ArtYard is excited to announce four unique exhibitions that open this winter — Paul Bowen: Drift, featuring sculptures of wood and found materials; As Is, a selection of unauthored objects from the world of art without intent; Shoes, A Love Story, an assembly of shoes that hint at mysterious and beguiling narratives; and Michael Mangino: Paint, a solo exhibition of recent works by a Studio Route 29 artist.
Paul Bowen: Drift, As Is; and Shoes, A Love Story are three distinct exhibitions that are different approaches to finding beauty and engaging in creativity around found materials and objects hiding in plain sight. The public is invited to an opening reception from 6 to 8 PM on Saturday, Feb. 18.
Michael Mangino: Paint, the fourth exhibition, opens with a reception at 3 PM on Sunday, March 5 and is the first ArtYard and Studio Route 29 collaborative exhibition, presented with support of Delaware Valley High School’s FIERCE program.
Paul Bowen: Drift (Feb. 18 to May 21)
Paul Bowen creates art from scavenged wood and other natural materials. Over the past 50 years, Bowen has built a body of work that transcends time and place, drawing from his childhood experiences in a seaside town in Wales, 30 years working along the waterfront in Provincetown, and nearly 20 years living in Vermont.
Paul Bowen: Drift is a solo exhibition featuring Bowen’s sculptures, drawings, and sketches. Bowen’s sculptures, constructed from wood fragments, use limited means and often appear afloat. His drawings derive their imagery and ink from his surroundings. The exhibition explores Bowen’s process of finding and uncovering the beauty in waste material, broken things, and things that have had another life.
The exhibition is curated by Jill Kearney and is on view in ArtYard’s first-floor River Gallery. The sculptures and drawings incorporate materials including wood, fabric, tar, and a tuna tail as well as walnut and squid inks. Bowen will lead a gallery walk of the exhibition at 3 PM on Sunday, Feb. 19.
As Is (Feb. 18 to May 21)
Objects can possess an inherent formal beauty regardless of their intended purpose. As time and circumstance act on matter, the most ordinary things may come to elicit surprising emotional or intellectual resonance. Whether this is a result of the object’s transformation or of its association with an individual’s personal history, it gains the power to move us in ways that were never intended. Unlike most objects of art, the found object’s maker is rarely known and may not be human. Through the presentation of unaltered found objects, As Is invites viewers to question their notions of beauty, artistry, and materiality.
Curated by Benjamin Albucker and Margaret Parish, As Is is located in ArtYard’s second-floor Lynn & John Kearney Gallery. The pair — Albucker is an antiques dealer and Parish is an artist — sourced many of the items from their own collections. Others are on loan from other collectors, colleagues, and clients.
“This is just a show about beautiful objects,” Albucker said. “The beauty, inherent in the objects we assembled for this show, is a type of beauty connected very closely with particular geometry, color, and texture. This is beauty from history, from craft, from its conversation with other objects. This beauty is devoid of trend and fashion. For me, objects such as these truly define, in a very human sense, beauty that is timeless.”
Shoes, A Love Story (Feb. 18 to May 21)
Shoes, A Love Story invites an assembly of timeworn, misshapen loafers, slippers, clown shoes, cowboy boots, disco platforms, mukluks, baby boots, wedding shoes, miners boots, sandals, saddle shoes, moon boots, tap shoes, wingtips, and flip flops to hint at their mysterious and beguiling wordless narratives.
Curated by Jill Kearney, Shoes, A Love Story is on view in ArtYard’s second-floor Lynn & John Kearney Gallery and features more than 60 pairs of shoes. Weaving the history of Kearney’s own orthopedic shoes, an Italian leather foot, and 50,000 pairs of shoes from families of shooting victims, the newsprint publication of “Shoes, A Love Story” chronicles the story behind the exhibition. Visitors are invited to share their own shoe stories while seated in a vintage shoe shine stand by recording a video to social media with #shoestoryartyard or on a printed form.
“A shoe covers one of the arguably least attractive aspects of the human body,” Kearney writes in the essay. “And then it is dragged around, stepped on, pummeled, and ground back into particles. Shoes are where I first formed the notion of my own ungainliness and need for correction, something I imagined set me apart in a kind of permanent loneliness but which I now recognize as the great common human thing.”
Tap shoes in a variety of sizes at the exhibition’s entrance are meant for visitors to put on to tap, tap, tap their way through the space — wooden columns holding the shoes created by Frenchtown artist David Horowitz are their own beauty. Visitors are also invited to turn a hand-cranked tap shoe machine built by ArtYard Technical Director Eric Fiorito.
Among the authored works are South African artist Siemon Allen’s “Jarman” and “Boot,” two largescale drawings of shoes made with Sharpie felt pens on painter’s plastic. They are inspired by the shoes that were both a status symbol and a ubiquitous staple for men’s dress that the artist grew up with in the 1950s and 60s.
Flemington artist Valerie Huhn’s “Golf Shoes” and “Ahmaud” are two works that tell a story that revolve around issues of identity and race in America through shoes that are enveloped in arrays of acetate fingerprints.
Michael Mangino: Paint (March 5 to May 21)
Michael Mangino: Paint is a solo exhibition of recent works by Delaware Valley High School student Michael Mangino of Pittstown.
Michael’s bodies of color hover on the page as sovereignties, surrounded always by a slight boundary of space, whole to themselves. His manner of mark making often proceeds first with longer lines, which are then filled in carefully and exploratively with shorter marks bringing into the paintings a sense of the slow movement of moss or a vine. Or, they are built as roof thatch; they are the ocean from above, wave going ahead of wave, they are patient, balanced stone walls. They call to mind topography, maybe because they are painted flat and turned as they are worked with shapes fitting carefully into others as meadows to mountains, or buildings to avenues. Though we show them here upright on the wall, they maneuver us to feel ourselves looking down from above. So we hover and float along with his shapes.
Curated by Studio Route 29, a progressive art studio that centers the creative practices and perspectives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the exhibition is presented with support from Delaware Valley High School’s FIERCE program, an employment and independent living transition program that is designed for special needs students who have completed their academic requirements for high school and are ready to transition to life as independent adults. It is on view in ArtYard’s first-floor Courtyard Gallery.
ArtYard is an incubator for creative expression and a catalyst for collaborations that reveal the transformational power of art. To learn more about ArtYard, upcoming exhibitions, and to register for related events, visit www.artyard.org.