Saturday, 2 June 2012

East Prospect

The good thing about Fayetteville is that it is an easy place to make your own opportunities. There are a lot of creative spirits in this town, which makes for a receptive audience if you have the nerve and will power to try something. By all accounts, last week's experimental theatre piece, Alley 38 by the Artist's Laboratory Theatre, found that audience. Sold out on every night, not only was it a financial success if was also an artistic one. As an audience member/participant on one evening, I had a wonderful experience and look forward to the troupe's future work.

East Prospect exhibition
Thursday 7th June
In less than a week, artists Megan Chapman, Jennifer Libby Fay and myself will be having our own experiment. Since the ignominious demise last year of Fayetteville's most successful commercial gallery, the town has been left with a gaping hole in its cultural scene. For one night only, we have decided to fill that hole. However, we are not filling it in quite the expected manner: rather than staging our show in the usual stark, white-walled box, we have decided to have our exhibition in a residential home!

It seemed, when we first thought of it, a radical plan. Yet the more we thought about it, the more sense it made. All too often in the past we heard visitors complain "It looks so good against the white wall, but my walls are (such and such) colour" or "I don't have the space for art on my walls" and that was the end to their experience of art, art that may well have enriched their lives for years to come. By moving art away for those usual stultifying enclosures, we believe that it will make for a more personal and enjoyable experience. Not only will patrons be able to feel closer to the art but they will also see it in a real life setting.

Added to this, as artists and curators, we have access to a wide range of art and artists. It eventually became clear that not showing Fayetteville the kind of art it has come to expect would be the only wrong thing to do.

Our exhibition, East Prospect, will take place on First Thursday, June 7th and will feature a wide selection of art from national and international artists; artists from Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, England, France and Scotland. On show will be abstract paintings from Megan Chapman, Steven Heaton and myself; fabric art from Jennifer Libby Fay; illustrative art by myself; digital and analogue photography from Thomas Petillo, Christian Demare, Craig Munro, Rob Kedward, Steven Heaton and myself; multi-media art from John Spurgeon and, not least, the fantastic solar-powered installation, Sun Boxes, by Craig Colorusso. All of the work, Sun Boxes aside, will be available to purchase and take home on the night and is priced to suit everyone from the serious art collector to students.

We believe Fayetteville deserves, and needs, to see this art. It has been too long since there was a show of this quality in town. I'm tremendously excited about the exhibition and I can't wait for it to happen. I hope to see you there!

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