@ Made to Order

photo by Carrie Will

Made to Order
Mellor, Carl, “Made to Order,” Syracuse New Times, AUG 13, 2008 Syracuse, NY
Made in New York 2008,
currently on display at Auburn’s Schweinfurth Memorial Art Gallery, continues to evolve from year to year and to operate without a set artistic agenda. The 2007 edition had many more photographs than other recent shows, and that generated some controversy. Nonetheless, that wasn’t a structural change but a one-time phenomenon.

The new exhibition, selected by jurors John McQueen and Jen Pepper, has its own imprint, with special attention paid to landscapes. Landscapes, it should be noted, have certainly appeared in past Made in New York shows. The 2008 show, however, presents a much richer selection, done in various media and from varying perspectives. It’s possible for viewers to appreciate not only individual landscapes but also a larger discussion of the art-world favorite.

Jennifer Hunold’s acrylic and graphite piece, for example, depicts a desert setting including a large expanse of sky, tiny telephone lines and desert sands of colorful stripes. In Jessica Evett-Miller’s photo, taken in Iceland, a red blanket intrudes on desolate land, prompting thoughts about our relationship with the natural world.

Edward Basta’s “Mike’s Country Auto” imagines a roadside scene from 40 or 50 years ago. The piece, done in miniature and positioned against a wooded background, was made entirely from found objects such as scraps of wood and toy-set signs. “Mike’s Country Auto” evokes the past but isn’t an exercise in reminiscing. It references the pace of change in our society and asks a fundamental question: How much attention do we pay to changes happening on roadsides and elsewhere?

"Butterfly Harp" by Sara DiDonato.

Other perspectives emerge as well. Barbara Page’s oil painting, “Down Draft H2,” looks at a sprawling countryside from the viewpoint of a flyer, showing the geometry of land seen from a cockpit.

Kate Timm, meanwhile, travels no farther than her home. In another of her exterior/interior pieces, she juxtaposes a kitchen table, full of tomato sandwiches, potato chips, plants and other objects, with the scene outside. She embellishes and enhances the objects on the table, making them seem anything but ordinary.

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