Anderson Ranch faculty show work in Basalt
The work of two Snowmass Village-based artists will be showcased downvalley starting this weekend.
Called “Brilliant,” the exhibit at the Wyly Annex in Basalt is a dual show for Anderson Ranch faculty members Andrea Wallace and Doug Casebeer. The first time for the two to show together, they each prepared a series of works in their distinct media.
Wallace, who is the Ranch’s Artistic Director of Photography and New Media, is showing a series of photos of her son and his best friend taken over several years. The photos capture both the uniqueness of the stage in their lives as well as the changes they are experiencing.
In most of the photos, the older of the two boys sports a long, red braid. Many people used to assume he was a girl, Wallace said, noting that many people tie so much meaning to hair that they made that assessment without even looking at his other traits.
“It’s about boyhood, and it’s about gender,” Wallace said. “Their relationship as young boys but also at a time when they’re sort of gender neutral. … Their tenderness and their intimacy at this age before the constructs of what it is to be male (set in).”
The final photo in the series shows the older boy this winter, having just received his first haircut and beginning to grow up, with her son in a costume and holding a sword, still playing like a younger child.
Casebeer notes that he and Wallace’s work are both autobiographical. It sheds some light on how they each view the world and their own stories.
The five pieces he is providing for “Brilliant” are similar to the small-scale houses and barns he has created for the past 10 years. At the time, he wanted to add some variation to his body of work, which up until then was mostly in ceramics and functional handmade objects. (He created the houses that hang in the Base Village Transit Center.)
But they’re not so different from his pottery. He says the five works in the show are in between pottery and sculpture. While one of his ceramics serves a purpose of storing items on a table, this series represents buildings that serve as large-scale storage on the plains.
“They’re informed by architecture and its relationship to the landscape,” Casebeer said. “The table is no different than the landscape, it’s just that the table has pottery on it. They’re objects.”
The materials used also speak to some narratives, though — a sense of place, location and, Casebeer hopes, nostalgia. All the materials are found — some from a dump, some from a thrift store, some from other countries that Casebeer trekked home with.
“They had one purpose, and now they have a new one,” Casebeer said.
The five pieces in the series all echo feelings about life on the plains, something the Kansas native is all too familiar with.
“I would hope that this work has enough going on that it triggers a sense of memory,” Casebeer said.
But in addition to that, Casebeer wants to get people thinking about the value of the land and its vulnerability. The clay slabs that the objects sit on are barren, representing the “fragility of Earth,” and they are elevated by bronze-cast chili peppers.
“I think about those kinds of issues,” Casebeer said. “We as pedestrians on the planet have some obligations.”
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