Collective Archive curated by Jayme McLellan opens March 4 at School 33

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School 33 Art Center hosts Collective Archive on Friday, March 4 through Saturday, April 30, 2011. The exhibition of five artists juried into and curated by Jayme McLellan of Civilian Art Projects in Washington, D.C., considers artwork that shares a deliberate and carefully articulated personal vocabulary. Creating a collective archive of meaning from the five artists’ work, the show considers the role of the individual and that of the group. An opening reception takes place Friday, March 4 from 6-9pm. School 33 Art Center, a facility of the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, is located at 1427 Light Street. The gallery is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 12-6pm.

Collective Archive features artists Anthony Cervino, Amy Chan, Adam Griffiths, Ajay Leister and Chloe Watson. Artists were selected based on their ability to imagine their objects within the spaces they seek for them to inhabit. Placement, tension, color, height, depth and space are critical elements integral to an experiment in placing artists together that do not know each other, in a room they have not yet worked in, by a curator that they have not worked with before. The artists are united and juxtaposed by strong visual relationships that create a dynamic tension in the shared space. Whether it is painting, animation, sculpture or site-specific object based work, the five artists consider form, organic and rigid shapes, shadow, hue, gesticulation, memory and meaning. The exhibition itself is both a nest of shapes, images and objects, unique to one voice as well as an interdependent environment gaining strength from relationship.

Upstairs, in the Member’s Gallery, Eric Johnston: Flourishes

School 33 is pleased to announce Flourishes, a solo exhibition of drawings and printed patterns by New York artist Eric Johnston. While Johnston is currently working in the textiles industry as a decorative bedding designer he is also interested in the relationships between the designs he creates for his job and his personal studio practice. On view will be hand-drawn cartouches (decorative frames); Johnston’s cartouches come in irregular shapes and sizes, are highly baroque and are made up of borrowed snippets from a wide range of different patterns, including toiles, dots and stripes. These elaborate, hybridized, almost disjointed flourishes are directly inspired by the motifs he comes in contact with while in a design office environment.

Also on view will be several works concerned with the push/pull relationship between art and design. Johnston has created a small line of patterned fabrics for this exhibition. In these, the artist asserts his presence into the designs by leaving seam lines and imperfections in the finished product that would traditionally be erased or resolved before the goods are printed. Including these “mistakes” lets the viewer see the process of creating a real design and, as a result, renders his works more fallible and intimate. This body of work is thought provoking and ambitious and features themes that run the gamut from the current bedbug epidemic to a critique of mass-market consumption and free trade.

For more information, visit or call 443-263-4350.

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