Living Arts exhibits local and nationally-recognized emergent artwork and artistic practices that hold criticality and interdisciplinarity as vital to the artistic process. Exhibitions often include performativity, new media, and educational opportunities and engagement.

Land-Sc(r)aping: Development, Community, Affect. May 4th - July 12th

Curatorial Statement for May Show

Land-Sc(r)aping: Development, Community, Affect is a group exhibition that examines the concept of “environment” as an interstice between U.S.  politics, economy, land ownership, materiality, and its communal and individuated impacts.  The double-term of the exhibition title suggests that whenever there is a curatorial effort placed upon land, there is simultaneous consequence. Each artist selected for this exhibition inspects relational conditions between development and human impact/traces, inviting the viewer to consider their own presence and involvement within these larger socio-economic systems. The exhibition, itself, will also grow and change between its opening on May 4th, 2018 and its closing on July 12th: new artworks will be added, the gallery space will shift, and remnants from workshops and lectures will remain in order to actuate development within the gallery. In this way, I hope to produce an organism of an exhibition that may operate as site that, not only collaboratively informs the viewer and participating artists, but also recognizes its own envelopment within a cycle of scaping and scraping land and material and bodies.

Blights Out!

is a collective of artists, activists, and architects who seek to demystify and democratize the system of housing development and expose the policies that lead to gentrification. We have located the lynchpin of gentrification in laws governing property, debt, and racialized wealth stratification. Our mission is to generate dialogue, art, and action that challenge inequitable development and drive land use policy in New Orleans.

Bill White

The exhibit called, “The Greenwood Experience” was designed to inform, inspire, and to greet travelers in all stages of life at the Tulsa International Airport.

Our intent is to give citizens and travelers alike the opportunity to learn about Tulsa’s rich history and celebrate African-Americans “True” entrepreneurial spirit. The main themes of the Exhibit are: Roots, Riot/Massacre, and Regeneration & Renaissance.

Nick Peña

Peña’s work handles the history of landscape painting as it relates to The American Dream. His recent explorations push past traditional use of media, manipulating the usually-peripheral mat to create negative-space depictions of fragmented composites of the american landscape in peril. The digitally cut silhouettes bear as much meaning as his application of paint, serving both to veil and to delineate his subject matter.

Caitlin Horsman

Grounded in the moving image but integrating installation, sound, sculpture, collaborations, curatorial work and community programming, Horsmon’s work investigates the obscure and overlooked landscapes of the everyday. In her recent work, historically charged sites provide the starting place for exploring the struggles between environments and human needs. Using video, sculpture, site-specific installation, performance and direct cinema Horsmon addresses the social body by investigating systems and identities masked in plain sight. Recent projects have addressed topics like the construction of domestic space, the Missouri river, the physics of light, optical perception, and cities as sites and organisms.

Ellen Mueller

This body of work examines McMansions, the large ostentatious modern houses that are cheaply built and are often considered lacking in architectural integrity. Through this subject matter, Mueller’s focus on excessive consumer culture by putting visual emphasis on the wide array of standard and novelty rooms one might find in these homes.  Ellen is interested in the environmental and socio-political impact of these homes.

Tali Weinberg

Weinberg fuses the languages of text and textiles to address gender violence, climate change, the housing crisis, labor exploitation, and other traumas and insecurities that are experienced at once as social and personal. She produces inter-subjective reference materials that include charts, maps, blueprints, and encyclopedias. These weavings, thread drawings, prints, and artist’s books are formally minimal, yet embedded with the results of intensive material, interpersonal, and cross-disciplinary research. Some materialize data while others document the experiences, ideas, and efforts of women activists. All are grounded in feminism and the varied forms of knowledge required for skilled production: the math, structure, and systems of weaving, the biology and chemistry of dyeing, and the relationship between cerebral and embodied knowledge.

Valery Lyman

Breaking Ground is an immersive meditation on the tale dreams, sought and abandoned, that wends its way through the American psyche and landscape.  Documentary artist Valery Lyman has been photographing and recording audio in the Bakken region of North Dakota over the course of 5 years, documenting the rise of the oil industry there and the substantial migration that went along with it.  She has amassed the most comprehensive visual-aural archive of this particular time and place in American history.  Breaking Ground is a series of site-specific installations in which these photographs are projected onto industrial remnants while multiple sound compositions emanate, creating a meditation on the cyclical nature of industrial booms and an opportunity to explore what is occurring in North Dakota now.  

Sean Starowitz

Person/People calls to question the role of sole inclusion in the built environment. Developers and architects use imagined individuals and interactions within development renderings to sell, inform, or convince communities of their work. Person/People plays on the promise of the type of people imagined in development renderings by shifting them from the digital to the actual. The tropes of characters represent a broad swath of Person/People used in almost every development promise: Mother with a stroller, anonymous man, businessmen, coffee drinker, college student, runner, and bicyclist. 

Aaron Stephan

Around 100 years ago, Sears and Roebuck began producing The Wizard; a one-man concrete block machine designed for domestic use. The machine came with a set of plans to build your own house detailing layout, quantity of blocks, and the amount of labor necessary for one person to build the house. This self-contained approach to home building reinforced traditional notions of independent-pull- up-your- bootstraps American ideals. And it didn’t catch on at all. The machines required too much labor and mass-produced block were simply cheaper. Very few of the machines were made in the years they were offered (approximately 1906 – 1914) and many of them were melted down few years later for the WWII effort. I came across advertisements for these unusual machines while researching the history of the concrete block. I became interested in making blocks of my own and proceeded to search for available machines on Craigslist, Ebay, and other used tool sources. But, I failed to find a one for sale and decided to fabricate a machine myself. I used beautiful and lush materials: mahogany and stainless steel fittings and was careful to fashion the machine to make blocks identical to those found at Home Depot. Since then, I have been slowly perfecting a concrete mix, making hundreds of blocks, and further researching this history. Part/Whole speaks to this potent symbol of American idealism - and possible failure. The works included in this show are offshoots of this process including my hand-crafted concrete block machine and four cyanotypes imagining the original Sears and Roebuck mail-order blueprints.