UWEC’s Foster Gallery turns local living rooms into exhibition space
"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.
UWEC art grad Kerri Kiernan offered her home (616 Wisconsin St., Apt 1) for Stout's piece, a diorama inspired by what Eau Claire looked like millions of years ago. And the best view of it will be outside a window, looking into the living room, from the bushes.
Kiernan saying yes to the prospect almost immediately, despite the fact that there will be a live feed in her living room, for a month, so people can see it from the gallery. "I'm going to have to have written reminders all over the living room telling me not to do anything stupid," Kerri said with a laugh.
In addition, each home will have open-house receptions every Thursday in October, with the sixth acting as the opening reception. Each of the participating homes were asked to make a recipe that's popular in their household instead of the typical reception appetizers. So Kerri and her fiancé, City Councilman Andrew Werthmann, will have mac-n-cheese and "Phoenix Garden Surprise" for guests, while Carr's home has Bev's sloppy joe's and Bob's calico beans, and Kelley's has Sicilian salad with Italian bread and fresh mozzarella.
Domesticity • Oct. 6-27, opening reception Oct. 6, 7-9pm; presentation by artists Oct. 7, 10am; open houses every Thursday in October, 6:30-8:30pm • Foster Gallery, Haas Fine Arts, UW-Eau Claire; presentation at Phillips Recital Hall, Haas Fine Arts; installation homes are 616 Wisconsin St. (Apt 1), 1429 Drummond St., and 458 Garfield St. • FREE • 836-2328 • DomesticityUWEC.net