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#Awkward: Eric Conrad, Andrew Dickson, Brooke Inman, Lilly McElroy, and Lee Walton
September 9, 2014 - October 25, 2014
PLUG Projects’ is pleased to present #Awkward, a group exhibition featuring the work of five artists: Eric Conrad, Andrew Dickson, Brooke Inman, Lilly McElroy, and Lee Walton. #Awkward showcases work that explores uncertainty and discomfort in human relationships. Calling attention to the inelegance of communication, as well as the ungainly, the embarrassing and the absurd in the human condition.
About the Artists
Eric Conrad’s figures, part-beast and part-human, struggle to regain a sense of identity, support and control within sensual, exuberant, violent, and/or co-dependent relationships. The works often Eric Conrad, The Dependent, 2013, fabric, 93x48x142 inches. contain narratives that deal with a coming to terms with past actions taken or current events not easily forgotten. Conrad completed a BA in Mathematics and Fine Art from Kalamazoo College in Michigan and did his graduate study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Rhode Island School of Design were he received an MFA in Painting/Printmaking in 2000. He has received several grants to support his work including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. He has been an Artist in Residence at the Fine Arts Work Center in Massachusetts, the Frans Masereel Centrum in Belgium, and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Nebraska. Conrad ilves and works in Lawrence, Kansas and is an Associate Professor of Art at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas. www.eric-conrad.com
Portland performance artist Andrew Dickson will be offering life coaching to select audience members during #Awkward. On September 19th, he’ll be on site during the opening of the show to offer free one-on-one 10-minute “power” sessions. This is a chance for gallery patrons to experience a taste of what coaching has to offer. On September 20th, Dickson will be at PLUG projects, offering a series of hour-long coaching sessions to 4 different gallery patrons. In a break from traditional coaching, an audience will be invited to observe, offer support and reflect on their own journey while the one-on-one dialogue unfolds on stage. Andrew Dickson is an artist and performer based in Portland, Oregon. He primarily creates performance art, but is also a filmmaker and mainstay of Portland’s creative community. His work blends two parts social commentary with one part comedy, drawing on audience interaction to reflect on modern life. www.andrewdickson.com
Utilizing drawing’s immediacy and ability to explore inner space, Brooke Inman’s work reflects the interaction between the many worlds we inhabit: nature, society, the spiritual, and the mind. This introspective examination crafts a complex vision filled with universal anxieties, hopes, fears, and yearnings. Brooke Inman was born in Indiana in 1983, she grew up in the small town of DeMotte, Indiana. Brooke is a nature enthusiast who loves animals, especially her dog (George) and her cat (Ellie). She is currently a resident artist at Studio Two Three, Richmond’s community print shop, and adjunct faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University in the Painting + Printmaking Department and in the Department of Art + Art History at the University of Richmond.www.cargocollective.com/BrookeAnnInman
Lilly McElroy grew up in Southern Arizona, surrounded by cliché representations of her own experiences. There were cowboys riding bulls, coyotes howling on moonlit nights, and beautiful sunsets. She’s translated those experiences into epic photographs and playfully antagonistic videos. Lilly performs for the camera, enacting gestures that reflect a desire for control over subjects as ungovernable as nature. Her work investigates our complex relationship with the American West and what means to be an American in a time of diminished expectations. Lilly received her MFA in Studio Art from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006 and her BFA in Photography from The University of Arizona in 2004. She was a resident at Skowhegan in 2006 and a 2008/09 Winter Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her work has been shown internationally including TR1 in Finland, Southern Exposure Gallery in San Francisco, and Air Gallery in NYC. www.lillymcelroy.com
Lee Walton’s Birthday Videos playfully question the line between public and private life within our networked, social media shaped culture. The Birthday Videos are short one-to-one video messages created for a specific individual. These videos are sent to this person on their Birthday through a variety of social media channels, primarily Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Lee Walton’s practice has been constructed by exploring how media shapes our experiences – both culturally and personally. Walton is a huge fan of social media, yet also a critical participant. Walton has been invited by museums, institutions, cities, and individuals, both nationally and internationally, to create exhibitions, lectures, projects, experimental workshops, performances, and public events. He is an Associate Professor of Art at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, father, husband and average golfer. www.leewalton.com