I’m really excited to announce a new local show Jason and Lorrie Saunders, a Norfolk gallery owner, have put together. The show Jason did there last year with fellow artist Erik Jones was a success and all around good time, so we are hoping lightening strikes twice! Jason invited some of his favorite artists that he has shown with in the past to this group show to share their talent with local art lovers. I feel very honored to be included.
Lorrie Saunders ArtGallery is pleased to present the exhibition, Stuntkid & FRIENDS, guest curated by Jason Levesque, opening July 16 and showing through August 27, 2011.
Award winning artist and illustrator, Jason Levesque (AKA Stuntkid), is back again this summer and this time he is bringing along 6 of his uniquely talented friends for a fantastical display of original paintings, drawings and digital artworks.
As guest curator, Levesque has selected a group of artists he has admired for a long time and whose artwork, like his, is inspired by illustration. According to Levesque, “I’m a huge fan of every one of them and was very excited to have the opportunity to invite these artists to exhibit in my hometown of Norfolk, VA. I consider them my contemporaries, as we all tend to get invites to the same group shows and appeal to a similar audience.”
Among the “Friends,” three reside on the east coast, including Levesque and his wife Elizabeth Levesque of Norfolk and Brooklyn based artist, Allison Sommers. The others, Glenn Arthur, Nomi Chi, Cate Rangel, and Jessica McCourt hail from the West Coast where illustration derived artwork, often referred to as Lowbrow, has developed quite a foothold. Rooted in popular culture, Lowbrow artwork has a sense of humor and is often characterized as fanciful, bizarre, and even strangely grotesque. Once considered an underground art movement, there are now galleries devoted exclusively to exhibiting the genre, and along with the internet, have cultivated quite a following for the artists. Even though Levesque hesitates to categorize all the participants in the “Friends” show as Lowbrow artists, he does concede that all are affiliated with the movement noting that, “the movement, call it Lowbrow or whatever, it doesn’t get a lot of exposure in Virginia. The artists tend to show in cities like Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle.”
According to Levesque, as curator of the “Friends” show, his intent is to introduce to the Hampton Roads community a dynamic group of young, nationally recognized artists whose creative efforts reflect an edgy illustrative style and to deliver a gallery happening rarely experienced in the state of Virginia.
Who knew Norman Rockwell illustrated a couple playing with a Ouija board? I love this. I hope I can find a print of it someday. Once upon a time I wanted to arrange a talking board show where artists designed their own versions. Someone else beat me to it. Copronason put on a rad show dealing with that exact subject. Maybe I could arrange another one in the future. There are also some great sites out there that catalog all the different versions of spirit boards and their history. If interested you should check out the Museum of Talking Boards or WilliamFuld.com. I also recently purchased a hand carved planchette on Etsy.com from Lejans Wood Creations and am eager to get it.
I have been salivating over these silver planchette rings on etsy for ages now, and was thrilled to realize that the artist behind them also had a piece in the Speaking in Tongues show in Philly! I contacted her and showed her my work and we’ve both been amused at sharing so many of the same influences. Her name is JL Shnabel and she is a painter, jewelry maker and writer based in Philadelphia PA.
Check out her art blog and etsy shop for more spiritualist and magic inspired jewelry.
I remember pulling out my Ouija Board as a kid and trying to contact ghosts, get dating advice and freak out my friends who had parents that had taught them that it was a tool of Satan. Early on my father taught me about the ideomotor effect but that didn’t ruin the game for me. For some reason my friends and I focused on summoning demon clowns, but then Stephen King’s IT did come on daytime television regularly.
On the way back from Philly, Jason and I stopped at a psychic and had my palm read. I didn’t have my wedding ring on. The psychic told me that I’d make a great doctor(I freak at the sight of blood) and I shouldn’t marry the first person who asks me(oops, too late!)
Jason and I had a really great time visiting Pennsylvania and my teenage stomping grounds. We attended the Speaking in Tongues art show, met rad artists, saw old friends and family and got to search out some of the weirder places(real or imagined) of south eastern Pennsylvania, or central, or whatever.
We went to Centralia PA which is a mostly abandoned ghost town 3 hours north west of Philly. In the 80s the coal mines caught on fire and the fire spread under ground endangering the residents above. There are a few hold outs still living there, but the rest of it has been demolished.
Jason and I visited to check it out. I had never been there despite growing up in Pennsylvania. The ground is hotter than normal. You can feel it through your shoes. There is coal scattered everywhere and steam/smoke rising from holes in the ground. Part of route 61 was rerouted due to the highway splitting like a loaf of risen bread.
It is also the home of a lot of amusing and stupid graffiti as shown below!
This stretch of highway was titled ‘Penis Farm’. I intend to return and draw a ‘Vagina Orchard’. Here’s Jason posing happily with our find.
Indeed! It truly was B-A-N-A-N-A-S!
We also attempted to visit…Satanville! Which only really exists in drunk or bored south eastern PA teenage hearts! Being adults with a fear of arrest, we didn’t get out of the car to trespass to find the fabled Culthouse/Satanic Church, but we did find the road it’s supposed to be off. Oh well, maybe next time! The weirdest thing we saw was a tree spray painted ‘Baby Tree’.
Have a hilarious clip from a documentary about Satanville PA.