Friday, April 29, 2011

It's Not First Friday but Richmond Artists Have Some Work to Show You Tonight

Listen to the full audio here.

Art Walk has become a mainstay in Richmond and over 40 venues in Historic Jackson Ward and Monroe Ward draw crowds every first Friday of the month. But the growing artists district isn't the only avenue for Richmonders to see what local artists have been creating.

Tonight at 216 E. Main St. Reference Gallery will host "Thick Blood" featuring Richmond-based artists James Callahan, Taylor Baldwin and musical act Gull.

The show's curator Tim Bearse said the show is all about: "Death, dismemberment, ecological anxiety, bad behavior and sort of cult interior behaviors."

James Callahan makes comics under the name Barf. Taylor Baldwin is a sculpture artist who studied at VCU. And Gull is a one man band Bearse describes as "pretty much indescribable." Bearse said he wanted to bring these artists together because:

"I felt like there were great overlaps between people like working in a comic idiom and sculpture and this pretty much completely amazing one man metal act. With overlapping themes. Themes that seemed so related. In terms of where they start. Where their source is."

And Bearse said though the subject matter all three artists are dealing with is similar, this show provides a coming together of distinct audiences.

"All of these artists are together because I feel like they have very different followings of people who look at their work but maybe the themes and the sensibilities. I thought it would be great to do a show where like multiple kind of different art viewers could come together and see something that had a similiar theme or overlap. Also all of these artists are Richmond artists, working in town. So that was really important too."

The opening of the show begins tonight at 7:30pm and runs until 11pm with Gull performing at 9 o'clock. And if you miss it tonight, "Thick Blood" will be up until May 10th.

Further up Main St., at 101 S. Addison, the newly created gallery Day Tripper will showcase "Cuts" featuring a dozen artists, many from or based in Richmond.

The impetus of the show is Marshall Higgins who said he was bored a couple of months ago and decided to compile a book of his friends' art to have published by the website Blurb.

"And it snowballed from there and I got the book to be over 52 pages and then a friend said why don't you do a show to support it. Just kept on doing it and it rolled from there."

Higgins only stipulation for submitted work was it had to be created by cutting paper or another flat medium. He said that was because

"It was the easiest way I could see to sort of democratize it. Like I've got a lot of friends who are really, really good at drawing or painting or stuff like that but I have other people who have stuff to show me who are afraid to draw, you know? So that way it would be a little less austere and a little bit silly in a way."

And he said what came out of the assignment ran the gamut.

"Some of them my friend described yesterday as kindergarten chic where it's just silly but it's really well done, silly kind of playful. Some of them look like borderline photo realistic."

The opening is tonight from 7pm until 11pm and the book titled "Cuts" will be available for purchase. All the profit from sales of the book, one dollar each, will be donated to Art 180.

-Caroline Jackson

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