The Silver Print Collection was a fun exercise conducted and completed in 2018 in which a new, small edition of silver prints were made and released every Friday of the year. The complete 52 print collection is a representation of my experiences over the year as they unfolded. The images were exposed and developed within days or weeks, and certainly within the year of their printing. This created an exciting challenge in editing and sequencing on the fly, to continue an ongoing thread each week, and respond to previous images, ideas, and emotions.
The prints were made in an edition of 7 with 2 Artist Proofs. Each print was made on fiber based warmtone paper and selenium toned. All prints are titled, numbered, and signed on the verso in pencil.
FEATURING MARY EDNA FRASER, LABANNA BABALON, AND REBA WEST FRASER
OPENING: MAY 24 FROM 6 – 8PM
ARTIST CONVERSATION LED BY THE SOUTHERN: FRIDAY, JULY 27 AT 6:30PM
LOCATION: GALLERY 26, THE VENDUE ART HOTEL, 26 VENDUE RANGE
GALLERY HOURS: 10AM – 7PM, DAILY
Instagram @thesouthern.gallery , #FamilyTies #TheSouthern
The Southern gallery and The Vendue Art Hotel are collectively pleased to present Family Ties, an exploration of the interconnectedness of a family of makers: the matriarch, batikist, printmaker, and oil painter, Mary Edna Fraser, youngest daughter and multimedia artist, Reba West Fraser, and eldest daughter and performance artist, Labanna Babalon. The exhibition, curated by Erin and Justin Nathanson, will be housed at The Vendue Art Hotel’s Gallery 26 at 26 Vendue Range and be on view from Friday, May 25th through July 29, 2018.Mary Edna Fraser, mother of two and renowned artist and activist, lives and works on James Island in the same house and studio that she raised her two daughters. Mary Edna is widely known for her batiks that speak to the waterways and rising tides in Charleston, South Carolina. At this time, she has completed an incredible 542 silks. Although her recently developed allergies to the chemistry of the batik process has inhibited her from fully continuing in that medium in with the same ferocity she had in the past, Mary Edna has more than found her groove with oil painting.
Mary Edna’s work notoriously sports bright, vivid colors as well as a birds eye view of various natural scenes, and her breadth of knowledge and experience in batiking has widely influenced her painting practice. The scope of her oil palate is on track to compete with the massive scale of her batik dyes (115 colors, divided into warm, neutral and cool hues), and Fraser says that “[oil painting] is really a wonderful and exciting medium, much easier than batik to me yet challenging [in it’s own regard].” For Family Ties, Mary Edna will present a new body of paintings as well as a new batik she and her daughter Reba recently created together for this show.
Mary Edna made sure to engage the girls in her batik process and educate them on the functionality of the art world. “It wasn’t until I made a batik with my mother recently, that I saw how much she included me in her everyday practice as a child”, Reba recalls. “ I would come into her studio and she would let me pick which brush she should use next, help her choose colors, wipe away the dye that bubbled on top of the wax and even name her work.” This constant immersion into the physicality and emotionality of the art-making process truly molded the two artists into the strong, creative women Labanna and Reba are today.
Reba West Fraser currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina and owns a thrift store named Hey Okay Good Goodies in addition to her studio practice. She graduated from Alfred University in Alfred, New York, with a focus in painting, printmaking, and ceramics. This multimedia approach can still be seen throughout Reba’s work through her beautiful use of collaged materials and myriads of mark making techniques.
Her work for Family Ties is a collection of pieces that reflect impactful passages from her childhood. Reba describes it as “a mix of many mediums –a combination of ceramics and painting, patterns that mimic textiles, and experimentation with materials. […] My mother has a large handmade ceramic and textile collection inspired by Japanese kimonos for their extreme attention to detail and elaborate patterns.”
“Becoming an artist with two professional and well-known parents is intimidating”, says Reba, “[…] but when creating, I am my happiest and truest self.” With her father, West Fraser, being a color theorist, and her mother being so bold with her 115+ color palate, Reba has plenty of incredible influence and guidance that can easily be seen in her work. “Most of my work is very colorful, and almost comical”, she claims. Throughout the mass of her work, the viewer picks up on hints of jest and lightheartedness where materials are concerned, but true knowledge and finesse when it comes to composition and color theory. The playful experimentality of Reba’s childhood has perfectly matured along with her, she says that “art is in my blood and anytime I try to escape it, I always find myself coming back and feeling at home in the chaos and comfort it brings.”Labanna Babalon, the eldest daughter, sister, and practicing healer before birth. Her entrance into this world was greeted with death. Restoring her mother energetically to aid in recovering from the loss of her firstborn son, Daniel. Now settling into New Orleans, after a decade of performing across the globe. Some of which includes a performance in feature-length movie “Desire Will Set You Free” by Yony Leyser, and bringing her internet energy healing from her bedroom to life for Moma Ps1. She has 555 videos on YouTube where, if willing to participate, viewers witness other dimensions and do actively feel her energy uplifting their souls.
Coming from such a place of artistic privilege has allowed Labanna to think far outside of the box. Unconditional love is what has driven her to dive into spectrums of society that others hold intense shame. Knowing these are the parts of human consciousness that need the most love. Using dance, costuming, set design and installation, video art, food spells, and music she is able to set the stage for channeling the divine feminine. By using her body as a medium she is able to defy the male gaze, her hips become a weapon against patriarchy. Inspired by her mother’s activism for the planet, she focuses on liberating the act of ownership.
Focusing on the theme of “Family Ties” she wants to work with her families ancestors to start the painful process of healing the more traumatic southern legacies. With durational and interactive altars throughout the exhibit. She hopes that this will not only generate within the gallery space but will coil as vines in the directions it’s most needed. This is a process of revisitation: untying knots to gain the secret seed of wisdom buried in the hard skulls which have perpetuated enduring constructs of oppression. Unraveling is an unavoidable part of this journey toward awareness, accountability & healing.
Some say that a familial lineage of artists has genetic causation. Situationally, this could be seen as true, as in the case of Jane and Louise Wilson, identical twins who share a studio in London. Sometimes, however, it seems as though proximity is as good of a reason as any, like with Monet’s step daughter & daughter-in-law, Blanche Monet (an odd relationship, but not blood related, nonetheless). Then there are the Frasers, who, though genetically related, live in an undeniably perfect incubator for budding artists. Mary Edna fully immersed Reba and Labanna in a creative lifestyle and wholeheartedly endorsed individualistic expression and creative experimentation.
(it was) A Wet, Hot, Southern Summer
(it was) A Wet, Hot, Southern Summer will feature new work created during or influenced by the Summer of 2015 by Kristy Bishop, Michaela Pilar Brown, Sarah Emerson, Matt Haffner, Isabelle Klauder, Michael Pajon, Jeanne Vockroth, Antoine Williams, and Gately Williams.
GET WELL SOON
A GROUP SHOW OF FEEL-GOOD, SMALL WORKS
Art has always been a cathartic means of communication. While it is a common experience to fall in love with a certain artwork, scientists now have evidence that shows the brain reacts similarly when viewing artwork as when falling in love! It has always had the ability to serve as a source of happiness, light-heartedness, and joy. When the going gets tough, whether it’s in your career, the unfortunate political and social climate, or even your love life, it’s important to have imagery in your life-spaces that brings a calm over you; that part of your art collection that when you look at it, stimulates a positive chemical response and releases the feel good chemical dopamine.
This exhibit will open on ‘Black Friday,’
*Exhibit illustration by Riki Matsuda for The Southern
Antonio Modesto Milian
Carrie B Waghorn
Christine Bush Roman
Codie OConnor Kyle
Deonna (Bettis) Janone
Jeremy C. Darby
Katy E Mixon
Kirsten E Moran
Michael R. Lucas
Reba West Fraser
Sarah Savannah Roach
Susan C Gregory
Tory Wright Lee
Tracie L. Hinnant
William Burnside Bolton
Kevin Earl Taylor and Ben Venom
They were brought together at a skateboard art show in Atlanta, Georgia just after the turn of the Millennium and the looming electronic meltdown of 1999. A bond was formed on the quarter pipe built by Venom and friends. Now, the two friends return to the South for a “homecoming” show, ready to get down and dirty – weaving new tales of people, situations, and things existing in the past.
Seasoned and emerging collectors alike will have the chance to acquire a limited edition print set designed by the artists exclusively for DOWN AND DIRTY. In addition to the print set, exhibit attendees will be able to snag a free, limited edition zine “Valencia Gardens” created by Atlanta artist and good friend, Steve Pomberg.
About the ArtistsKevin Earl Taylor was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1972. Currently, he lives and works in San Francisco, California.
Taylor primarily uses painting as a language, proposing mysterious, abstract narratives to the viewer, rich in familiar, objective imagery. Amalgamating scientific, anthropological and genetic source material, the artist surveys and ultimately depicts landscapes where diverse aspects of human physiology mesh with the origins of species. The paintings become artifacts. They exist as curious inquiries into the ostensible dichotomy between the human animal and mutating partitions of nature.
Ben Venom was born in Charleston, South Carolina, then grew up in Marietta and Atlanta, Georgia. He has been interviewed by NPR: All Things Considered, Playboy, Juxtapoz Magazine, KQED, Maxim, and CBS Sunday Morning. Recently, he was the artist in residence at San Francisco’s de Young Museum and is currently visiting faculty at the San Francisco Art Institute.
Working with repurposed materials to create textile-based pieces, Venom contrasts the often menacing and aggressive counterculture components of gangs, punk/metal music, and the occult with the comforts of domesticity. This collision of traditional quilting techniques with elements tied to the fringes of society re-envisions the story of the material through a softer lens.
The reclaimed fabrics used in Venom’s work contain a multitude of personal histories and everyone’s unexplained stain, tear, or rip is included. These salvaged pieces are sewn into a larger narrative and become a part of a collective history within the work. The fragility of the materials and their assaulting imagery are brought together in the form of a functional piece of art.
About the “Valencia Gardens” zine
“Valencia Gardens” is a glimpse into 20+ years of friendship and artistic collaboration between Kevin Taylor, Ben Venom and Steve Pomberg. Steve met Kevin in 1993 while they were both students at The Savannah College of Art and Design. After relocating to Atlanta, Steve met Ben at a local gallery they were both involved with. Shortly after meeting Ben, Steve connected the three friends and set the stage for a rich history of hard work, integrity, and fun as seen within the pages of this zine.Steve Pomberg is an Atlanta-based artist whose work has been exhibited internationally and domestically. Steve received his BFA from The Savannah College of Art and Design and is interested in the relationships between photography and painting. Steve’s current work involves creating idealized panoramas that invoke memories of pastoral vistas colliding with modern depredated landscapes. Steve also produces “zines” which are self published in limited editions that reference the pre-internet era of DIY communication and the analog exchange of information.
WORKS ON PAPER EXHIBITION
FEATURING NIKKI SCIOSCIA
Nikki Scioscia is an art activist who uses her work to raise awareness and express gratitude. With black ink on paper, Scioscia creates lush, undulating dreamscapes of flora, fauna, and the female form. Her meditative line work emulates the subtle vibrations that connect all beings, inviting the viewer to reconnect to that place within themselves. She draws inspiration from sacred nature, dreams, ceremonies, and her yoga and meditation practices. She often uses herself as a model to relate her personal experience during this era of crumbling patriarchal systems and the rising of collective feminine consciousness.Scioscia works as Media Specialist at the College of Charleston Office of Sustainability. She is a graduate of the College of Charleston and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art. Scioscia facilitates women’s New Moon ceremonies and creates flower mandala altars for Charleston’s ecstatic dance community. She is passionate about how the intersections of spirituality, feminism, and environmentalism cultivate sustainable societal transformation.
RECENTLY FEATURED ON
THE SOUTHERN PRESENTS MIXED MEDIA WORKS BY JUAN LOGAN IN FATAL LINKS.
About the Artist
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Juan Logan now lives and works in Belmont, North Carolina. Logan’s artworks address subjects relevant to the American experience. At once abstract and representational, his paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations, and videos address the interconnections of race, place, and power. They make visible how hierarchical relations and social stereotypes shape individuals, institutions, and the material and mental landscapes of contemporary life.
Juan Logan is currently the Conservation Manager at the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Project. This project is actively restoring thirty-one large-scale sculptures created by artist Vollis Simpson for the city of Wilson, North Carolina.
Logan has shown extensively nationally and internationally, has had numerous solo exhibitions, and executed many private and public commissions. Logan’s works can be found in private, corporate, and public collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Gibbes Museum of Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Memphis Brooks Museum, the Zimmerli Museum of Art, and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. Most recently, his piece Some Clouds are Darker became part of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Instagram @thesouthern.gallery , @1253PM , #KellyLuWARThe Southern is pleased to present new work by Kelly Lu in Kelly Lu’s WAR! The solo exhibition opens May 28 and will be on view through June 26, 2016. An opening party will take place Saturday, May 28, from 7 – 10pm at The Southern, 2 Carlson Court, Charleston, SC.
Growing up as a minority in the South, Kelly Lu rarely saw representations of her race as a Vietnamese-American.
Her work references ideas of rebellion, the transition from childhood to adulthood, and the internal struggle to find an identity. She emphasizes how opposites balance each other by finding the relationship between light and dark, innocence and corruption, the beautiful and rotten, and life and death in an illustrative form. These ideas and concepts also tie into rebelling against the Western perspective of stereotyping the East Asian woman. Lu works in ink, marker, and acrylic on various surfaces, influenced by post-war, Japanese artists.
Kelly Lu was raised in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and is a recent graduate of the College of Charleston.
Public events include an opening party on Saturday, May 28 from 7-10PM followed by a gallery tour led by Kelly Lu on Saturday, June 4 at 2PM at The Southern, 2 Carlson Court.