Leigh Tarentino & Ben Clarkson
Local Artist Gallery: Steve Snell
November 7 - 30, 2014
Temporal Vistas, featuring work by Leigh Tarentino (Providence, Rhode Island) and Ben Clarkson (Montreal, Canada) will run November 7th-30th, with an opening reception on the First Friday Artwalk Nov. 7th 6-10pm. Concurrently, Steve Snell will be exhibiting his adventure art in the local artist gallery. Leigh Tarentino, Ben Clarkson and Steve Snell all examine aspects of vistas and landscapes and the cultural scenery that informs our perspectives. They deal with and investigate both the literal forms these vistas and the cultural notions that they imply.
Leigh Tarentino makes paintings, works on paper and digital prints constructed from photographs of the built landscape. She received a BFA in Painting from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA in Painting and Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design. She is an Assistant Professor of Visual Art at Brown University. In her latest painting series, Memory of Snow, Leigh Tarentino focuses her attention on the strange and sublime suburban landscape. Her graphic paintings of leafless trees wrapped in holiday lights highlight the eerie loneliness of the nocturnal, winter landscape. The materiality of the painted surface and the black and white palette capture the starkness of the moonlight on snow. Tarentino states, “My work transforms the contemporary American vernacular landscape into a fantastic imaginary place. It is a mix of the absurd, bleak, fabulous and nostalgic. The images are a re-configuration of the built landscape, using photographs I’ve taken around the area I live in as source material. The work explores the idea of the sublime applied to the contemporary built landscape.”
Ben Clarkson is an artist and illustrator who currently resides in Montreal. His illustrations have appeared across Canada in publications such as The Literary review of Canada and the Globe and Mail. He's received multiple nominations for the international Lumen prize in digital art and exhibited on 5 continents. Clarkson’s work involves mass culture, technology and representation that is often absurd, surreal, political, humorous and disarming. Clarkson will be exhibiting limited edition prints of his drawings along with a recent video.
Local artist Steve Snell is currently a professor of art at Hastings College and received his BFA at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and his MFA from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Snell, who is known for producing Adventure Art, will be transforming the local artist gallery into a space that documents Chilkoot Legends through an immersive video installation. Snell states, “I like to call my art practice adventure art. I use the term to describe a performance-based action of adventure, in which I (or someone else) use creativity and imagination to have an exciting and remarkable experience. These adventures are then transformed through various artistic and popular media in order to build a mythology and share the story with others. Adventure art is an attempt to live life as though it were a movie or at least present the image that it is one.”