2023 Fall – 2024 Spring Exhibit
Opening Reception Wednesday, August 30, 5 – 7pm
Featuring Sonja Czekalski, Kevin Gilmore, Alice Lambert, Darrell Matsumoto, Ross Nomandin, Kyle Petty, Cynthia Schilling, Chad Self, Jason Travers, Jillian Vaccaro, David Wackell
Art Center Lobby
Opening Reception to be Announced
Figures in Line – Features the mixed-media works by Professor Sonja Czekalski, Lecturer in Art and Media Arts
Opening Reception, Wednesday, October 11, 5:00-7:00pm
Conversation with Artist and Gallery Director, Darrell Matsumoto, 5:30pm
Flotsam and Jetsam
It is with great pleasure we present Lures and Tackle; mixed media works by Susan M. Matthews.
The work is impeccably assembled with the artisan precision of an expert maker—sewing, knitting,
of textiles and fibers; fused with ceramic, Styrofoam, and latex; seamlessly producing surreal figure/forms; seductively skinned.
What appears at first reading as flotsam and jetsam washed up after a seafaring accident—Matthews’ figuration is surreal, seemingly innocent, and playful with a nod to “Dr. Suess” (directly referenced in a piece not in the exhibition, This Belongs to: Dr. Suess’ Daughter, 2018 —page 17), are otherworldly and surprising to encounter. The surfaces are not unlike plush “Carnival” novelties, which we joyfully cuddled in our nostalgic youth, however, with a twist—the work is pockmarked, studded, and imbued with tantalizing blooms to entice interaction. The vivid, sometimes lurid coloration resembles inner space creatures from under the sea. The scale of the work enhances the experience—confounded by the surreal shift from micro to macro, or vice versa.
Matthews’ mixed media works confront the viewer to embrace what we see and experience. The works appear ambiguously playful and dangerous simultaneously. Can something be alluring and repulsive at the same time? We are seduced by the materials and form, tempted to touch, fondle, or possibly educing an urge to pet the sculptures. Simultaneously, as we lean toward the object, a reaction to withdraw our gesture causes a temporary micro-palsy. This feeling of uncertainty is not unlike the primordial fight or flight response. The exact moment of pause is essential to experiencing the work. This encounter is not unlike meeting your paramour—seduced. Unparalleled beauty or ultimate unsightliness presents a compelling ambiguity to ponder.
Lures and Tackle is an invitation to the world of Susan M. Matthews, come play with her creations.