At first glance, one might think there’s something a bit odd about the show, ‘Installations,’ which is a collection of mini-exhibits unveiled during an open house Friday at the Endless Mountains Council of the Arts.
Although a number of new paintings are displayed on the walls, the display that really stands out is a 3-D exhibit, containing such items as drinking glasses, a lamp, a bleach bottle, a window fan, a dress, a clothes hamper, and numerous other items usually found in a more mundane setting.
It might appear that these items were mistakenly left over from a yard sale. But such things can be deceiving.
The exhibit - ‘Nancy’s Lot’ is an example of ‘Installations,’ the theme of this month’s EMCA exhibit.
‘Nancy’s Lot’ is the work of Stephanie Colarusso, who graduated from Tunkhannock Area High School in 2001. Now the director of programming events at the Everhart Museum in Scranton, ‘Nancy’s Lot’ is Colarusso’s first EMCA show.
Colarusso explained that many of the objects came from her grandmother, who had a tendency to collect things.
“My current work investigates the human psyche and the unconscious compulsive behavior to save items of personal value,” she explained in an artist’s statement.
According to Gallery Director Marion Stroka, the council previously featured in August an exhibition of artists participating in its Annual Regional Art Exhibit.
However, due to lack of participation, the council decided to make the exhibit a biannual event. In its place the gallery is offering ‘Installations,’ providing a different type of art for the viewer.
‘Installations’ is the brainchild of EMCA member Barbara Kapalski.
“We decided we wanted to do something totally different. Off the wall,” she said.
‘Installations’ is a form of artwork in which familiar objects are put together in an abstract way. The exhibits employ space and depth, aimed at drawing the viewer in. Such exhibits have been very popular in very large institutions, Kapalski said, but have not been seen much in smaller galleries.
Other exhibits include ‘Black, Blue, Silver and Gold,’ by Barb Kapalski which features empty picture frames and used bottle caps.
A separate piece by Mel Wolk, titled ‘Multi gravida Extraordinaire,” contains such mundane objects as a rake, a tub and a wooden block. Inside the tub are a number of doll heads. When looked at carefully for a few minutes, the viewer suddenly realizes that the objects are put together in such a way that they suggest a woman, with the doll heads representing children.
There are also a number of paintings hanging on the wall, but many also represent the ‘Installations’ style of art. All were created by Elizabeth Parry-Faist of Factoryville. One, titled ‘Birdhouse,’ contains just that - an old birdhouse.
“I found the birdhouse on a dirt road and held on to it,” Parry-Faist explained.
The painting is a tribute to Parry-Faist’s grandmother, whose image has been incorporated into it. Also in the painting is Parry-Faist’s mother and her daughter. A door knob is another prominent feature, sticking out from the canvas.
“My grandmother loves birds,” Parry-Faist explained about what inspired her to incorporate into the painting. “It talks about generations - what we pass on from one generation to the next.”
Parry-Faist is an Artist in Residence for the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts. She started out in photography, but later experimented with different ways to express herself. Her paintings often contain photographs, as well as items such as an old Barbie doll dress.
In the show there’s a work titled ‘The Dress,’ which creatively looks at a doll which both Parry-Faist and her daughter played with in their younger years.
“I like to take objects and photographs and mix them together,” Parry-Faist said.
The exhibit is scheduled to remain on display through Aug. 27 at the gallery at 302 W. Colleg Avenue, Tunkhannock, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m.