Far From the Tree
March 4 - 26, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, March 4, 6-9pm
Artist, educator, writer Bruce Adams guest-curates this exhibition of six area emerging and underrepresented artists that have one thing in common; they were all his students at Tonawanda City High School. Adams has remained in contact with each of them over the years, encouraging their work in various ways.
The exhibition invites viewers to consider the student/teacher relationship and how it might, or might not, impact both the student and teacher. About this Adams says:
“Whether I had any lasting influence on any of these artists is unclear; they have all pursued their own paths. None of them could be said to emulate my work in any way. Still, I was there at some point in their development. I offered advice, and often sharp criticism. I cajoled, and nudged. Some seemed to listen; some didn’t. There is among them a class clown, former exotic dancer, a DJ, and serial trespasser. Each became their own artist. All are committed to their work and make outstanding art.
The artists are:
Kristin Brandt: Brandt is a painter who interprets “matter and energy” that she sees in crowds. Based on human figures, the works are very close to total abstractions, that—in the artist’s words—“dance in the subconscious.”
Keith Harrington: Harrington is a multimedia artist who transforms environments, often creating work that invites the viewer to participate. His work starts with technology, which he repurposes or “optimizes,” then he adds social, economic, or environmental issues.
Christina Laing: Lang has been engaged in a long term photographic study of the impact of post-industrialism on Rust Belt cities of the Great Lakes region. Her haunting images, made using black and white film, have a ethereal quality invoking the pastoralists of the early 20th century..
Todd Lesmeister: Lesmeister’s series The Ne’re-Do-Wells is based on 20th century criminal mug-shots. He imagines them reincarnated today, in “freak” circumstances, resulting in whimsical pencil drawings that hint at the positive and negative aspects of the natural and supernatural worlds.
Matthew Myers: The prolific Myers will have work from two of his many series. One involves spontaneous sketches he made on Albright-Knox note paper as he was working as a guard for the gallery. These are “images, actions, and situations” that lean toward the “repulsive, disturbing, unsettling, or humorous” that “leach out of [his] head onto the page.”
Nicole Wurstner: Wurstner is a photographer that often uses experimental processes to make her work. For some of this work she has used a wet plate collodion process popular in the 1800s. Thematically she often reflects on romantic loss in which the memory of a lover degrades and alters with time.