Mayhew & the Early Works
Special exhibition in collaboration with the Mayhew Program, on view April 4, 2023 from 2-6pm.
“A painting to me is primarily a verb, not a noun, an event first and only secondarily an image.” –Elaine de Kooning
Upon initial observation one may notice a series works both in two-dimension as well as crafted three-dimensional forms that may have been made simply for the sake of making art. However, I invite the audience to reexamine the complexities of what is being presented and consider their significance in relation to this historical period and the boarder community in which they were made.
This arrangement of multifaceted works, although primarily viewed as primitive, can have visual connections to major art moments such as abstract expressionism, art brute, and surrealism.
I invite the viewer to consider the works presented here not just as individual depictions but as fragments attempting to present a collective voice. Like those ancient markings on a cave wall, the stories that were often carried from person to person are substituted for symbols left behind assigned meaning to define a community that once occupied that space. The experience of sitting around a campfire and sharing stories is at the core of what makes us human, and it is through those moments of contact that we can find that sense of belonging.
Starting in January of 2023, the Mayhew program put out a call to all its members and welcome them to create anything that may have spoken to them about their summer camp or program experiences. It was no surprise that many of the artists took this opportunity instead to try something new and to be courageous with their creativity. Collectively they moved beyond simply depicting memories but seized on the opportunity to take a chance trying something new, to express their creative vulnerabilities, and unlock their creative strengths.
Mayhew isn’t just a group, it’s a type of community that celebrates the values of challenge by helping each other find the individual and collective confidence to unlock their greatest sense of belonging and live out our best versions of themselves. Consider this body of work more like just the initial spark of that campfire instead.
Assistant Program Director