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Domesticity

UWEC’s Foster Gallery turns local living rooms into exhibition space

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by Trevor Kupfer

EVERYTHING MUST GO! Everything in Bob Carr’s living room (458 Garfield St.), including a ventriloquist dummy, lady lamp, and festive Virgin Mary, will be transported to the Foster Gallery, and this room will be host to a performance art piece.
 
EVERYTHING MUST GO! Everything in Bob Carr’s living room (458 Garfield St.), including a ventriloquist dummy, lady lamp, and festive Virgin Mary, will be transported to the Foster Gallery, and this room will be host to a performance art piece.

"Sometimes it's daunting to walk into a gallery's formal setting," says Jyl Kelley, assistant art professor and co-curator of Domesticity. "We're inviting the domestic world into an area that's traditionally not domestic."

The general concept of this art quirky exhibition is as such: three local living rooms will be re-created in Foster Gallery and three art installations that would normally be in the gallery are instead in those three homes. The idea stems from Paul Stout, a co-curator and one of the sculptors doing an installation, who Kelley met while applying for a job at the University of Utah. Ned Gannon, another co-curator, suggested recreating the living rooms in the gallery.

“I’m going to have to have written reminders all over the living room telling me not to do anything stupid.” – Art grad Kerri Kiernan, whose home will have a camera in it throughout October so you can see an art installation from the Foster Gallery

The hope is that it makes people ask where art belongs, and realize the difference between art in public and private spaces. "It creates this hub of information, where people could display artwork in their homes and see it on websites," Kelley said. "The idea is so relevant to contemporary culture, where everyone has access to making these kinds of connections through mainstream media. And we're making a connection between the community and university, and asking our audience to think about the limitations of public and private spaces."

The other artists involved, likewise from Utah, are Jared Steffensen and Michael Handley, whose works will take over the living rooms of Kelley (1429 Drummond St.) and Bob Carr (458 Garfield St.). Steffensen's will be a minimal landscape inspired by local geology, while Handley's is a performance piece about selling a Utah experience (in which UWEC students will act as travel agents). The task of all three artists is to interpret our town within the living rooms, and some day Eau Clairians will do the same in Utah, Kelley said.

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