Inside Out: NeoOutsider
August 22, 2016 - September 23, 2016

An exhibition exploring experimentation, obsession and play.

Kia Liszak Aladdin Sane Patricia Thornton Salmon Lake

Exhibit Notes

There will be a closing reception, September 23 from 5 -7pm, with a gallery talk by the curator at 6pm.

Curators Statement, Patricia Thornton:

A long time ago I learned that great things happen when I surround myself with people I admire. One of the ways I get to know and work with artists I admire is by organizing group art shows. For this show, Inside – Out / Neo Surrealism, I asked four experimental, playful artists who I deeply admire to join me. My intentions for assembling this show are twofold: to pay homage to some of my favorite Outsider and Surrealist artists like Jean DeBuffet and Frida Kahlo and to show the world that sometimes the answers lie in the creation of things.

Sheila Miles:

I have long-worked in the surrealist tradition (one of the tenets is that the unconscious mind is as valid (or more valid) as what a person might conjure rationally), and I appreciate and value the happy accident. When I am making this work I am accessing the child within, letting and making accidents happening to see new relationships between marks and resulting imagery. I am looking for a new way of seeing.

As an artist it can be difficult to draw the line between ugly and beautiful. If it is too pretty, it can be saccharine and unreal. Too ugly, it can look immature, and well, difficult for the viewer to enter.

New-outsider art puts me in touch with my imagination and inner voice. It reminds me to have an open mind, to let the work lead me instead of attaching some precept to it. When I make this work the possibilities are endless and the discoveries of characters and narratives emerge.

For example, "My place and my neighbors" is made from my handmade pieces. I didn't start with a preconceived idea. After working on it for a while I realized it was about my neighbor who works at Ace Hardware. He brings piles of stuff home (hardware, equipment, cabinets, dog kennels, cans of substances, etc.) They are strewn all over his property among the dogs he breeds (and leaves outside in freezing weather). I think I am the large person on the left, baring my teeth, maybe there should be an audible sound coming out of the mouth but instead there is just a grimace of frustration.

Steve Muhs:

If life is crazy can art reflect that? Probably not. And it should come as no surprise that art establishments have trouble, and even the greater community, with art that doesn’t conform to standards and expectations. Many people want to think everything is ok – and we all know there is no rhyme or reason to how things go. Outsider art is historically labeled to the work of the self-taught, insane, etc. I can’t think of a more appropriate tag for any authentic art form.

Kia Liszak

I am intrigued by texture and driven by the idea of taking simple art-forms to complex levels. I often find my own way by inventing new mediums or using strange materials such as rice, beans, or yarn, not unlike a kindergartener. My work has an obsessive quality and I go through a lot of glue. My primary motivation for making art is my own desire to watch it unfold. For the last few years, I have been working on a body of work made primarily from hand dyed rice that is an homage to the epic images of the album covers I grew up with, but I have recently embarked on a new love affair with felt and other soft materials.

Lady Pajama:

My art is a reflection of my haphazard nature. Things happen and I let them happen. I move from thing to thing and I see what happens. All this art happened and now you are looking at it. This is what is happening.