An evening full of artistic revelry was had at the opening reception of the Exquisite Corpse art exhibit, which is open to the public through Nov. 3. (gallery hours are noon until six) at 1140 Main, Suite 208 above the Tuna Shack and McWhorter Jewelers.
The opening night was well attended- the small exhibit area was packed all night, and attendees were encouraged to come masked. A wide range of artistic media from local artists was presented, including paintings, sculptures (including a kinetic sculpture named Sheena), quilts, collages and more.
For the fifth year artist Helen Wilson invited the artist’s group Tuesday Nights to play the game "Exquisite Corpse," the basis of the exhibit. This is a game by which a collection of images is assembled by the group to form bodies. The game was invented by the Surrealists; and earned its name from one of the initial writings, "Le cadavre / exquis / boira / le vin / nouveau" (The exquisite corpse will drink the young wine). It is the perfect game for creating Art for a Halloween Exhibition.
This group plays the game with a bit of a twist. The body is broken into proportionally correct sheets of paper. Then they all draw, one body part at a time. The results are then put on the floor where each of the artists chose a body, one part at a time. Traditionally this is where the game ends a body created by multiple artists, but this is where they really change the game; everyone goes home with his or her body and they agreed to reassemble for the exhibition. Once home, their body was the inspiration for a piece of art. Artists could work in any material they wanted. The only obligations
were to the art and to keep a sense of play - after all it is a game.
The twist this year was that the corpse had to have a narrative of some kind. Each story will be found in it’s own artist book. Many of the artists read their stories to the audience in the ghost story tradition.
The artists include Antonia Cosentino, Nancy Ferguson, Karen James, Bob Norman, Tracy Potter, Kathi Rothe, Marsha Cook, Nancy Winslow, Anne Marie Heaton, Heidi Schlotfeldt, Kathleen Beck, Cindy Dodson, Pamela Underwood, Julie Z Weaver, Diane Conklin, Regina Wilson, Ralph Jensen, Don Weeke, Helen Petre, Felicia Hill, Natalie Strohson, Deborah Behnke and Helen Wilson.
All the artists are part of a class/group called Tuesday Nights facilitated by Helen Wilson, which meets once a month (sometimes more.) Each meeting is built around one project idea, which culminates in an exhibition but mostly it is a way to advance creative skills while hanging with a great group of creative types.
This message was included in the press release for the event:
"The goals are the building of an art community through exhibitions and socialization with other artists; learning to critique your own and others’ work effectively and developing technical proficiency in a variety of media and/or methods, by planning, designing and completing projects. It is about developing artistic energy through sharing with a larger community."