March 9- April 7, 2019
Opening reception Saturday March 9th, 6-10pm
Rooms 1 & 2:
With #metoo at our tongue tips and the riot grrrrrl aesthetic of pussyhats fresh in our memory, feminist critiques of cultural and artistic production are emerging rapidly, even violently. While many of these remain either beholden to outdated ideology or naïve imagery, Robyn LeRoy-Evans and Dianne Lee harness and complicate the clichés of their disciplines, necessarily interrogating their identity as women making together.
Looking to matrilineal craft traditions, narrative vessels, and personal history, HEAVY SHINE reflects the rigor and vulnerability of collaborative work. Balancing artistic risk with trust, precise workwomanship with spontaneous assemblage, and personal friendship with artistic work, LeRoy-Evans and Lee leave behind a shifting and fragile archive. Crafted over a period of several months, few visits, and many thousands of miles, this exhibition was curated and assembled mindfully and collaboratively, and the material will continue to be mined as the artists’ relationship shifts and changes, resulting in a living document, capable of being remixed and reworked.
In HEAVY SHINE viewers can expect to encounter an initial traditional artistic vocabulary of ceramic vessels, still lifes, portraiture, and arranged tableaus. Within their collaborative practice, Robyn and Dianne investigate their relationship with the artistic canon, their materials of choice, and one another. A collection of multimedia artworks situate craft (and the work of women) within a self-reflective feminist critique.
HEAVY SHINE orients the artists’ respective mediums and interdisciplinary collaborations in reciprocal transformation, hinting at the intimacy and knowledge gained in material experimentation and relational practice. -M.C. Baumstark, Guest Curator
Dianne Lee was born in West Germany in 1983 and followed her father across Canada with each new posting. Her childhood was filled with different landscapes and environments as she moved from province to province.
In 2006, Lee received a BDes from the OCAD University in Toronto, Canada, majoring in Material Art & Design with a focus in Ceramics. After graduation Dianne lived in England for two years and New Zealand for one year, studying with potters and staying active in the clay community in both countries.
Lee started teaching ceramics in 2013. In 2015-2017 she joined FUSION - The Ontario Clay and Glass Association board of Directors team, and in August 2016 was artist-in-residence at Medalta in Medicine Hat, Alberta.
For the last few years Lee has focused her practice on producing functional pottery, finishing the surfaces to fit into the category of storytelling. Approaching the clay’s surface in a similar way one would approach a canvas, drawing lines and using colour to form a two dimensional narrative. As a craftsperson her pieces are fully realized when form, function and surface treatment strike a balance.
Robyn LeRoy-Evans is a visual artist working in photography, installation, and performance. By turning the camera on herself, and through the use of carefully considered materials, LeRoy-Evans creates imagery and installations that draw inspiration from history, mythology, and her own personal experiences. In 2012 she achieved a First Class Honours Degree in Fine Art from Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, and has work in private collections in the U.S., Canada, and U.K.. Since 2016 LeRoy-Evans has been an active member of The Front, an artist-run exhibition space in New Orleans. She celebrated her first solo show, A Growing Dance, in 2017, which explored her most challenging and rewarding venture yet: motherhood.
Mary Callahan Baumstark
Mary Callahan Baumstark is a teacher, writer, maker, and art-ministrator with her MA in Contemporary Art, Design, and New Media Art Histories from OCAD University. She is the Executive Director of the Lewistown Art Center, the Resident Historian for the Socially Engaged Craft Collective, and an independent writer, critic, and curator.
Born and raised in the mountains of Montana, Baumstark received her B.F.A. with an emphasis in Ceramics in 2013 from the University of Montana. Before continuing to graduate school, she spent a year as an intern and assistant at the Clay Studio of Missoula. Mary's master thesis, "Ceramic Craftivism: Activism and Resistance in Contemporary Clay," was the first piece of writing dedicated to redefining craftivism to include multiple craft media.
In 2016, after completing her Master’s Degree, Mary moved back to Montana. Since then, she has served as an adjunct faculty member in Art History at the University of Montana Western, and become the Executive Director of the Lewistown Art Center. In addition to monthly exhibitions and special collaborations, Mary’s projects include the first book dedicated to Socially Engaged Craft, “Social Objects,” essays for Studio Magazine and Ostracon Journal, and two anthology chapters on craft’s political efficacy to be released in 2019.
Rooms 3 & 4:
Two installations by Cynthia Scott
It has been sung that we live in The Land of Dreamy Dreams. Whatever the lyricists* meant by this phrase it is opaque to me, as I find dreams as mystifying and indefinable as I did in childhood. They are the great wilderness – illogical, unconnected, and uncontrollable (unless one has mastered the art of lucid dreaming).
Others with better maps to the nocturnal unconscious report meaningful symbols, portents of the future, answers to problems, and even rich imagery to include in their art. Me? I get disjointed gobbledegook.
en rêvant (dreaming) is a window to this subconscious mashup. Recurring subject matter, images, and fragments of my past and present practice and personal obsessions smush together in the contemporary amber of epoxy resin, accompanied by the flotsam of found materials I can never resist dragging home for future work or inspiration.
Welcome to my night trip.
*Ellen Gilchrist published a book of short stories under this title in 1989, but here I’m referring to the use of this phrase in songs about New Orleans and the South.
Two channel video, fabric, plastic, metal, 2019
It is now believed that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Of that mass, 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea. (1)
The current system by which we produce, use and dispose of plastics has important drawbacks: plastic packaging material with a value of $80 billion-$120 billion is lost each year. Aside from the financial cost, by 2050, on the current track, oceans are expected to contain more plastics than fish (by weight), according to a new report released today by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, with McKinsey & Company as a knowledge partner, as part of Project MainStream. (2)
[report] The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics (3)
cauchemar (nightmare) is my waking dream.
Cynthia Scott’s practice involves a wide variety of mediums primarily three dimensional, augmented by digital media, to enunciate her concerns of environmental and social justice. Since receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees from RISD and Tulane her work has shown in the U.K., Mexico and across the U.S., including immersive site-specific installations at the Acadiana Center for the Arts (Lafayette), Aorta Projects and Contemporary Arts Center (New Orleans), The Soap Factory (Minneapolis), Legion Arts (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and The B Complex (Atlanta). Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Louisiana State Museum and New Orleans Museum of Art.