“Have/Hold,” “A Movement Of One,” and “Earth Exit” are on view November 2-29, 2019 at NIAD Art Center’s galleries, 551 23rd Street in Richmond. Opening reception is Saturday, November 9 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. At this Opening reception we will be offering a “Back Patch Workshop,” a free event. Thirsty Thursday is Thursday, November 21 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm.
Have/Hold, Organized By Julia Schwartz
Lately, Julia Schwartz has been thinking about the phrase ‘To Have and To Hold.’ She explains, “It’s a really interesting one, and it’s a shame we only use it in wedding vows. To Have and To Hold is an invitation to intimacy, protection, and possession, three deeply ingrained human desires.”
There are so many dystopian things going on in the world right now, and Schwartz believes we could all benefit from having and holding. Whether we hold on to friends and family, to emotions and ideas, or to objects that remind us of humanity’s gifts, we can think about what it means to be present and how we can work towards the kind of connections we all long for.
The pieces in this exhibition are primarily small-scale sculptures that you can buy today and clutch tightly on the walk (or drive) home. You can spy these works while sitting at your desk at work, walking through the living room, or from the cozy nest of your bed. They will be present for you always, and in turn, you will be their stewards, carrying forward the artist’s message into the future. NIAD artists featured in “Have/Hold” include Saul Alegria, Lisa Blevens, Vanessa Bravo, Sylvia Fragoso, Felicia Griffin, Peter Harris, and Jessica Moreida.
Julia Schwartz is Director of Administration and Development at the Artists’ Legacy Foundation, a nonprofit based in Oakland, CA. The Foundation stewards the work and archives of Legacy Artists, recognizes outstanding painters and sculptors through awards, and serves as an educational resource for artists. Since 2005, she has provided tailored services to artists, including artwork documentation, websites, and project management. She also administers Squeak Carnwath’s Roll Up Project, a window gallery located in Oakland’s Jack London district.
A Movement Of One, Organized By Jay Wehnert
The concept of the outsider artist revolves around the essential solitude of the artist and the isolation of their creative life from the conventions and influences of the art world. As outsiders, they are not aware of art canons and history, nor do they respond or react to art trends or movements. Their art is solely their own. As described by Roger Cardinal, the author of the seminal book Outsider Art, the creative outsider is a “movement of one.”
This joint exhibition, “A Movement Of One,” organized by Jay Wehnert, of artists from Portland Art and Learning Studios and NIAD Art Center considers and expands this idea of movement. Each work in its own way contains an aspect of dynamism and motion that propels it towards us. For some it may be deftly expressed in images of vehicles or human and animal forms. For others, movement and motion may be implied as an almost contained potential energy. Still others convey movement as a result of the art’s gestural nature, expressing the artist’s physicality used in its creation. And often it is we, the viewer who is moved, as our senses and perceptions shift and our intellect and emotions are engaged.
Included in the show (on view at NIAD) are works from artists at Portland Art and Learning Studios — Endale Abraham, Tess Bidelspach, Babs Boley, Terrie Bush, Chanel Conklin, Aaron Cunningham, Michael Dorband, Terri Holt, David Hunt, Aaron Hutchinson, JM, Bion Mason, Elmeater Morton, John Mosser, Amy Protz, Sakari, Harold Salsgiver, Matthew Spencer, Brian Teters, Lamont and Williams. Concurrent to the show at NIAD will be an exhibition of NIAD artists, selected by Jay Wehnert, at Portland Art and Learning Studios.
Earth Exit: From the Body of the Teacher
In “Earth Exit: From the Body of the Teacher,” Sarah-Dawn Albani offers a tender examination of the infamous, and ultimately suicidal, cult Heaven’s Gate. Combining objects and hand-drawn portraits based on the filmed “exit statements” of it’s members, the exhibition offers an insightful look into belief and authoritarianism, mythology and the desire for meaning.
Studying the “Earth Exit Interviews” of the members of Heaven’s Gate who ritualistically committed mass suicide in 1997 reveals the extraordinary power of shared beliefs and the depth of spiritual yearning that allowed for the complex world building of the group and ultimately to a shared death. The members of Heaven’s Gate were early Internet adopters, building websites as a business to support the group. Their interviews as well as their teacher’s writings are archived on a website that is still maintained. “Earth Exit: From the Body of the Teacher” looks closely at the relationship between cultural turmoil, charisma, and utopian longing while considering the hope and humanity of people caught up in charismatic teachers and the deep narcissism of the guru.
Sarah-Dawn Albani is a practicing theorist, using studio as research method. Her work in video, text, performance, sound, sculpture, and painting explores the power of personal and cultural myth and meaning making, and the limits and potential of the constructs of the self. Current projects explore environmental crisis, prophecy, cults, authoritarianism, ideology, utopia and dystopia through the lens of her own westward journey twenty years ago as a young seeker. She holds a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute with dual degree in Sculpture and The History and Theory of Contemporary Art and a MFA in Art Practice from UC Berkeley. She is one half of the collaborative duo The Burl Concentrate with Connie Zheng. The duo is contributing columnists to The New Life Quarterly and will publish their first collaborative book with Wolfman Books in summer of 2020.
Back Patch Workshop, Hosted By Feral Fabric
Get radical with textiles and make a back patch for your jean jacket or a fabric collage for you best friend’s wall! Our free workshop will demonstrate how undomesticated cloth can be. Feel free to bring your favorite fabric scraps to incorporate into your patch – NIAD will provide the rest!
Feral Fabric is the collaboration of Paulina Berczynski and Amanda Walters, two friends who met in grad school and bonded over their love of textile art. Paulina loves lizards. Amanda loves cats. Both are East Bay artists. Check out www.feralfabric.com to see past projects and learn more!
For this Thirsty Thursday, on November 21 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm, we’ll be hosting an open-bar (craft beer, spirits and some amazing wine) with some snack sides. On hand will be organizer Julia Schwartz as well as some of our artists. To set the mood, we’ll have a few choice records spinning on the phonograph.
At 5:45 pm, Julia will give a walk through of the terrific exhibition she’s organized in our Main Gallery. You’ll learn a lot! Admission is free.
Thirsty Thursday and our Opening receptions are sponsored in kind by GoldLine Brands – A Winery Group. We’re very grateful for their support.