FLOW: Interactive Exhibition and Community Project
Northcutt Steele Gallery, Montana State University Billings, January 28 - March 18, 2016
It began with a big, but, initially, manageable goal, given our backgrounds - to bring more people into the gallery and to engage them across departments, across the city and between the two institutes of higher education in Billings around the theme of water issues and focused on the Yellowstone River. Early on, we consulted MSU Billings' long-range plans, goals, & strategies and ... Leanne K. Gilbertson, Ph.D of Art History and Nothcutt Steele Gallery Director at MSU Billings and me, an artist curator with a passion for community engagement, were soon neck deep in conversations with potential partners, who were enthusiastic and willing to sign on.
The gallery was set up as a laboratory and nexus for exploration and dialogue with an exhibition of my Grottoes - mixed media wall sculptures with video meditations on water - and juried works by students and alumni. We commissioned two students, Bonny Beth Luhman and Ariel Rebecca Grosfield, to create an animated short about river users. Art Ed students discussed water issues with the Girl Scouts, Boys & Girls and other K-8 students, who then made 5 x 7 panels with their responses. Presentation of research by Rocky Mountain College students. Precious McKenzie, teacher of English at Rocky Mountain College, donated her water-themed children's books to the MSU Billings library, which became the anchor for pre-school readings there. Poetry and jazz students held a water-themed reading and improvisation night. Northern Plains Resource Council and Eric Warren presented his film "Mixing Oil and Water" featuring conversations about oil & gas development along the river. Dr. Susan Gilbertz offered a course for students from both campus about the findings from the Yellowstone River Cultural Inventory, which was part of the 16 year, most comprehensive study in the world on a watershed, our Yellowstone River, which was the basis for our keynote symposium, which included Dr. Gilbertz' students, some of the key scientists of that study (Warren Kellogg, Burt Williams and Kayhan Ostovar) as well as a beautiful argument for personhood rights for rivers by Carrie La Seur.
The amount of creativity and information shared and the community of collaborators, brainstormers, participants and supporters was a heart-warming overlay and reward for the intensity of coordination: Gerard Baker, Sue Beug, Karin Eilertsen Calabrese, Reno Charette, Michelle Dyk, Teresa Erickson, Megan Fetters, Samantha Finch, Leanne Gilbertson, Ph.D, Susan Gilbertz, Ph.D, Ilene Goddard, Ariel Grossfield, Tami Haaland, Ruby Hahn, Joy Crissey Honea, Hannah Hostetter, Warren Kellogg, Luke Kestner, Korilynn Kessler, Carrie La Seur, Ph.D, J.D., Jodi Lightner, Bonny Beth Luhman, Larry Mayer, Precious McKenzie, Joel Miller, Patrick Mueller, Kelsey Nix, Carolyn Ostby, Kayhan Ostovar, Mara Pierce, Ph.D., Megan Poulette, Tabetha Rindahl, Brent Roberts, John J. Roberts, Maria Selvig, Stephanie Slavin, Rebecca Summers, Peter Pete Tolton, Patricia Vettel-Becker, Ph.D., Eric Warren, Burt Williams, Patrick Williams, Dylan Woods and so many more who came to share their thoughts, listen and expand the dialogue around water issues, rights, access and conservation in our region.
Project overview page with links to further details at https://www.sherricornett.com/flow-interactive-exhibition-and-community-project.html
S.A. Bachman/Neda Moridpour/Louder Than Words
"LOUDER THAN WORDS is a cross-cultural, intergenerational art collective that targets sexual assault, domestic violence, women and migration, LGBTQ+ equality, and jail reform ... We strive to ignite civic dialogue, unravel obstacles, reorder entrenched cultural gridlock, and generate languages of critique and possibility."
Their presentation of "These Walls Can Talk" during "Half the Sky: Intersections in Social Practice Art", which I directed in China on behalf of the Women's Caucus for Art, was a powerful, interactive event with Chinese students and faculty and addressed "domestic violence. It alludes to domestic space by juxtaposing wallpaper with information on gender violence, video, and “don’t remain silent” stickers. The wallpaper design incorporates a number of common objects that are frequently used to inflict injury: fists, knives, belts, guns and irons. Conversely, the video presents famous world leaders including President Obama and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia reciting Jackson Katz’s 10 Things Men Can Do To Prevent Gender Violence."
As socially-engaged artists, activists and educators, S.A and Iranian-born Neda, continue to develop community-engaged projects, including:
"Women on the Move" " transforms a 26-foot truck into a mobile billboard and resource center to address sexual assault, harassment and domestic violence" and "Vehicle for Change" which will transform" a 26-ft truck into a mobile billboard and resource center addressing jail reform and incarceration alternatives in L.A. County. The truck will travel throughout L.A County promoting passage of the 2020 ballot initiative, registering voters, educating, participating in healing justice events."
A link to a video about them is posted in the comments.
Photos by Christine Giancola and courtesy of the Louder Than Words website.
In Jon Lodge's words, his opening reception of MATRIXXMODULATION was a "beautiful, energized, collective, creative Thing." And it was. Thank you to everyone who braved yet another night of snow to join us. I am most grateful to Jon, who agreed to mount this exhibition at the 11th hour (after the previously scheduled one cancelled) and stepped immediately in to work with Jodi Lightner's and Keeara Rhoades' students on collaborative pieces, shared his experience and unique perspectives and, overall, was an enthusiastic, curious presence on campus.
MATRIXXMODULATION is up through March 28th. Gallery hours are M-F 8-4 (except for early closing on Tuesday, March 5th and closure on Wednesday, March 6th. You can call Rebecca in the Art Department office at 657-2324 to confirm). PM me about possible visiting beyond regular scheduled hours.
Join us Wednesday, March 13th
LI 148 (auditorium just east of the Northcutt Steele Gallery)
"JPEG/MPEG Time Window Progression (Life as an Artist)", a performance and talk by Jon Lodge in conjunction with this exhibition.
What do the senior art critic of New York Magazine Jerry Saltz and Big Gulp cups have to do with Jon Lodge's JPEG/MPEG Time Window Progression (Life as an Artist) event coming up next week - in conjunction with his MATRIXXMODULATION exhibition, Wednesday, March 13th, 6:30 pm in LI 148, the auditorium just east of Northcutt Steele Gallery at MSU Billings? Hint: it may just be part of the audience participation of this Happening... And it might just have to do with Jon's planned random/stochastic mindset...Come and find out.
Thank you to my Intrepid Gallery Warriors (Morgan Syring, Terri Porta, David Correa, Laura Meintjes, Kari Adams, Liz May) who assisted in this fab event and, in particular, David for these photos! And to Jane Waggoner Deschner for her experienced eye.
Jon Lodge makes art of randomness by 'tapping into an accident'Anna Paige, Feb 22, 2019, The Billings Gazette https://billingsgazette.com/entertainment/community/jon-lodge-makes-art-of-randomness-by-tapping-into-an/article_f2350b96-999f-5bad-9098-1748d43693f5.html?mode=nowapp&fbclid=IwAR2OL4WKeNbAqMfMkyAlNFkwvceTLL3iKPdftxQ5misBowRbLXA_TRL5qAQ
More information at: https://www.sherricornett.com/matrixxmodulation-jon-lodge.html
UNDOCUMENTED: DIFFERENCE IN AMERICA TODAY
Kirk's Grocery, Billings, MT
December 6, 2018 - January 6, 2019
Curated by Sherri Cornett and Dr. Aaron Rosen
The dual show features internationally recognized artists MICHAEL TAKEO MAGRUDER and BENTLY SPANG. Each artist reflects on discourses of intolerance and belonging in the light of their family histories and current events, especially the crisis facing immigrants at the southern border of the United States. Community response to this show, (and the addition of Plaid Shirt Guy's plaid shirt in the front gallery), was powerful.
For more information: https://www.sherricornett.com/undocumented-difference-in-america-today.html
'Undocumented' explores immigration, internment, land access at Billings South Side gallery Anna Paige Dec 7, 2018 Billings Gazette https://billingsgazette.com/entertainment/community/undocumented-explores-immigration-internment-land-access-at-billings-south-side/article_974ee693-9491-5dfd-a27f-aa187a54b896.html?mode=nowapp&fbclid=IwAR3ZyWcEQ-ZWkoSqGfUtNQIj_lzNAIJkfw_S3JFbvUrpoI5Q4Nl24fo8IRQ
As part of For Freedoms 50 States Initiative Billings, I invited participants in our various events to create lawn signs.
The beautiful What Freedom Means to You banner created by MSUB's Club Art Collective and the Freedom lawn signs that we are creating at the town halls
For more information about this project: https://www.sherricornett.com/for-freedoms-billings.html
The Dinners Project: Billings Creatives Potluck and Conversations
Part of For Freedoms 50 States Initiative Billings
Thursday, October 4, 2018
First Congregational Church of Billings, Community Room, 310 North 27th Street, Billings, MT 59101
Free To Be Me: Diversity at MSUB
Part of For Freedoms 50 States Initiative Billings
Saturday, September 15, 2018 (2:30 – 4:30)
MSUBillings Student Union Building, Rooms A & B (lower floor and east through the cafeteria) and Free Speech Lawn
1500 University Dr, Billings, MT
Native American Race Relations and Healing Series “For Freedoms”
Part of For Freedoms 50 States Initiative Billings
Thursday, September 13, 2018, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.,
Billings Public Library
510 N Broadway, Billings, MT
My latest thoughts on activist curating: "Beyond Hegemony"
... my essay for the RISE: Empower, Change and Action! exhibition catalog.
"I admit to a fascination with word play, linguistics, and derivations and that the upswelling of termininology that is aimed at moving us beyond our past—as with post-colonialism, post-capitalism, post-feminism, postmodernism, post-identity, post-heteronormativity—sends me down lengthy rabbit holes of investigation. While I do believe such exercises can expand one’s understanding, the most powerful and empowering actions and interactions come when we take the “Think Globally, Act Locally” motto to the intimate scale— sharing our personal stories and our art and in face-to-face
I am grateful to the writings, actions and suggestions which kept these musings evolving:
~Maura Reilly "Curatorial Activism: Towards an Ethics of Curating"
~Bently Spang, who recommended John Brown Childs' "Transcommunality: From The Politics Of Conversion to the Ethics of Respect"
~The artists from RISE, whose work supported these thoughts: Carolyn Doucette, Marisa Govin, Gina Herrera
~The perpetually stimulating work of Linda Nochlin
~And the lecture and conversation with Linda Nochlin, which Maura presented at the University of Sydney’s Curating
Feminism conference in 2014 https://vimeo.com/113864836
Exhibition curated by Gutfreund Cornett Art (Karen Gutfreund and myself), Suzanne Whitney-Smedt (Owner/Director, Whitney Modern Gallery) and Marianne Kennedy McGrath (Curator of Art at New Museum Los Gatos).
Whitney Modern Gallery, Los Gatos, California, July 18 – August 31, 2018
Reception: 12:30 - 2:30, Artist Talk: 2:30 - 3:30, Saturday, July 21, 2019
Catalog available via Amazon
Info about the exhibition
Thank you to our artists Priscilla Otani, Doerte Weber, Tessie Barrera-Scharaga, Shannon Wright and Carlos Cartagena, the staff and faculty of Santa Clara University and all those who attended from the community. Our Community Conversation with the Artists brought forth many stories to further dialogue around immigration, migration, assimilation and deportation and why and how we, as artists and curators, do such work.
Powerful art and emotional reactions leading to continued sharing of stories at the reception of our "Beyond Borders: Stories of im/Migration". Thank you to our artists, the SCU faculty and staff and the engaged community.
Beyond Borders: Stories of im/Migration
Santa Clara University
January 8 - April 7, 2018
Exhibition Reception: February 2, 2018
Curated by Sherri Cornett and Karen Gutfreund, Gutfreund Cornett Art
Migrations of humanity, whether instigated by war, conflict, persecution, poverty or climate change, transport peoples from the known, their homes, families and communities, to the unknown. Beyond Borders: Stories of im/Migration explored the personal and observed narratives surrounding the struggles of flight, the immigration process, asylum, assimilation, deportation, threats of violence and the perception of being “other” within the American culture. Despite the complex assortment of legal, social, emotional and physical challenges, increasing numbers still trade these risks for the chance of safer, better lives for themselves and their families. Beyond Borders acknowledged the dignity, dreams and sacrifices of these people and reflects on where we are going, individually and as community.
A place to decant my brain, to capture inspiration and share fresh insights. [Posts from 2015 onward]