Saturday, April 26, 2008

SNEAK PEAK: Breaking New Ground

Here is the press release for Spruill's upcoming show.

BREAKING NEW GROUND: Intersections at the frontier of art and technology

Curated by Hope Cohn

Spruill Art Gallery presents, Breaking New Ground: Intersections at the frontier of art and technology, an exhibition curated by new Spruill Gallery Director Hope Cohn. Breaking New Ground will be on view from May 9 to June 26, 2008. The exhibition opens with a public reception on Thursday, May 8 from 6:00 until 9:00 p.m.

Breaking New Ground offers a look into the influences that technology has on artists to develop new and innovative ways to express themselves. Through painting, music and interactive sculpture this show celebrates the use of technology in art. The Italian composer Luciano Berio said that "change is always upon us" and the artists included in this show have embraced that change with originality, creativity and skill. Rejecting the "formulaic," they have set out on a new path, a new journey of discovery and invention that welcomes viewers to take a ride with them.
Included in the exhibition are works by Atlanta artists, Danielle Roney, Kathryn Refi, Sarah Emerson, Dick Robinson and Philip Galanter. In keeping with the theme of the show, Spruill Gallery has paired with Georgia Institute of Technology to showcase the work of Faculty instructors Gil Weinberg, Jason Freeman, Carla Diana and Tristan Al-Haddad. These pioneering artists and educators explore exciting new methods and advances in technology to create a new and fresh artistic vocabulary.

Highlights from the show include Carla Diana's piece entitled "Nest," an interactive, music themed installation. Using glowing balls of light, participants place these colorful objects in a sculptural "nest." "This particular work is part of a series that is based upon encouraging people to experience the joy of musical composition, free of any formal constructs" explained Diana, Visiting Professor of Industrial Design at the Georgia Tech College of Architecture.

Kathryn Refi's paintings explore the use and derivation of color. How do we choose our personal palette? Is it a reflection of our individuality, our environment? Mounting a camera on a baseball cap, she captured a typical day in her life by wearing the camera every hour of the day for a consecutive week and then digitally manipulated the frames, extracting the colors to their very essence. Each painting is 100 inches wide, with each inch the equivalent to 10 percent of Refi's day.

Danielle Roney is an installation, multimedia artist examining the impact of modernization in society and in different cultures through sculpture, digital media and public intervention. "For me, the creative practice represents fascinating degrees of perception when combined with scientific theory and innovative technology," states Roney. She has created a site-specific installation for Breaking New Ground which will allow the viewer to reach beyond the walls of the gallery, incorporating the energy of intersections, cars, people and the vernacular architecture. Roney shot and recorded the images then recreated them, turning everything upside down and inside out. She re-interpreted the environment as a unique and highly charged environmental experience.

Morphing, stretching and expanding information is what Tristan Al-Haddad also expresses in his work and as a Professor in the Architecture Program at GA Tech. Al-Haddad focuses on the continuous exploration of digital technology in design. He uses technology to model, design and produce sculptural forms that are organic and fluid and has created a series of pieces for this show that allow the viewer to engage in an interactive dialogue.

Philip Galanter's lightbox drawings explore the physical generative systems, analog and digital video. "Generative art refers to any art practice where the artist uses a system, such as a set of natural language rules," says Galanter.

Also on view is a new outdoor mural by artist Sarah Emerson.

"Graph Theory" designed by Composer and Professor of Music at GA Tech, Jason Freeman, seeks to connect composition, listening and concert performance. Freeman's works break down conventional barriers between composers, listeners, and performers using cutting-edge technology and unconventional notation to turn audiences and musicians into compositional collaborators. The work of Dick Robinson is featured in Breaking New Ground. He is one of Atlanta's great musical pioneers, beginning his career as a classically trained musician when he played for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. His recent compositions utilize technology to create eccentric, abstract and uniquely special pieces of music. Included in the exhibition is a listening room in which both Freeman and Robinson's work will be featured.

As the Director of the music technology program at Georgia Tech, Gil Weinberg works to expand musical expression, creativity, and learning through technology. His inventions, including Haile the robot, can listen to live players, analyze their music and play it back in an improvisational manner. This work as well as many other inventions of Weinberg's can be viewed through video in Breaking New Ground.

Breaking New Ground: Intersections at the frontier of art and technology paves the way as the Spruill Center for the Arts begins construction of the new Arts Center and Gallery this summer. "We welcome this new period of change and growth for the arts center and this exhibition is a celebration of that in every way, inside and out,"" says Hope Cohn, Curator and Spruill Gallery Director. "We are so thrilled and excited to have the opportunity to showcase the work of Georgia Tech's brilliant faculty and to share it with the Atlanta community."

Established in 1975, The Spruill Center for the Arts is a private, non-profit organization, whose mission is to foster understanding and appreciation of the visual and performing arts, by offering an extensive and diverse program of classes, a professional artist exhibition series and outreach programs for seniors, youth and audiences with special needs.

Spruill Art gallery is located at 4681 Ashford Dunwoody Road at the intersection with meadow Lane. For more information about Spruill Gallery and its programs please call 770-394-3447 or check its website.

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