Sunday, May 3, 2015

Id/Ego/SuperEgo @ The Tech Garden, Opening Reception Thursday April 30 2015

Id/Ego/SuperEgo came about as an idea in late 2012 for a simultaneous "exchange" exhibits in Syracuse and Utica NY featuring works of my artist colleagues from both locations. I wanted to bring a "crew" of Utica artists to a Syracuse venue and a reciprocal "posse" of Syracuse artist colleagues at a Utica venue. When offered the Artist in Residence position at The Tech Garden last fall I immediately intended to pursue the effort with late April as a target date. Sadly logistical difficulties in preparing the chosen Utica space for the Syracuse crew proved insurmountable. I also chose to include artists from Syracuse as well, including my mother Flora Nyland, showing professionally here for the first time since the mid 1980s.

The psychological concept of art exploring the Self and our public vs. private identities was suggested by artist Catherine Wright during a brainstorm session in December, and artist Jenna North played a role in fine-tuning the exhibit to be something other than a self-portrait show. The "Winter Recipe" exhibit served as a lesson on how to show artwork at The Tech Garden and I wanted this exhibit to push against that boundary. Installation, performance and multimedia content have been featured in Tech Garden shows previously, so this exhibit was an effort to learn how to apply those multi-disciplinary approaches to that which was learned during the previous show so those boundaries can be pushed during the next one.

The results exceeded anything I had expected. Not only did artists create brand-new work just for the exhibit but many took up my offer to have their displays become site-specific and created in the gallery itself. Catherine Wright also went to no end to create a living artwork to take place in the gallery while viewers were in attendance, including rehearsals, costuming, a customized music score and specificity about how the performance is to take place relative to the gallery's architectural attributes. The show has been fine tuned for this exhibition space to the exclusion of any other -- which is true about any art exhibit which has been curated, a task which Jenna North proved invaluable for. The show would not be as complete without her contributions and I am in awe of the dedication which all of the artists showed in preparing & installing their work. This is one primo crew, and I hope viewers will take some time to find out more about their works via the information sheets provided.

I also truly hope the reciprocal Syracuse to Utica group exhibit can happen, with the main sticking point being securing a venue with logistical support as robust as The Tech Garden … You don't have to climb a ten foot ladder to turn the lights on, it's comfortably warm, and as far as I know there aren't any bats. I'll keep working on that end while planning out the final two exhibits I have committed to bringing to The Gallery for the remainder of the year, and thank you for coming to see what there was to see!

Steve Nyland
The Gallery at the Tech Garden
Artist in Residence and Curator, April 2015

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