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The Herndon Gallery opens "TAG! Territorial Negotiations"

 

YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio—December 1, 2014—The Herndon Gallery at Antioch College is pleased to announce the opening of its newest exhibition, TAG! Territorial Negotiations, an exhibition curated from the street art of Yellow Springs, Ohio, and exploring the territorial claims and negotiations inherent in public art.

The gallery will host an opening reception/DJ party on Thursday, December 11, 2014, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.  The exhibition will continue through February 13, 2015. 

Curated by Raewyn Martyn, assistant professor of art; Andrew Thompson, visiting assistant professor of sculpture; and Jennifer Wenker, creative director of the Herndon Gallery, TAG! Territorial Negotiations is a street-savvy exhibition featuring diverse street artists negotiating territorial space claims on the public turf and bringing up conversations about overt and covert space claims, the give-and-take of community, individual, and personal interests that each artist negotiates when making art in our shared public spaces. 

The title, TAG, allows for numerous meanings of the word, from the playground game, to identification, a graffiti signature in spray paint, and to hashtags used in social media to simplify or categorize a more complex subject. 

Murals, panel art, graffiti, yarn-bombing and street performers infuse our community with layers of sensory experiences in our shared public spaces—some as gifts, others as claims. This timely exhibition will offer opportunities for dialogue among diverse perspectives of the muddled and contentious relationships among public art, street art, graffiti and vandalism.

More than 30 Yellow Springs street artists are represented in this exhibition. Additionally, the local street art negotiations will be contextualized within the broader world through global street art documentary screenings and public presentations. All events are free and open to the public.

On January 15, 2015, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., the Herndon Gallery will host a panel titled, Artists’ Panel: Conversations on Negotiating Public Turf in Community. 

On January 21, 2015, at 7:00 p.m., the Herndon Gallery will roll out the Steinway and welcome visiting New York City pianist/composer Gregg Kallor for a public piano performance and conversation called, Redefining music for the 21st century.  This performance is supported by Cityfolk Legacy Jazznet Endowment and the ArtsLIVE Endowment, and is shared with the Herndon Gallery through the generosity of the University of Dayton.

On January 28, 2015, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., the Herndon Gallery will host a public participatory painting workshop and discussion led by Antioch College art students on the Antioch Solar Farm Fence Project.

Brixels projects by the Los Angeles-based artist, Cedric Tai will be projected as public light demonstrations onto South Hall by co-curator Andrew Thompson on several key dates throughout the exhibition.

Three Yellow Springs public muralists—Pierre Nagley, Zane Reichert and Travis Tarbox Hotaling—all with extensive painting experience, have long negotiated the public spaces in and around the village.  For this exhibition, they are collaborating on a large-scale narrative triptych depicting multiple forms of public space claims in advertising signage, in capitalist ideals and in their own public painting territorial claims, whereby sometimes they have the claim—sometimes the claim is lost to someone else. 

Graffiti art entered the Yellow Springs community in the late 1980s when several Antioch College students arrived from New York City and began tagging the Antioch College Amphitheater. Graffiti art re-emerged in Yellow Springs a few years ago when Mills Lawn Elementary School hosted a graffiti art class in 2011 with London Lee, and later, graffiti artist RAC, began claiming artistic space on the walls in Keith’s Alley—a sanctioned Yellow Springs public artist space that, for years, had been more or less well negotiated by local muralists. Keith’s Alley is a long series of concrete block back walls behind the local business district. Some are deemed public and open to experimentation, but others are private buildings that require consent. Contention arose and currently exists in defining what art is made here, how long the work should remain intact and unsullied, and how and whether past art should be incorporated into future works in this space. There are layers of unspoken negotiations and claims buried beneath the layers of paint.

Adding another interesting layer to the exhibition, the Jafagirls make their artistic claims with yarn and fiber, knitting colorful sweaters around cold sign posts and handrails. They earned international press in 2008 for their sweater wrapped “Knit Knot Tree,” made up of hundreds of knitted colorful panels around the trunk and branches of a single public tree. Borrowing from the vernacular of street graffiti, yarn bombers—also called graffiti knitters—tag public spaces covertly, but with a feminine take-back of the male-dominated culture. For this exhibition, the Jafagirls will be tagging the gallery architecture with temporary site-specific yarn graffiti, and sharing some documentation and artifacts of some of the 80 yarn bombing projects they have completed since 2007.

A large-scale sanctioned public project includes a representative sample of works from The Mills Park Fence Art Gallery Project. The project included original paintings on 4’x4’ panels by more than 50 community artists, and spanned the chain-link construction site fence around the Mills Park Hotel construction site for the past six months. This public art project was first conceived of by Yellow Springs native and hotel developer Jim Hammond, as a way to brighten the hotel construction site that would otherwise be an eyesore in the community. The project was designed by Jo Caputo and Nancy Mellon of the Yellow Spring Arts Council, and Holly Underwood served as coordinator. Approximately 20 panels will be exhibited.

Another fence with a very different set of territorial negotiations exist around the perimeter of the five-acre Antioch College Solar Farm on the south end of campus. This open space, owned by the College, but formerly used by local residents as a public space, has been part of a heated and contentious debate. The eight-foot tall chain-link fence is necessary to protect the one-megawatt solar farm. Therefore, Antioch College art students together with Raewyn Martyn are negotiating the problem within the community. Their research, interviews, strategies and solutions will make up a participatory painting project within the gallery space in this exhibition.

Participating artists include: Yellow Springs muralists: Pierre Nagley, Zane Reichert, Travis Tarbox Hotaling; graffiti art: RAC; Yarn-bombing: Jafagirls; Mills Park Fence Art Gallery Project: Dan Flanagan, Erin Smith-Glenn, Kayla Gray, Talitha Greene, Travis Tarbox Hotaling, Christine Klinger, Christine Linard, Brian Mathus, Paul Monaghan, Chelle Palassis, Bruce Parker, Jennifer Perkins, Cheyenne Pinkerman, Gayle Sampson, Sherraid Scott, Maxine Skuba, Bettina Solas, Scott Stolsenberg, Tom Verdon, J. C. Wheaton and Antioch College students; Antioch College Solar Farm student artists: Renee Burkenmeier, Aubrey Hodapp, Heather Linger, Justin Moore, Katie Olson and Sam Stewart; and Brixels: Cedric Tai, Los Angeles.

Herndon Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1:00-4:00 p.m.  The gallery is closed December 23, 2014 to January 5, 2015 during the Antioch College winter break. For more information, contact Jennifer Wenker, creative director of the Herndon Gallery, at jwenker@antiochcollege.org or 937-319-0114.  Additional information may be found at www.antiochcollege.org.

 

 

About Antioch College
Antioch College is a small, liberal arts institution located on a historical campus in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The College has an inspiring mission and a proud history of educating leaders and contributors to our society, including Nobel Laureates, Fulbright Scholars, MacArthur Fellows, notables in arts and culture, the sciences, the public sector, and business. Our innovative baccalaureate program integrates rigorous classroom learning with full-time work and community engagement. Commitments to social justice, sustainability, and global issues are important components of the Antioch College experience. A low student–faculty ratio provides Antioch College students with personal attention from professors who have a strong commitment to teaching. Originally founded in 1850, Antioch College is authorized by the Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents to grant the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees.