The title of this exhibition is a homage to two famous works--AaronDouglaspainting, uilding More Stately Mansion which links the labor history of African American men and women with the foundation of great civilizations, and the Chambered Nautilus, a poem by Oliver Wendell
Holmes, Sr. that uses the imagery of the mansion to represent the “self” and the nautilus as a noble creature that symbolizes continual growth and therefore continual re-building of the “self.”
These works are a jumping off point for two ideas. First, The United States owes their iconic structures, infrastructure, and heritage to the contributions of people who had little to no power in an imbalanced power structure just as many of the wealthy elite, particularly of the gilded age, owe their station in life to this same power structure. Second, those of us that create, have an uncanny ability to create “something from nothing”. Since the nature of art making requires constant self examination and evolution of skill and concept, we are in many respects, a symbol for perpetual growth just as the nautilus is for Holmes.
In response to the discussion of the class divide that has been at the forefront of political debate, ore Stately Mansion will harken back to a historical symbol of wealth inequality, the gilded age of the 1800s and 1900s. This was a time when great American mansions were built, largely on the backs of slave, non unionized, and/or new immigrant laborers. These mansions have continued to be highly valued in today's society as beacons of the American Dream. Asking artists to transform the gallery space into a rendition of these iconic structures through interactive work made from free materials is a way of investigating the artist’s role in the class divide, the role of the class divide in the exclusionary stigma in the arts, and the value system of the American dream.
The following is a list of visual artists selected to make interactive work for this exhibition based on proposals they submitted in November, 2016: Tiernan Alexander, Jim Dessicino, Stephan Dobosh, Siri Langone, Lauren McCarty, Harry Sanchez, Dena Shottenkirk, Steven Earl Weber, and Zach Zecha.
Patrick Coughlin received his BFA from Syracuse University and his MFA at The University of Florida. Patrick has been a resident artist at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts and Genesee Center for the Arts, and has exhibited work nationally and internationally. He has lead demonstrations and been a visiting artist at many institutions such as the University of Montana, Jacksonville University, and Roswell Art Center. Prior to moving to Philadelphia Patrick lived and worked in Jingdezhen, the ceramic center of China. As an assistant in the design studio he worked with local craftsmen in the production of design goods for a global market. Also in China Patrick assisted in the management of the Education Center where he facilitated international exchange and instruction. His work has primarily focused on objects of material culture and their relation to process, heritage and domestic spaces.
My practice involves three separate, yet completely intertwined ways of working: ceramic sculpture, functional pottery and drawing. In the sculptural work, I construct compositions with minimalist, architectural ceramic forms which are coated with a film of directed or reflected light from adjacent, brightly colored surfaces. Based in color theory, these three-dimensional still lifes address the perception of objects and the spaces between. The pinched functional objects I create also emerge from these observations. Simple vessels with white exterior surfaces are inextricably involved with nearby objects; the surface of one will always affect the perception of another due to shifts in the intensity and direction of light covering the forms.
Drawings become a record of the light and shadows that force the eye to shift over forms constantly, causing static objects to appear to wiggle. It is this constant movement, this lack of clarity, and this distortion, which drives my studio explorations and reveals how I perceive and create relationships between the objects in the lived space. Each work I create shares with the viewer a particular type of looking: one in which the act of noticing an object transforming from one moment to the next becomes a silent, almost meditative experience.
Taking a Break
Hello All, Just wanted to let everyone know that during the months of October - January KTG will be taking a break. Louise ORourke the gallery director will be having a baby Oct 1 which means becoming a mom and figuring out a routine!!
We will be resuming Jan 2018 so please feel free to submit proposals if you so choose!