Cyrano, Organized By Em Kettner • Selections From The Curtis Turner Collection • Reinventing History At NIAD Art Center From May 5-24//

The titular actor in Cyrano de Bergerac is a virtuoso wordsmith convinced that his gargantuan nose makes him unlovable. In pursuit of his longtime amour, Cyrano lends his voice to another man in hopes that together they might win her heart. Each of the sculpted, sewn, and drawn characters selected for this exhibition also balances humility with panache; arranged together they form love triangles and pensive loops. They insist that, like Cyrano’s nose, what might at first be perceived as a weakness in fact unlocks our greatest powers of imagination. 

The objects in this show stem from the artists’ own narratives of experience, and are recast here as players in Cyrano de Bergerac. The exhibition includes work from Shantae Robinson, Billy White, Dorrie Reid, Sara Malpass, Saul Alegria, Julio Del Rio, Jonathan Velazquez, Jonathan Valdivias, Luis Estrada, Matthew Wilson, Ann Meade, James Heartsill, Jeremy Burleson, Darlene Farr, Sylvia Fragoso, Saul Alegria, Lisa Blevins, Christian Vassell, Felicia Griffin, Dorothy Porter, Danny Thach, and Mireya Betances. 

Em Kettner is an artist and writer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In her ongoing series of ceramic-textile sculptures, she decorates and modifies broken clay bodies as a way of revising origin myths that condemn or fetishize disability. Kettner received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has taught there in the Painting & Drawing and Liberal Arts Departments. She currently teaches ceramics and fibers at NIAD Art Center. 

This is the first exhibition Em Kettner has organized at NIAD.

Selections From The Curtis Turner Collection

Based in Atlanta, George, Curtis Turner has an amazing for self-taught art. Showcasing more than two-dozen pieces accumulated over more than a decade, NIAD is delighted and honored to be able to offer “Selections From The Collection Of Curtis Turner.” Focusing on Southern artists, the exhibition features recognizable names like Howard Finster, Nellie Mae Rowe, and Jimmy Lee Sudduth as well as pieces from artists who have never been on display publicly.

After buying art at a local school fundraiser sparked an interest in unique art, a series of events that included a lucky flea market find, a risky investment, and the gift of a dream piece laid the foundation and fueled the passion for Turner’s growing collection. His small apartment is an art filled space that serves the dual purpose of gallery and refuge needed from long hours working as the Associate Director of Strength and Condition for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Football team. 

Reinventing History

A detournement, meaning “rerouting” or “hijacking” in French, is a technique developed in the 1950s by the Letterist International and later adapted by the Situationaists. And, of course, recently adapted by a number of NIAD artists. By applying various media to found book or magazine pages the artists subvert or redefine the meaning of the original work.

Included in the exhibition will be works from Karen May, Luis Estrada, and Jonathan Velazquez.

Opening reception is May 12 1:00 – 4:00 pm with a dj set from Billy Z