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Art Picks, June 2011 | Midtown Monthly

Art Picks, June 2011

Posted on June 8, 2011 – 6:25 AM | by OldManFoster
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At the Edge of the World
Ruth Eckland
Axis Gallery
June 4 – June 26
Preview Reception: June 9, 6 – 8PM
Reception: June 11, 6 – 9PM
Artist’s walk-through June 11, 6PM

Internationally known video artist Ruth Eckland takes over the Axis space this month to present At the Edge of the World, the artist’s meditation on the fragility of life and existence.  Melding images of beaches, flashes of light, and newscasts with footage of the recent Japanese tsunami, Eckland uses multiple projections to create a dreamlike environment.  Combined with music by Matt Difonzo, Eckland’s images create an installation that quietly questions the certainty of the world in which we exist.   The artist will do a ‘walk-through’ of the piece at 6PM on June 11.

1517 19th Street
Hours: Noon – 5PM Sat and Sun or by appt

MANMADE
Bren Ahearn
Evolve
June 9 – 25
Reception/Artist’s lecture: June 11, 5 – 9PM

Evolve the Gallery has been open for less than a year, but in nine months owners Brady and A. Michelle Blakeley have managed to put a solid stamp on the Sac art scene with their distinct and cohesive vision.  The tidy Oak Park gallery has mounted a number of compelling (and always well-presented) exhibits, and this month’s offering might be their best yet.  Artist Bren Ahearn explores stereotypes, sexuality, masculinity and gender bias in his playful handicraft-based works.  He works with textiles, often incorporating text into his work; he notes that the two are intimately related: both share the same root.  The work is funny, honest and best of all, smart.

2907 35th Street, Oak Park
Hours: Thurs – Sat, by appt (916) 572-5123

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MANIAC: Manic Episode 2
The Brickhouse
June 11-June 30
Reception: June 11, 6 – 9PM

I have to admit that I was slightly stunned when I saw the roster for this group show at Oak Park’s near-defunct Brickhouse Gallery: artists from Germany? France? Australia?   Some checking revealed that sure enough, the 20+ artists on view are from around the country and around the world.  If that’s not enough of a shocker, here’s a bit of 21st Century boo-yeah for you: MANIAC was organized almost completely via Facebook.  A chat with Andy Cunningham, the Sacramento painter who coordinated the show explained all. “Over the course of two years artists from France, Korea, Germany and Australia have been in dialogue [on Facebook] with artists from New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Nebraska and California over shared interests in their work.”  The group was called MANIAC for “Multi-media Artist Network Idea exchange And Collaboration.” In 2009, Cunningham’s friend Kevin Daly got the idea to host a group show featuring as many of the artists as wished to participate.  Fifteen artists responded, and the first MANIAC show was held at Artspace in Hartford, Connecticut.  The Sacramento show will be the group’s second outing, and Cunningham has lined up an astonishing international roster, many of whom will be coming to town for the opening!  Apparently I’m not the only one who finds the concept fascinating: negotiations are in the works to bring the show to UoP in Stockton after the Sacramento run.

2837 36th Street, Oak Park
Hours: Appt only, 916-505-4784

Non Solo
Center For Contemporary Art Sacramento
June 11 – July 17
Reception: June 11, 6 – 9PM
Conversation with the artists: June 11, 5PM

If you have ever wondered why art shows can’t be more like rock ‘n’ roll gigs, Non Solo may be the show for you.  From the press release: “Non Solo is a show the artists have taken on the road, traveling together in a van like a band of gypsies or a carnival troupe.  The art travels with them, much of it in progress – in recombination and otherwise morphing – as Non Solo tours among scheduled art venues and interacts with specific spaces and audiences around the US.”  I love the concept and a quick glance at Non Solo’s itinerary reveals that, like a touring rock band, there is some serious business behind all the performance shenanigans. The nine artists involved are based in New York, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia and bring an intriguing mix of 2D and 3D works, including Merch Table, an ‘installation-as-gallery’ with cool handmade gunk like zines, t shirts, stickers and oh yeah, art.  Rad.

1519 19th Street
Hours: Tues -Sun, Noon – 5PM

Short list:

The House of Others
MFA Thesis Exhibition 2011
Nelson Gallery
June 3 – 24

UCD’s MFA show is always worth a look, and this year’s crop of grads is solid.  Looks like lots of good stuff, but I’m especially excited to see what painter Mathew Zefeldt (profiled in our Oct 2010 issue) is up to these days.

Nelson Hall (former University Club), UC Davis

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