Through the Looking Glass

Explore the Show

This multi-artist show, held Friday, May 19th, 2017, featured works that create a surreal, dissonance-inducing, and awe-inspiring space that focus on the Wellesley community and its context in society. The show takes inspiration from Joseph Campbell's The Hero With a Thousand Faces to organize itself in a manner that evokes a journey of self-realization. The Chandeliers act as a portal into this new space. The first floor is inhabited by experiences like Savor and new spaces like OASIS while the upper floor takes on a more ethereal, hopeful quality with works like Doodle Wall. The basement, on the other hand, contains works such as Presidents and Assigned at Birth that are darker but also represent great truths.  The work occupied an entire house that was open to exploration.

The show also aims to build local community by bringing together people who are connected to Wellesley in a variety of manners - whether through k-12 school, college, parenting, working, or living.

The show was open to all and included a variety of interactive art pieces.

Organized by:

Featured artists include:

In collaboration with:

Wellesley PSAS

Swellesley Report

WHS Diversity Club

Alexander Golob, Deb Brown, Mae Buckley, Kelsie Cabral, Edie Côté, Carol Hildebrand, Zachary McHale, James Moses, Whitney Newton, Wellesley High School Diversity Club

Golob Art 

 

The Chandeliers

Carol Hildebrand and Alexander Golob

Mixed Media

The Chandeliers Project is an exciting community art project meant to spark curiosity, inspire wonder, and foster community. Each chandelier was up-cycled – repurposed and reused instead of thrown away – from the local dump and then given to local artists and community groups for them to transform. The first installation of this project – hosted at Through the Looking Glass – included chandeliers from high school students in Art, STEM, and Woodworking Clubs as well as chandeliers from local artists and community members. The chandeliers were lit up for the show and acted as the portal through which guests entered the exhibit space.

 

❃❁❀⚘❀❁❃

Mae Buckley and Alexander Golob

Mixed Media, Site Specific

❃❁❀⚘❀❁❃ is equal parts social experiment, performance art, and community building activity. Its looks to challenge intellectual elitism, showcase diversity of thought, and bring attention to the "mystical" and the otherwise astounding and unexplainable aspects of the everyday life. Participants were encouraged to fill out the survey while standing within the work and then put their response on one of the pegs within the work. The installation is part of an ongoing interview project that has thus far been conducted exclusively online. If you are interested in the full survey, you can find it here: ❃❁❀⚘❀❁❃

 

Snapshot

Alexander Golob and Wellesley High School Diversity Club

Social Media, Photo-Transfer, and Laser-Etched Wood

Snapshot was derived from a collaboration between Alexander Golob and the members of Wellesley High School’s Diversity Club. The art itself places a series of small laser-etched screenshots of memes, texts, and social media conversations occurring among high school students during the 2016 election period alongside a large and imposing photo-transfer of a photo of Trump winning the election.  The result is a project that empowers youth, examines the role and language of social media, and takes an honest snapshot of political dynamics in the United States.

 

Breathe In - Copy

Alexander Golob and Zachary McHale

Acrylic Paint, Gif., Photttto.

Breathe In – Copy takes a long look at short span of time and the strange particularities that arise in the final product when translating reality from one medium to another. Artist Alexander Golob deconstructs and reassembles Zachary McHale’s short gif of McHale breathing in and out and turns by turning each frame into a blue line painting and then reassembling them into their own gif. The two gifs were displayed side by side in the center of a length-wise arrangement of the paintings that make up the new gif.

 

Dump Art

Deb Brown, Swellesley Report, and Community

Recycled Objects and Photography

The idea behind Wellesley Dump Art is simple: to create still-life arrangements on-site at the local Recycling and Disposal Facility (RDF) using exclusively items that came into the Give-and-Take area and flowers from my garden. Deb then photographed the completed arrangements and, with the help of Wellesley High School students, framed the photographs. The project is part performance art, part photography shoot, and a lot of community participation. There were strange looks, some nervous laughter, and requests to take some of the props (ie: the dump finds) home (the answer: but of course!).

 

Savor

Whitney Newton

Crepe de Chine, Organza, Rubber Bands, Hibiscus, Chamomile, Logwood, Buckthorn Berries, Walnut Hulls, and Steamed Buns (包子)

What’s that smell in the air? An aroma, extremely vivid, yet indescribable, transgressing time, transporting you to the past. Directly connected to the limbic system, the memory center of the brain, the sense of smell provides this portal allowing us to create mental images by inhaling objects invisible to the naked eye. Investigate what draws you to these wordless, volatile molecules drifting in the air through the process of fabricating a bao zi or jiao zi, steamed bun or dumpling, respectively. Staples of my childhood, these food bundles brought the family together, promoting good luck in the New Year. Recreated in fabric, guests are encouraged to grab a wrapper, fill it with the ingredients whose scents drew them during their pantry exploration, and free form wrap their bundle. These will be steamed, producing dyed textile swatches. The experience will end with an edible version in the form of sweet and savory steamed buns utilizing and inspired by traditional fillings combined with some of the pantry ingredients. Attendants are encouraged to record their thoughts of each step in the journal and were provided with an envelope to address if they wish to receive their dyed swatch.

 

OASIS

Mae Buckley

Mixed Media. Site-Specific

The bathroom has always been an emotionally charged space ad a sanctuary for society’s “undesirables;” from queer students to drug addicts. OASIS aims to lift the veil for those who perceive restrooms and the folks who linger within them to be off-putting and unclean.

Golobology

Alexander Golob

Life, Light, and Wood

Golobology is a work that has been made from 2012 through 2016 with life, light, and wood that encapsulates my time as a young adult, and speaks to the concept of entering adulthood in the early 21st century, the process of a university education, and what it means to be an artist figuring out their way through the world. Drawing on experiences ranging from snapchats, to drawings cut into the wood of me working on projects, to my social life and work in politics and activism, to fair-labor artist contracts, Golobology creates both a serious, reflective, intimate, and spiritual space while also being tongue-in-cheek and playful. It also connects with the idea of light as truth and the tradition of story-telling.

 
 

Assigned at Birth

James Moses and Kelsie Cabral

Plaster, Paint, Reed, and Reclaimed Fabric

The intention of Assigned at Birth is to remind the viewer that sex and gender are separate from one another, and although you may familiarize yourself with features of anatomy to be typically deemed masculine or feminine, assuming such is inappropriate. The various casted body parts represent the random chance at which our biology is assigned but determines in no way our gender or gender performance.

 

Presidents

Edie Côté

Lithograph

Effortless and innocent childhood drawings, playthings and memorabilia worm their way into my contemporary adult perspective. Personal artifacts and memories are my primary sources and provoke me to either bring myself into their context or bring them into my context or neither or both. In this particular work, I used an object I acquired during my time living in Paris, a placemat from a café showing a charted list of every United States president until 2004. My dad and I took this find home and conducted quick research on the presidents concluding whether their terms made them “good” or “bad” thus representing my very first interest in politics. Thirteen years later I find myself disagreeing with my original brandings, but my interest has only grown stronger. As a child, my interests sorted these past leaders as a cast of characters in a story, separating the good guys from the bad guys. The original artifact installed intimacy and wonder in my 9-year-old self, but growing up has opened my mind to the harsh realities of the politics of my country. Mimicking my past opinions while shifting scale and media prompts a critical view, launching this once sentimental artifact into a confrontational subject. My fascination with this source has bred detachment as seen in my other work, but also a unique rejection. My 9-year-old views are clearly written, but my 22-year-old knowledge condemns their relevancy. The lines between personal history and public history become blurred, as I take on the task of removing sentimentality and replacing it with knowledge and facts. In giving myself the power to alter my own memories, I can reconcile with my significant life event and understand their connection to my contemporary context.

 

Doodle Room

Alexander Golob ft. Community

Pen and Paper

Doodle Room provides an open space where people can play with – and contribute to – the art. While simple in concept, the work allows the viewer to enter into the world of art through direct action. It is as much an art object as it is a conversation about how people express themselves and interact with each other.

Projections

Zachary McHale

Gif, Laserjet Print, and Projection

Doodle Room provides an open space where people can play with – and contribute to – the art. While simple in concept, the work allows the viewer to enter into the world of art through direct action. It is as much an art object as it is a conversation about how people express themselves and interact with each other.

 
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Breathe In - Copy 2