Amy Casey and Jen Omaitz
Opening Reception: November 6, 2009 from 6-9 p.m. Gallery Hours: Thurs.-Fri. 6-9 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 1-4 p.m. Visitors are also welcome in the gallery when the adjoining Cafe at Arts Collinwood is open.
Amy Casey is a Creative Workforce Fellow. The Creative Workforce Fellowship is a program of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture, generously funded by Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. Amy Casey is also Cleveland Arts Prize 2009.
Amy Casey, Artist Statement:
For about the last ten years, I’ve been experiencing a sporadically recurring dream about the end of the world. Animals stampeding and buildings falling into dust around me, I wake up in a panic and with a heavy sense of inevitability.
Although I’m not trying to recreate this dream in my work, I think that like my dream, my paintings reflect my view of the nervous state of affairs the world seems to be in. Inspired by natural and unnatural disasters, personal fiascos and the never-ending stream of bad news coming in from the media, the world inside my paintings has been turned (sometimes literally) upside down. The sky is fallingÂ and the ground has crumbled underneath anyone left to stand on it. In the wake of this, my created world tries to come up with coping plans to tie their world back together. This lets me explore ideas of anxiety and vulnerability, community, and the illusions of safety.Â I am fascinated by the resilience of life. Every disaster is followed by rebirth, where we try to cobble together a plan b. out of what remains. My paintings celebrate this fascination and my love of the urban landscape and itâ€™s creatures.
Jen Omaitz, Artist Statement:
My work explores the construction and destruction of invented space. I work within the boundaries of my studio or a designated space to confront the possibilities of architecture beyond the frame of a canvas. For me art is a spectacle, an assemblage, a gesture of simulated repetitions: arranged, projected and reconfigured. My newest body of work consists of interlinking structures that explore the relationship between wall, ceiling and floor, between psychic space and physical space.
This series encompasses three-dimensional landscapes that appear frozen in the midst of a chaotic event. I incorporate drawing and painting with heterogeneous objects, igniting play between the structure of the gallery and the theatrics of a gesture and the painterly mark. This sense of theater is a formal extension of the shadows cast by the gallery lights, the configuration of the wall, ceiling, and the intrinsic architectural nature of the given space.
My work juxtaposes found objects, home building materials, architectural models and abstract painterly approaches to signify [imply] a shift between topography, natural disasters, and tension between physical landscape and landscape of the psyche.