For “Thunder Umbrella,” curator Chris Joy has selected a number of Guild members and has asked them in turn to chose an artist to curate into the show based on their love of that artist’s work and his or her way of exploring materials. “There is no theme per se,” says Jeffrey Mueller, Director of the Silvermine Galleries, “but rather a collection of artists who are exploring the use of recognizable objects or icons in ways that subvert the object’s traditional meaning or function.”

Joy, an independent curator and producer of Gorky’s Granddaughter, a documentary film project featuring interviews with artists, finds that many of the artists in the show have created their own special material presence or psychological weather. “The weather of the mind,” says Joy, “often comes from subtle use of industrial materials in ingenious juxtapositions with domestic and familiar contexts. There are ironing boards here as well as representations of Jesus, the Grand Prix, and the battlefield. The works seem animated with complicated forces and surrealist situations.” The exhibition focuses on painting, sculpture, and photography. Margaret Roleke gives us scorched earth: the toxic cloud of burnt plastic floats just above Barbie’s head. Or, there may be a more hypnotic storm such as in the work of Robert Calafiore, who presents us with amazing pinhole-camera photos of the most delicate cut glass stacked and blasted with a Photoshop furnace. Susan Manspeizer’s works in wood seem as if they have been molded and shaped by the flow of water. In the work of Joseph Madrigal the sculptures themselves seem to act out, and each has comedy and tenderness in equal parts.
“Artists run in packs and see works from very close proximity,” says Chris Joy. “They read with their faces inches away from the work at hand. It’s this intense proximity that creates the heat of meaning. This has always been what has been most attractive to me in wanting to participate in artistic dialogue beyond my studio.”

  • Sharon Cavagnolo, Global Succor, Ink, gouache, graphite, 32" x 24"

Curator Chris Joy keeps his eye trained on understanding the liberties and freedoms an artist is exploring. “Empathy is a key element,” he explains, “the reason for the liberal arts is to understand another person. In the art world, you can be guided by your tastes, but that can be incredibly limiting. Art can allow you to be constantly expanding, exploring, and renewing yourself.”

Exhibiting the work of the following artists:

Robert Calafiore
Nathan Carris Carnes
Sharon Cavagnolo
Corey Cavagnolo
Cecilia Charlton
Joseph Fucigna
Brenda Goodman
Zachary Keeting
Joseph Madrigal
Susan Manspeizer
Christine Rebhuhn
Scott Richter
Bryan Reedy
Margaret Roleke