untitled (stitched, fourth attempt) by Marian April Glebes


Division of Labor
curated by Christian Donnelly + Skye Gilkerson + Jason Meyer
March 23 - April 15

OPENING RECEPTION Friday March 23, 7-10PM


In this time of mass manufacturing and outsourcing, making by hand can be a potent and rebellious act. What is the allure of the handmade, the laboriously crafted, in a time of digital saturation? Division of Labor presents twelve artists from Baltimore, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles, and asks what meticulous processes and time consuming approaches can bring to an idea. Featuring works that employ a spectrum of methods from extreme force to remarkable delicacy, this exhibition will explore the role of old craft traditions and new craft inventions in contemporary art practices.

Jordan Bernier, Christian Donnelly, Mike Ellyson, Skye Gilkerson, JK Keller and Keetra Dean Dixon, Marian April Glebes, Jason Meyer, David Prince, Michael Rea, Mary Smull, and Renee van der Stelt

Baltimore artists JK Keller and Keetra Dean Dixon straddle a wide set of mediums in their process-intensive work. Their collaborative projects contend with and are spurred on by the shortcomings of ubiquitous creative tools and the fallibility of communication. Together since 2006, their work has been featured in GOOD Magazine, exhibited as part of the 2009 U.S. Presidential Inauguration, and most recently as part of Graphic Design: Now In Production, a joint exhibition of the Walker Art Center + the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.

David Prince is a sculptor, explorer, lumberjack, domestic scientist, inventor, and community arts advocate, whose artworks aim to offer creative solutions to real and impossible situations. David received an MFA in sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His practice is based in Los Angeles, CA though he travels throughout the US and abroad, making and showing his work.

Chicago artist Mike Rea explores pop culture and the American identity through large garish sculptures, installations and performances constructed from wood. Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Rea received his MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries in Chicago, Houston, San Fransisco and Germany.

Renee van der Stelt’s new works on paper combine repetitive scoring and folding with graphite mark making. Beginning each piece with formal rules, her process reveals inherent imperfections in the handmade. Born in Grand Rapids, MI, she received an MA in Art History and an MFA from the University of Iowa. Van der Stelt recently was a resident artist at the MacDowell Colony, and the Roswell Artist in Residence program. She currently lives in Maryland, where she teaches Drawing and Professional Practices at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Jordan Bernier was born in Connecticut in 1983. He received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. His most recent solo exhibition, New Waves, opened at Nudashank in January. He is currently working towards an MFA at Towson University. Bernier resides at the Floristree artist space where he experiments with sound, video, screen printing, and drawing. His work observes repetitive uses of line, motion, and composition.

Applying self-devised formal rules to commercial needle point kits, Mary Smull marries the tropes of Conceptual Art to domestic needlework. Smull currently lives in Philidelphia, PA. She received her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2009. Her work has been exhibited recently at Public Fiction in Los Angeles, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, and is currently on view at Cranbrook Museum of Art; internationally, Smull has shown in Seoul, South Korea and Halifax, Nova Scotia. She teaches in the Fiber Department at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Marian April Glebes is an artist whose whose work addresses the futile, ridiculous, metaphoric, and temporary through site specific installations and art objects. She has exhibited in Baltimore, Washington DC, New York, and Chicago galleries. Marian received her MFA from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. She flirts with the Baltimore art and design scene as a curator, educator, and arts-district development facilitator.

Co-curator Christian Donnelly is a sculptor and furniture maker born in Baltimore. He received his BFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art and learned woodworking through a traditional cabinetmaking apprenticeship. The duality of art and craft in his training inspired an interest in luxury versus necessity, a conflict that affects the way we value objects and the processes by which we make them. His work examines this idea with perceptual and experiential manipulations of selected objects. Christian currently lives in Baltimore where he teaches sculpture at the Baltimore School for the Arts.

Philadelphia artist Michael Ellyson’s work addresses the mass production of popular and religious cultural iconography. He was born in 1962 in Nuuk, Greenland, and studied at both the college of Universitat De Barcelona in Spain and the Ecole Superieure D’Art De Lorient in France. Since 1962, his work has been internationally exhibited and is included in major museum collections in the Netherlands, Shanghai, Jerusalem, San Fransisco, and Jiaxing, China.

Co-curator Skye Gilkerson’s works on paper are intricate collages built with punctuation marks cut from magazines and books. Skye’s work is widely exhibited including recent shows with Samsøn Projects in Boston, Temple University Gallery in Philadelphia, and the DUMBO Arts Festival in New York. Skye was a 2011 Trawick Prize Finalist and has received artist residency grants with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and the Philadelphia Art Hotel. Recent curatorial projects include Strange Magic at Baltimore’s Guest Spot Gallery.

Jason Meyer is a Midwesterner learning to love the East. After receiving a BFA from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, he spent a decade in Chicago before moving to Charm City. His work maps Western culture’s relationship to the natural world through sculpture. He has shown nationally in Chicago, Miami and New York, drawing reviews in Sculpture, Art Papers, and various newspapers. Jason organized and curated Regeneration as part of the 2011 Baltimore Green Week and is co-curating Division of Labor.

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