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Archive for Thursday, October 24, 2013

October Final Friday preview: ‘Undressing Room’ pushes creativity to edge

October 24, 2013

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This Friday offers several opportunities for viewers to engage in and be a part of the creative process.

Textile and performance artist Anna Youngyeun will perform Friday night from 7 to 9 p.m. in a new piece, “The Undressing Room,” at Wonder Fair Gallery, 803 1/2 Massachusetts. Like earlier works, such as “Invitation,” in which Youngyeun stood inside a massive lycra bag that looked similar to a lumpy tulip bulb suspended from the ceiling, and offered small hand-stitched gifts to viewers bold enough to reach into the bag and engage her, “The Undressing Room” will present gallery visitors with an opportunity to indulge in “an awkwardly intimate encounter.”

“I hope for viewers to engage with the experience as much or as little as they’d like because I find both willingness and hesitance to be great sources for observation and introspection,” she says.

Youngyeun, a graduate student at Kansas University, explains that the core of her work is an “ever-evolving effort to laugh at myself as a form of self-soothing and a means for more earnest introspection. ... I allude to sensations such as weightiness and pressure and simple gestures like hugging and hiding to raise questions about ways in which people engage with their own bodies, other bodies and surrounding spaces. Each piece invites play and experimentation, and often the experience is any mixture of lighthearted, silly, awkward, frustrating, disturbing and exhausting.”

Be advised that the performance may contain moderate nudity and viewer discretion is advised.

Artist Diana Dunkley is getting a head start on Art Walk by opening her workspace, Studio 3-D at 1019 Delaware, Friday night for an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Studio 3-D — in this case the 3-D stands for “3 Divas” — will show the work of three women: Gina Westergard, Cathy Tisdale and Dunkley.

Dunkley will introduce and recruit people for her latest conceptual piece, “Sign Here.” Like her earlier works, one in which she distributed dozens of disposable cameras and asked people to document art they found in a 24-hour period, “Sign Here” promises to engage participants in ways that will change their perception. “It changes your brain when you are involved with art,” she says.

Dunkley will also show a number of new paintings, watercolors and drawings. Also on display at 3-D Studio are porcelain sculptures from Cathy Tisdale and metalwork by this year’s Art Walk featured artist Gina Westergard.

The Percolator, located in the alley behind 913 Rhode Island behind the Arts Center, is also encouraging Final Friday viewers to take a more active role in their Final Friday experience. From 5 to 9 p.m., visitors are invited to construct and decorate an altar in honor of someone who has died for their El Dia de los Muertos celebration and exhibition.

Other offerings Friday include Arts Center’s exhibition director, Ben Ahlvers, who has a new show, “Shake. Shaky. Shakey.” opening at Invisible Hand Gallery, 810 Pennsylvania. Ahlvers has taken his interest in drawing and animation, and translated it into clay pieces (enhanced with the occasional found object or fabric) to make works that capture movement and highlight the artist’s sense of humor.

The Phoenix Gallery (825 Massachusetts) has an array of artists: porcelain from Kim Brook, wearable art from Marci Blank and paintings and collages from Kerry Thonen. Blues musician, Tyler Gregory will perform throughout the evening, and author Marcia Riley will be on hand to sign her book “The Pillow Fairy.”

Friday is also the only opportunity to check in on artist Lora Jost, who is working on a 7-foot mosaic for the main stairway of Free State Brewery. Jost is opening her home at 1923 Moodie from 6 to 8 p.m. for visitors so they can see her process and the progress of the massive mosaic.

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