Friday, May 14, 2010

UM Grad Students - Rebecca Weed & Cathryn Sugg

 "Non-typical Inheritor" - Cathryn Sugg

University of Montana Grad Students Rebecca Weed & Cathryn Sugg exhibited their MFA thesis work at The Gallery of Visual Arts on the UM campus.  Sadly this show comes down today, so to all of those who missed it here is a : (  for you.  I have been somewhat following these two talented ladies for a little a while, and highly anticipated this exhibit.

Sugg's combination of elk, doilies, sewn fabric canvases, wicked drawing/painting skills, irony, masculinity vs femininity, and humor has always engaged me.  Her use of opposing concepts and dualities, highlighted by the title of her exhibit "Inbetween" is something that I have always explored in my own artwork.  In this body of work she included a new fabric pattern containing muscular men posing as lumber jacks, hikers, farmers. Either way one is left oscillating between the thoughts of their manliness vs there feminine-ness.  This in-between-ness of her work really engages my thoughts pushing them into a creative process that attempts to transcend such duality.

Rebecca Weed's drawing style has always captivated me (to see some of her drawings, click here).  Her ephemeral style of drawing really crept into these paintings, and are by far some of the most successful paintings I have seen her produce.  I really enjoy how the whimsical lines and shadows surrounding her figures create a sense movement that emerges in and out of the background.  These works also contain a lot of bold patterns and open space that in contrast to the flow and emergent quality of the figures make for some great paintings.

Once again less chat more pictures

Apparently I didn't get the names to all the pieces...oh well

"B for Best?" Cathryn Sugg

Detail "Non-typical Inheritor" - Cathryn Sugg

Detail "Non-typical Inheritor" - Cathryn Sugg

"Kept Awake by the Scent of Bubble-yum" - Rebecca Weed

"Triage" - Rebecca Weed

Detail "Triage" - Rebecca Weed

"Self Portrait: Waking up" - Rebecca Weed

Detail "Self Portrait: Waking up" - Rebecca Weed

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Another First Friday - May 2010

 This First Friday was pretty big for the University of Montana.  The National Western Cast Iron Art Conference was brought to UM with the aid of sculpture professor Brad Allen.  A number of Missoula galleries also hosted cast iron artworks in correlation with the conference, including the Missoula Art Museum.  Right out of the BFA exhibition, The UM undergrad art students threw down with a showing at a temporary space dubbed "Gallery 48" denoting the 48 hrs of its existence.  It really excites me when I see students working hard and making art happen.  This town certainly lacks adequate exhibition space for younger artists, so mad props to the BFA'ers for fearlessly making it happen.  Not to mention, a hand full of UM ceramic students displayed their work in the alley next to New West...damn it is good to see energized and prolific young artists making strong & engaging work.  I think students are often thought of as simply "students" but from my experience they make some of the most engaging artwork.  Also the newly founded and fabulous Brink Gallery hosted artworks by, adjunct UM art professor, Edgar Smith.  His works are bold, simple, yet conceptually complex with a natural elegance.  As usual there was a lot of other great art, like the fifth annual installment of "On Deck" at the Badlander.  And for the most creative & ephemeral gallery space I vote for the guy who pulled up in a Budget moving van out front of the Dana Gallery.  Great work Missoula, and now for less chatter and more pictures.

National Iron Exhibit at the Missoula Art Museum

More from the National Iron exhibit at the MAM

2007 UM MFA Sculpture Graduate Kendall Mingey, graced us with her artwork and presence over the weekend.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Kathy Rodriguez

Bunny Baby Meets the Cousins Oil on panel 48" x 72"

2008 University of Montana graduate, Kathy Rodriguez, makes awesomely fun and engaging paintings (at least in my opinion...most people that walk into my house and see the giant cake and turkey flying off the wall may question such statements, but I just laugh because having a giant cake and turkey on the wall is really funny).   Why a cake and a turkey? Why is that guy dressed in a giraffe suit?  All these questions leave you somewhat stupefied, thrusting you into a space of liminality between understanding and confusion.   Her MFA thesis show "The Extravaganza Awaits" was an epic and rich artistic circus full of games, costumes, prizes, suprises, videos, installations, rooms, white buffalo, elephants, giraffes, babys, and more.  "The Extravaganza Awaits" was by far one of my favorite exhibtions I have seen Missoula.  I like it so much I bought 4x8 foot painting of a cake and a turkey!

Visit her website and there you can see all of her work.  Her most recent paintings of ducks are also great, not as stupefying, but still make you ask why ducks....cause there awesome...duh
 Turkey Escapes Oil on canvas
(this is the painting that graces my living room)

 Coming to the Table oil on canvas 70”x96”