography at the Rhode Island School of Design, and then moved to New Orleans in pursuit of the artist’s life. She currently teaches the disappearing art of darkroom photography at the Louise S. McGehee School and serves as creative director of the annual PhotoNOLA Festival, in addition to chasing after two young sons.
Monica Zeringue received her Masters of Fine Arts from the University of New Orleans in 2006, and her BA in 1993. She is a 2014 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation’s Painters and Sculptors Grant, and in 1999, was awarded the Prix de l'Acadamie de Paris, Societe Internationale des Beaux-Arts. She has exhibited her work at the Meadows Museum of Art, Contemporary Arts Center, and the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art with a solo exhibition, as well as numerous gallery solo exhibitions in New Orleans since 1999. Her drawings and paintings have been included in group exhibitions throughout the United States. Zeringue's work is in the collections of the New Orleans Museum of Art, The Diane and Sandy Besser collection, Frederick R Weisman Art Foundation Collection, Los Angeles, CA, the Alexandria Museum of Art, Alexandria, LA, and the Arts Council of New Orleans. Zeringue lives and works in New Orleans.
A fragment of tree roots suspended inside a large block of ice blackened with ink.
A visceral expression of time, decay and change.
The hanging mass slowly melts and drips, its volume shifting into the reflecting pool bellow.
A cyclical ritual created for the gallery space. The art is not a finished object, but something that occurs, the artist often being present and tending to the process.
Slow, meditative – the piece possesses its own rhythm – to gain an understanding we must slow down to the melting block’s time.
Ideas of negation and gradual annihilation are expressed through the steady death of the ice mass and the walls becoming filled with paper blackened by the dripping inky water of the melting ice form.
On Saturdays during the run of the exhibition the artist will be in the gallery space watching over the artwork and facilitating the cycle. At the end of the show, as part of the closing artist talk, the works on paper pigmented by the melting block will be given away to interested viewers.
The artist seeks to offer an experience of being present, aware of our existence in time and mindful of life’s temporal nature.
Kevin Baer was born in Denver, Colorado to an architect father and sculptor mother. Family hikes and camping trips in the Rocky Mountains gave him an appreciation and interest in the natural world. Kevin continues to approach projects in his studio with a Boy Scout’s pragmatism and a scientist’s fervent curiosity. He attended college in California, achieving his bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University. Graduate study brought him to Louisiana where he earned his MFA at the University of New Orleans. The artist is also molded by favorite literary works of science fiction, horror and bleak novels like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Kevin’s favorite art experience remains an intimate heavy metal show - the raw emotional power continues to ring true for him. Time spent working in landscaping and within his own small garden continue to reveal lessons in slow growth and interconnectedness. After graduate school Kevin has worked as an arts educator, teaching at both the college and high school level. The artist approaches his teaching as parallel to his studio practice. He feels that in many ways the goals of encouraging creative thought and sharing artistic expression are best served in the classroom.
Kevin Baer currently lives in New Orleans with his girlfriend and his large cat.
A Front member from the start, Claire Rau was born in Sandusky, Ohio. She completed her graduate work at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and presently teaches sculpture at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She is the recipient of several awards and residencies, continuing to build upon an extensive exhibition record in the US and internationally.
John Isiah Walton
In My Lifetime, vol.1
Born in New Orleans former member of The Front, co-founding member of Level artist collective & former co-founding member of Second Story Gallery. He has shown in New York, Austin Tx, Los Angeles, North Carolina & Tokyo. He has lectured about his work to the graduate program at UNC, Chapel Hill (2014).