Cheyenne Rudolph at Ringling Underground

In recent years, functional ceramics, a medium often shunted into the category of craft, has been accepted into the vast world of contemporary art. The February Ringling Underground features three artists living in Florida and exploring the medium of clay. Jenn Ryan Miller, Sharon Norwood, and Cheyenne Rudolph use ceramics to explore various themes. Their diversity will provide the Ringling Underground audience with a multi-faceted view of contemporary ceramics being produced in Florida at current.

For the first installment of Ringling Underground on February 4, 2016, Cheyenne Rudolph will be performing Lemon-Aider. Cheyenne, who received her MFA in 2014 from University of Florida, is both a ceramicist and performance artist. Her performances utilize subversive functional ceramics to explore childlike assumptions about domesticity and cultural expectations. Cheyenne graciously agreed to participate in an interview to provide the Ringling Underground audience with context about her performance, Lemon-Aider.

Cheyenne Rudolph performing "Lemon-Aider"
Cheyenne Rudolph performing Lemon-Aider

Please describe the piece you will be performing at Ringling Underground on February 4.

The Lemon-Aider is an interactive mobile beverage cart, designed as a traveling performance piece to challenge the collective assumptions surrounding gender identity for women. A nostalgic lemonade stand, the Lemon-Aider is a operated by a caricatured retro housewife, whose good intentions are peppered with indecorous insinuations brought on by the mechanics of operating the juicing device. This is not your childhood lemonade stand.

Citrus Juicer Stand and Cup
Citrus Juicer Stand and Cup

Why did you choose this piece to perform, and what are you hoping from the Ringling Underground audience in terms of participation?

The Lemon-Aider is a friendly piece, highly approachable, and participants come away with a more intimate encounter. The piece is mobile and flexible in how I perform it, as I make lemonade from scratch for one individual at a time. It is more like a conversation with a character than a timed performance in front of a live studio audience. Participants may watch as I demonstrate, or they may interact with me as I make lemonade.

When did you begin combining your ceramics with performance art?

I have a background in theatre, studying it briefly in high school and undergraduate school. As the art objects I made became increasingly ambiguous and absurd in their functions, it was necessary to explain their use. The element of control is important in how I design the work, so it was natural for me to demonstrate, and to essentially take over the use of the objects, so that now, I am the only user. It has blossomed into an engaging way to design and make work.

Saturday Apron
Saturday Apron

Where does a piece begin, the ceramics or the concept for the performance?

Definitely the concept is primary. As I have learned to design for my own engagement, I am liberated from making pedestrian-friendly functional objects, so I think of them as actors or overstated props in the performance. I think about whether I will be performing live or through video, which helps in how I design the work. I also think about the installation and visual context of the piece; because it will be informed by its surroundings and my own interaction, the object no longer has to carry the full weight of the concept. I can, in a sense, magnify my visual concept to installation proportions, letting the backdrop, the video editing, or my own script, bring in subtext. I then make the object with my preliminary performance idea in mind. After the object is complete, the performance may go through a series of trials and refinements, and at times, I need to remake the object to better suit the performance needs.

Lemon-Aider in action
Lemon-Aider in action

What is the relationship between the ceramics and the performance elements of your art?

The objects instigate, or provide the implications of the performance, yet in their complicated design and retro aesthetic, they draw the viewer in. They are designed to be appealing, as is my own costume, yet while in use, they become a source of absurd subversion. I am picking apart and drawing attention to the expectations placed on me, personally, and on women of a particular type.

What type of influences motivate your art practice?

1950s/1960s kitchen products, Chindogu and infomercials of the 90s/00s, parodies and satire, old SNL skits, calling attention to conventionally accepted, yet unjust paradigms. Lucille Ball, Amy Sedaris, drag performers, theatre scenic design techniques and methods.

 


Ringling Underground is series of one night only events combining live music and experiential artworks in the Courtyard. The artwork is curated by Natalya Swanson and Shannon Fortner organizes the musical performances.

Ringling Underground is always free for college students with a valid college ID. It is an extension of the Art After 5 program held on Thursdays after 5 p.m. After hours discounted admission is $10 for adults; $5 for children 6-17, children 5 and under and Museum Members are free.

Cash bar provided by Modern Events at The Ringling.

Ringling Underground is a rain or shine event.
Share your Underground experiences on social media using the hashtag:#RinglingUnderground

Ringling Underground: April 2, 2015

The visitors to the final Ringling Underground of the Spring 2015 season will encounter a range of mediums including an interactive performance piece with Vincent Kral, paintings by Laine Nixon, sculpture by Matthew Drennan Wicks, and a site-specific installation by Michael Covello. Artists will visually transform the courtyard by challenging the spectator’s perception.

Michael Covello
Michael Covello

“My practice expresses itself through an idiomatic language of hybridized abstraction, where diverse formal elements contradict and complete each other. The spaces I depict within a painting or installation are densely layered and at times antagonistic in their composure; with shallow fields of clashing images, patterns, and color palettes. I am not interested in making work that is easy to view- instead I strive for a language of excess, where a maximalist non- representational vocabulary creates a challenging space for the viewer to inhabit. By provoking my audience to re-evaluate their methods for viewing, I am confronting the typical relationship we have to image, architecture, and environment. The motifs of assembly, demolition, accumulation, and containment are common throughout my work, and highlight the temporal process of creation. For instance, through masking, over-painting, and removal, compositional elements undergo continuous cycles of emerging, shifting, and concealment. Thus, as I work on a piece, attempts to organize a space are constantly being folded back in on themselves as the process evolves. As an artist exploring and reacting to this unsteady terrain, I see my artistic process as a suspension between remembering, forgetting, and rebuilding.” –Michael Covello

 

Matthew Drennan Wicks
Matthew Drennan Wicks’

“My current studio practice is a process-based exploration of traditional craft in a contemporary context that highlights specific domestic materials and the intrinsic properties of clay. This often leads to the transformation of materials through specific craft-based processes. While notions of beauty, kitsch and class all bubble under the surface of my work, I strive to challenge the viewer’s perceptions of familiar materials and forms and their pre-loaded content.” –Matthew Drennan Wicks

Vincent Kral
Vincent Kral

I will be performing a piece called the Return of the Ink Panther, before the event starts I will set out pink colored Easter eggs all around the space with clues or about the other artists participating and possible hint at some imagined mystery. During the event I will appear as Inspector Clouseau and engage the visitors in character and ask them if they have found any clues. The piece is about enjoying art having fun and interacting with the artists and asking questions. The Eggs can be returned or kept by visitors.” –Vincent Kral

Laine Nixon
Laine Nixon

“I pursue my work through a studio practice, developing non-objective paintings that subtly embody the conflict between visual perception and the physical object. Zuhanden, a series of 4’ x 4’ non-representational paintings, are responsive works where I embed thinned washes, pours or otherwise watery paint within a heavy-bodied, textured acrylic gradation. The first layers are applied thin and wet – they tend to run, dart, bleed, and are generally unpredictable. In contrast, the gradation is a highly organized and repetitive exercise, where I slowly string small beads of paint together increasing the pigment in one-step increments. The process allows me to first experience the thrill and uneasiness of the unknown, and then to enjoy a deep retreat into a slow, meditative period of organizing the initial chaos. The formal challenge that I have issued myself is to see if I can reverse the typical salient and recessive properties of transparent and opaque marks in order to provoke a subtle sense of confusion, a moment of uncertainty.

In my explorations, one constant is that my work must highlight the tension between the painting (the illusion) and what is actually there (the physical object) – or between thought and thing. For me, there is no definitive hierarchy between the two; if asked, I would encourage the viewer to oscillate back and forth in order to experience both realities. I tend to enjoy this ambiguity as a path to refuge which in turn leads me to all kinds of other good things such as understanding, perspective, mystery, or even peace and joy. These are the aspects I wish to share by sharing my work.” –Laine Nixon


 

Musical entertainment for the evening includes Lady and Gentleman, Maximino, and Young Rapids. Additional details can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1612258982341793/

Ringling Underground is always free for college students with a valid college ID. It is an extension of the Art After 5 program held on Thursdays after 5 p.m. After hours discounted admission is $10 for adults; $5 for children 6-17, children 5 and under and Museum Members are free.

Ringling Underground is a rain or shine event. Food and refreshments are available for purchase. Share your Underground experiences on social media using the hashtag:
#RinglingUnderground


 

For additional details about exhibiting at Ringling Underground, please contact the Artist Liaison, Natalya Swanson at nswanson3@gmail.com

Ringling Underground: March 5, 2015

Attendees of the March Ringling Underground will encounter three contemporary artists: Emily Elliott, Dustin Juengel, and Zach Gilliland. Artist Liaison Natalya Swanson spoke to each of them about their artwork and process:

 

Zach Gilliland: 

4thsculpture.elementsfompreviousinstal
Zach Gilliland

 

“I am constantly tinkering in the studio, trying new things, making new forms, honing my skills and dreaming up the impossible.  When I have an idea, I try it.  Not all approaches work, but I attempt everything and eventually the dots begin to connect.  The key, for me, is to simply be working.  As Picasso said, “inspiration exists but it has to find you working”.

I search for the simple and the organic as a jumping off point.  Then I find the subtle complexities that give the piece depth.  Once a project begins to take shape I send it to the moon and back, building it up and ripping it back apart.   This process is extremely important for me to filter out unnecessary information.
My work appears simple at first glance, but upon further inspection questions begin to arise.  Thats where, I feel, the magic lies.  My ultimate goal is to pull the viewer in from a distance, keep them looking up close and then leave them wondering when they turn away.”

Dustin Juengel:

Juengel, 2014 04 01 (abstract 01) 57-x57-
Dustin Juengel

 

“Painting offers a space to engage with different interests and negotiate experiences. I am not aware of an overarching agenda for my paintings, it’s too complex, I think it’s more of a search.

My recent works include grisaille oil paintings based on photographs. The limited palette allows me to focus on other aspects of technique, for example: modeling of form, economy of paint handling, and scale. The effects of light and the surrounding environment become more apparent on the gray surfaces, creating tension between the illusion of the depiction and the painting as an object in a specific location. I want the viewer to be able to enter into the painting and simultaneously become self-aware of standing in a place looking at this thing.”

Emily Elliott:

Emily Elliott
Emily Elliott

“My work is an exploration of emotional and psychological responses to human interaction and the desire for intimacy. I use the body as a metaphorical

battleground where the struggles of the mind take on a physical form. The figures are infected and transformed in reaction to their trauma. Each bump, scar, or mutation represents the fractured sense of self, torn between the desire to connect and need to protect oneself. I am interested in complicating those instincts, creating a dynamic energy between the push and pull of the psyche. This piece captures the moment before separation, where there is no clear victim or perpetrator. Instead they are both at once for and against each other.”

 

Ringling Underground – Contemporary Art: On the Lawn

Thursday, February 7th, 8pm – 11pm
John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

A series of one night only events that invites emerging contemporary artists to exhibit sculpture, installation, performance and interactive media in the courtyard of the Ringling Museum of Art

Thursday, February 7th, 8pm – 11pm
John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

Ringling Underground is a series of one night only events that invites emerging contemporary artists to exhibit sculpture, installation, performance and interactive media in the courtyard of the Ringling Museum of Art alongside musicians performing on the main stage. This series encourages artists to push the boundaries of their practice by exhibiting without the luxuries of gallery walls or lighting, while also transforming the function of the Museum; the Ringling transcends its role as an archiving and collecting institution, into one that seeks to actively engage the contemporary artists and patrons within its community. Ringling Underground is proud to present these outstanding artists currently working in the Sarasota and Tampa Bay area, and is excited to feature many more throughout the season.

on the lawn

Joni Younkins-Herzog is a local sculptor and currently a professor at the State College of Florida. She earned a Masters of Fine Arts from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Georgia in Athens. Since 2004, Younkins-Herzog has exhibited her work throughout the United States and abroad in Columbia, Peru, Poland, and recently returned from an artist residency in Ghana, Africa. A virtuoso in many mediums, Younkins-Herzog lures the viewer in with luscious colors and materials to contemplate anxious content in close proximity. Her works range widely in scale from small wearable pieces to large sculptures and installations incorporating sound. Her research and studio practice is dedicated to acquiring new technical skills in many materials, including re-purposed and recycled elements. More of Joni Younkins-Herzog’s work can be seen at www.joniyounkinsherzog.com

Gigi Lage was born in Miami and is currently pursuing her undergraduate education at the University of South Florida with a concentration in Studio Art. Lage has exhibited across Florida and recently curated a show called Exquisite Corpse and the Nancy and Oliver Gallery in Tampa, Fl. Inspired by disease and illness, Lage explores the subject of death along with her own uncontrollable hypochondria. Her work has been seen in multiple platforms and examines themes of anxiety, alienation and detachment within herself as well as others. More of Gigi Lage’s work can be seen at www.gigilage.com

Michelle Fader graduated in 2012 with a B.F.A. in Photography from the University of South Florida and had her first solo exhibition that same year at the Centre Gallery in Tampa, Florida. Her work has also been seen at the Tampa Museum of Art and the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. Fader’s photographs represent exaggerations of memories from the artist’s life or lives of others. “Depending on the duration between the time of an occurrence and the recalling of it, the brain alters the memory in subtle ways, changing or omitting factual details. The brain’s propensity to fabricate long-term memories exists in the work as a visual representation of imagination. The photographs are presented as cinematic stills to elicit a relationship between the viewer and the work. Experiences were chosen that contained something out of the ordinary, and standout elements were embellished to create photographs reflecting the strange nature of life, further twisted by imagination.” Says Fader about the work. More of Michelle Fader’s work can be found at www.michellefader.com

Mark Morgan is a Sarasota local who does his part to keep his neighborhood clean while expressing his emotions at the same time by up-cycling detergent bottles and using them as the base medium for his art. Morgan’s work is a testimony to his ability to draw unique associations between things others typically overlook. In an effort to remain as environmentally friendly as possible, the sculptures are made from mostly found plastic bottles, the only exceptions being metal fasteners and glass marble eyes.

Darcy Little, a fine artist originally from Lexington KY, provided original designs for Ringling Underground. Little will complete her B.F.A. in Fine Art this year at Ringling College of Art + Design; their work often incorporates traditional drawing and painting mediums while merging a strong digital and technical practice. More of Darcy Little’s work can be found at www.behance.net/darcylittle

Live Music by these fantastic Florida performers:

Bard & Mustache
(Experimental Chamber Pop from Sarasota, Fl)
www.bardandmustache.com

Zulu Wave
(Rock, Pop, Indie, Experimental from Tampa, Fl)
www.zuluwavemusic.com

Morningbell
(Psychedelic Rock from Gainesville, Fl)
www.morningbellonline.com

For more information, view link:
www.ringlingunderground.tumblr.com

5401 Bayshore Road, Sarasota, FL 34243

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“A Ringling Museum Docent’s Story: When a Tour is More than a Tour” by Pamela Beck

To a young and sensitive child, artistically inclined, a trip to the dramatically beautiful John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is the stuff of dreams.

ARTdart: There are as many ways to think about art as there are to create it. Join Pamela Beck in her column, ARTdart, as she explores and considers the different perspectives that define the art world.


Pamela Beck

by Pamela Beck

To a young and sensitive child, artistically inclined, a trip to the dramatically beautiful John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is the stuff of dreams. Recently a docent who works there shared with me an unusual experience she had while giving a tour. She had taken her group, which included a thirteen year old boy visiting the museum with his parents for the first time, through the elegant unfolding of exquisite and ornate rooms that comprise the Renaissance, Old Master, Baroque and Modern painting galleries.

“This young boy caught my attention right away,” the docent told me. “His eyes sparkled with intelligence and his excitement was contagious. I usually pose questions to the group as we walk through the galleries, as a way to explore the collection further. That boy, Michael, was always the first to answer them. “

Lucas Cranach the Elder (German, 1472-1553). Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg as St. Jerome in his Study, 1526. Mixed media on wood. 114.9 x 78.9 cm (45 1/4 x 31 1/16 in.). © John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota

Michael liked Lucas Cranach the Elder’s “Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg as Saint Jerome.” When the docent asked the group to find the decorative element that appeared in both this painting and the gallery, Michael quickly pointed to the mermaid chandelier with the antlers overhead.

When the docent asked the group which painting best embodies the Renaissance ideals of harmony, symmetry and perspective, as shown through architecture? Michael gestured animatedly towards Piero di Cosimo’s “The Building of a Palace,” where the two wings of the building are identical.

Cosimo, Piero di (1462-1521), “The Building of a Palace”, Renaissance, (Early Italian, “Quattrocento”), Oil on wood, © John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota

When the docent explained the concept of “vanitas” (painted images symbolizing the transience of life, pleasure and inevitability of death) and asked which elements symbolize a transition from one state to another in “Still life with Parrots” by Jan Davidsz de Heem? Michael immediately pointed to the falling lemon peel and upended platter of food spilling to the floor.

The museum’s elegant loggia similarly inspired Michael, who noticed and wondered why the antique columns lining the garden courtyard were of different sizes. “The Ringlings shipped them back from Italy to be incorporated into the museum in some to-be-determined manner,” the docent explained. Michael was fascinated by how this was eventually done: designing bases of different heights and connecting them by arches on top, both of which allowed the columns to balance out their discrepancies and look the same at first glance.

It wasn’t just the docent who was surprised and impressed by the enthusiasm and intelligence of such a young boy. As the tour continued, the docent noticed that the group began to wait and see what Michael would say and where he would point, as if their own appreciation was amplified by witnessing Michael’s curiosity and genuine interest. In this way, the group not only had the pleasure of viewing the art collection, but was also reminded of why people visit museums in the first place: to feel the excitement, pleasure and sense of discovery that Michael did while looking at art and learning about it.

After the tour came to an end, Michael approached the docent by himself. “Thank you so much for such an interesting tour. I’ll never forget it.”

“Thank you for being such an important part of it,” the docent replied, moved by both Michael’s manners and earnest comments. “Have a good life, Michael; I’m sure you will,” the docent added, looking into the clear eyes of someone who was well on his way.


To read more from Pamela, view these links:
http://srxq.blogspot.com/
http://whatdogsreallythink.blogspot.com/