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An Experiment in Collectivity

On view February 28 through April 1, 2012 in Gallery 1
Opening Receptions: Saturday, March 3, from 2 to 5 p.m.

University Galleries is hosting six invited artists to realize An Experiment in Collectivity through their formation of a temporary collective. Informed by 20th century movements such as Dada, Situationist International, Surrealism, and Fluxus, collaborative approaches to art making during the past decade have received much critical attention. For this artist-directed exhibition, Daniel Bainbridge (New York City), Jennifer Gustavson (Brooklyn, New York), Melanie Hunter (Bloomington), Tim Kowalczyk (Minonk), Colin Nesbit (San Diego), and Beatrix Reinhardt (Astoria, New York) will make work in response to the space of University Galleries acting as both producers and collaborators. Each artist must negotiate their working method, content, and flow of space within parameters set by the group. The project embraces unpredictability and explores how an inter-artist dialogue—rather than curator-artist dialogue—manifests itself and whether it may facilitate a new approach to exhibition-making.

For the past several months, the artists have interacted virtually through Skype and a private group blog in order to foster the conversations critical to the project’s development. Through email correspondence, they developed a promotional image that draws on the Surrealist exercise, Exquisite Corpse, and features segments of each artist’s work placed in response to the others’ works.

The exhibition’s installation will demonstrate not only the artists’ varied practices but will also highlight possible relationships between art and the institution in which it is exhibited. Artistic practices range from Gustavson’s installations using books borrowed from ISU’s Milner Library; to Bainbridge’s process-based, figurative sculptures incorporating trash collected on site; to Kowalczyk’s trompe l’oeil ceramic works referencing the specific packing materials the artists are using to ship their work to Normal. University Galleries will function as a site of engagement during the installation of the exhibition: the doors of the gallery will remain open while the artists are working, encouraging visitors to observe the artists’ processes and to interact with them.

All six artists graduated from Illinois State University’s School of Art. Daniel Bainbridge (M.F.A. 2006); Jennifer Gustavson (B.F.A. 2005); Melanie Hunter (M.F.A. 1993); Tim Kowalczyk (M.F.A. 2011); Colin Nesbit (B.F.A. 2003); and Beatrix Reinhardt (M.F.A. 2001). This exhibition is co-sponsored by the Theatre of Ted Alumni Guest Program.

University Galleries is located on the south side of ISU’s campus in room 110 of the Center for the Visual Arts. Parking is available for $1 per hour on the first level of the South University Street parking garage. Free parking is available in the School Street garage for receptions only. Gallery hours are noon to 4 p.m. Saturday through Monday, 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, and 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. If you need special accommodations to participate in any event, please contact University Galleries at (309) 438-5487 or Gallery@IllinoisState.edu. Please allow sufficient time to arrange the accommodation. Please note that all events at University Galleries are free.

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