The Wrong Again Gallery will close its second season Halloween night, Wednesday, October 31, 8-10 p.m. with TART by Ramona Sonin. (Be sure to dress warm. The show is inside but the garage door will be open.)
Sonin currently lives in Venice, California, where she maintains her studio and teaches at the CA Institute of Art. She received her MFA from the University of Memphis in 1998. She was kind enough to answer of couple of questions of mine via email. Here is that exchange.
Dwayne Butcher: There is a close similarity between the figures in this work and you. Would you consider these self-portraits? Or were you simply the first model available when working on these pieces?
Ramona Sonin: I love this question... Yes, I was the only one around when I was trying to contort my body in the mirror for exaggerated poses. (I have hurt my back on several occasions and fallen off of my Louboutins.) But, of course I can not deny that parts of me are in my girls....but they are SO much more than me...look at that hair! If only I could get mine to those heights! If only I could afford their clothing and walk languidly down the street in those shoes and carrying those firearms.
In its sixth year, the RiverArtsFest returns to the South Main Historic Arts District, October 26th-28th. There is a $5 admission to enter this year’s festival all day Saturday and Sunday. However, admission is free Friday night during the Trolley Tour and Sunday before noon.
Over 170 artists from around the country will have works in booths lining South Main. There will be a little something for everyone just in time for the holidays: jewelry, watercolors, ceramics, glass, fiber, and leather will be available for purchase directly from the artists.
These types of art festivals have always been a little weird for me. Sure, the patrons get to interact with the artists that they are interested in knowing more about. Sure, the artists do not have to give a commission to an art dealer in a gallery so the artists are able to charge lower prices for their work and hopefully be able to sale more of it.
But the problem is that there is so much of it.
The Broad Ave. Arts District Art Walk is this Saturday October 20th, 2-8 p.m.
I think I should write an art feature on whether or not Broad Avenue is really an arts district. Does one art gallery, T Clifton and one alternative space, Material plus several art studios make an arts district? I am sure it would make for an interesting topic with a wide range of opinions from artists and art patrons. Regardless of its status as an arts district, which I do not think it is, one cannot deny the absolute resounding success the previous Art Walks have been. This year, artwork from over 40 artists will be on display with most available for purchase.
Some of the highlights include Mark Nowell’s New Steel Sculptures at Material Art Space. Coming off the recent dedication of the “Wave” sculpture at the Skate Park in Tobey Park, Nowell gives one sentence and one sentence only in regards to this exhibition, “I wanted to do a show that is just steel — no paint, no ink, etc.” Now, that is getting straight to the point. Jamie Harmon’s Amurica, a makeshift photobooth in an old travel trailer will be directly in front of Material on Broad Ave.
Are we really already in the holiday spirit of giving? Should I bring my Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa aluminum pole down from the attic and install it next to my cat condo tower? It seems people are already being nice to each other, doing nice things for each other, with little or no benefit expected. This is the case with the Memphis College of Art and Beth Edwards, painting professor at the University of Memphis. Edwards has curated the 2012 Alumni Invitation Exhibition opening at the Memphis College of Art Thursday, October 11th, 5-7 p.m.
Is it a good thing that these two competing institutions work together for the common good of an art exhibition? Perhaps. There is precedent for such a collaboration. Last year's "Impressionistic Summer" between the Dixon and Brooks Museum seemed to work. Kevin Sharp and Cam Kitchin, the museums' respective directors, were not fighting in the streets. (Though, I would give anything to see that.) I do hope that MCA alumni Emily Jacir made the cut for this invitational. That would be spectacular.
UrbanArt Commission will be dedicating a new public work Friday, October 12th, 3-5 p.m. Mark Nowell’s The Wave was recently installed at the Skate Park in Tobey Park at 2617 Avery. The Uptown Hotdogs food truck will be there and there will be a performance by ARTISTIK APPROACH. My broken left foot is doing much better now. I think I will go and give this “wave” a try. At least dance and eat a hotdog.
If you can find it and if you are in the mood, The Wrong Again Gallery is having its third exhibition of its second season Saturday evening 7-9 p.m. Niki Johnson will not be present for the opening of her exhibition "Behind Closed Doors: An Evening of Rockwellian Taboo." Instead, she will be skyping in from an, as of yet, undisclosed location. But do not worry yourself with that. Just make sure you can find the Wrong Again Gallery at 648 (W) Marshall Avenue. It will be the right place to be.
Go see some art.
If you like to go to art openings for the free wine, beer, and cheese cubes, then this Friday night is the one for you. But, you may want to leave the house early to be able to attend all the art openings Friday night. Actually, it may almost be impossible to go to every opening. It will be even more impossible to be able to enjoy the free wine, beer, and cheese cubes at each event. So, be prepared to drive like mad to see the exhibitions.
Here is a likely plan for your night of free drinks and snacks and art.
Start at the University of Memphis’ PLA(I)N(E) Gallery in the Art and Communication Building, room 100, for M. Foster’s "The Bee House". The exhibition examines loneliness, hermit-hood, memory, and decay through the recreation of a Long Island woman's home. There will be no free wine or beer here, as it is a university. However, it will still be a good place to start as the opening begins at 4:30 p.m.
Then head to Poplar and take your pick from these three exhibitions: Keiko Gonzalez at Lisa Kurts or Lisa Jennings and Carolyne Morrison at L Ross Gallery or Tad Lauritzen Wright at David Lusk Gallery.
There will be plenty to drink at these openings. But you will run out of time attempting to visit all three. The most interesting of the exhibitions will be Lauritzen Wright’s "Garden & Gun" show at DLG. This will also have the most people. Go here to see all the cool art kids in town and make fun of the hipsters.
After you take a taxi back to Laurelwood Shopping Center to pick up your car Saturday morning, grab your dull knives and head down to the National Ornamental Metal Museum, between 10 a.m.-5 p.m. for their annual Repair Days. There will be plenty to do and the museum grounds has, without a doubt, the best view of the Mississippi River in the city.