Holsum Gallery and Exhibit #6
Climb a couple flights of stairs and take a right on an open floor, you will be led to a spacious room. You are immediately encountered with carefully curated, intriguing sculptures on the walls and pedestals, bursting with chroma. When you go past the exhibit, several works in progress are hung on the wall and right below them are torn newspaper pages scattered on the floor. On the table are a pile of bright yellow, old National Geographic magazines, stacked on top of one another. I looked around this interesting room and there seemed to be an imaginary but clear and healthy divide between the work space and the exhibition space. But as soon as you step past that line, you are entering a space where actions, thoughts, and progress are happening right then and there. Visitors will be curious to step outside of the exhibition space into the artist’s studio and ask a few questions.
Artist Garry Noland has dedicated one-third of his studio space to an exhibition space in an industrial building in West Bottoms in Kansas City, Missouri. I learned of this exhibition space through instagram. This was the second time I visited Garry’s space and Exhibit #6 was happening at that time. He doesn’t title his shows, and leaves it up to the visitors to make the connections between the works. Each exhibit usually consists of three artists. Exhibit #6 consisted of Rie Egawa, Jenene Nagy, and Mark Cowardin. Garry told me of a story when he and Egawa used to work alongside at Hallmark. He talked passionately about Egawa’s work. “If we were able to look at all of her work in a solo show, you will really be able to see the range.”
Saturated, neon colors pop out at you when you encounter Egawa’s wall sculptures. The Plaid series resembles miniature Bauhaus buildings; simple and elegant. It is as though we are outside looking in. The series consists of six sculptures; each different in its vertical spacing and filled in color. They are entirely made out of straight lines, rectangles and squares. Attention to detail is definitely paramount to her work. She often uses thin strings in her work and it further emphasizes the three-dimensionality of her work. I enjoyed exploring a wide range of her work on her website. Definitely check them out.
What’s most exciting about Mark Cowardin’s sculptures is that no textures are the same: Gloss, satin, matte, and rough bumpy surfaces. It’s this varying textures that made me move from one sculpture to another. All five of his sculptures have pipe-looking tops that are attached to rock-like bottoms and they are on wooden pedestals. Made entirely with ceramics thus playing with our perceptions. Rocks and metals are durable yet ceramics can be very fragile. His work speaks to our human nature. We often appear to be strong on the outside but are actually fragile and vulnerable.
Jenene Nagy’s three vertical works on paper complement Rie Egawa’s Plaid series. Egawa’s geometries are more tangible. They are indeed sculptures but every line in the work serves its purpose in the miniature buildings. Nagy’s more abstract, her geometries represent more of an idea of something. She makes geometric patterns by folding its paper. Graphite is the drawing medium she uses. The first impression I got was intricacy and beauty. The works activated serene feelings within me. It was like standing in the forest, trying to look through on a foggy day.
When Garry was living in LA, he encountered art everywhere from elevators to the streets. He felt that this abundance of art is lacking in KC. This was one of the reasons he decided to open a studio gallery. We need more artist run space like this in Kansas City. Whether apartment galleries, studio galleries, or pop-ups.
One-man operation has its challenges, but Garry enjoys flexibility that the gallery offers. He chooses each artist to exhibit and as far as pieces to show, sometimes each artist brings what to show or other times Garry picks pieces that are available. The show that is currently up looks exciting. Artworks by Melissa Joseph, Aubrey Ingmar Manson, and Johanna Winters. Make an appointment through instagram to see the show.
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