A Department of Makers, the current exhibit featuring the studio faculty at University of New Hampshire, fills all three galleries. This group of artists is held together by their commitment to teaching and the rigor they have for their respective practices. The exhibit, well curated by Mary Harding, resounds with a variety of mediums and ways of handling subject matter. As the viewer moves through the space, surrounded by this variety, resonances occur. As one encounters each work, a dialogue ensues. There is an overall connection between the artists and their works, even if the pieces are separated from one other. For example, when arriving at Rick Fox’s paintings in the back of the gallery, I am reminded of Jennifer Moses’ work in the front room. The gelatin silver prints by Michael Cardinale correspond to Ben Cairiens mixed media pieces and to Scott Schnef’s meticulous still-life prints.
The artists challenge themselves to discover new answers to these enduring questions: How do you find something new and unexpected using traditional techniques? How do you make the best use of size, of scale? How does the limitation of the support push an artist? The experience of each work in the exhibit had me returning repeatedly to earlier encounters, as well as appreciating the relationships created by works in closer conversation with each other. Each is a challenge, a problem solved.
Go see this wonderful show, the exhibit runs through February 1.
Image: Grant Drumheller, Museum with Helicopter, Cooler Version, Oil on Linen, 28 X 22 inches, 2014.