Pot Boiler is a group exhibition featuring the work of nine artists. This varied and playful exhibition includes a collection of images and objects that range from surreal photographs of toys to large installations to performance-based work that activates viewer participation. What appears to be an almost childlike innocence in imagery and objects has metaphorical undertones that resonate in our personal and collective imaginations.
“This is the perfect summer exhibition,” says Elizabeth Goddard, Executive Director. “This exhibition is more about enjoying the playful nature of art and less about trying to decipher intricate concepts or abstract notions. This is not to say this work is less serious than previous exhibitions, but as a whole Pot Boiler’s references to childhood imagery and the fanciful combinations of materials and colors within the sculptures and installations offer viewers moments of pure aesthetic amusement and joy.” Participating artists include: Daniel Perry, Dylan Collins, Jonathan McFadden, Linda Wilson, PJ Mills, Tommy Taylor, Angela Carbone, David Bogus and Charmaine Ortiz.
There are several thematic threads that run through Pot Boiler. The first is the depiction of objects from childhood from the paintings of PJ Mills to the surreal tin-type photographs of toys created by Linda Wilson to the cartoon figures in Tommy Taylor’s mixed media pieces. These iconic references are immediately recognizable, although each artist’s approach is varied from highlighting a single object to the juxtaposition of several objects to create personal and collective narratives. The second thread seems to be a faint hint at nostalgia for everything simple; from the simpler non-electronic toys, to our intuitive response to the graphite sticks in the Alcove Gallery and our desire to express ourselves, to the unexpected use of everyday materials in McFadden’s large “Semi-Submersible” piece.
This notion of unfettered and uncomplicated permeates even the more visually complex works. The wonderful sculptures and drawings of Dylan Collins are fascinating hybrid works that combine human, animal and mechanical components. The sculptures of Daniel Perry combine unusual materials and forms that are humorous and unexpected. Within his work things appear to balance with an air of mystery, like visual riddles that beckon individual resolve.
One of the marketing strategies for Pot Boiler includes the deployment of over 50 toys downtown. At the beginning of July, over 50 small toys will be placed within walking distance of SAM; each toy includes a tag with exhibition information on it. Children and adults alike can keep an eye out for these toys and bring them into the museum during the Pot Boiler opening reception on July 16 from 5 to 8 p.m. to be eligible for some really great prizes from community businesses.
This innovative marketing strategy was developed by SAM’s Exhibition Coordinator and Graphic Designer Ashleigh Payne. “I started looking into guerilla marketing campaigns while studying graphic design at USC Upstate. With pretty limited marketing dollars I was really interested in trying a guerilla marketing campaign for SAM and Pot Boiler seemed like a great exhibition to start with. Our main goal is to engage the community with SAM in a fun and unique way, and this strategy also brings what SAM is doing at the museum out into the community.”
Exhibition dates for Pot Boiler are July 16 through September 17, 2015. The opening reception is on July 16 from 5 to 8 p.m., with an informal gallery talk at 6:30 p.m. There will be live music, fabulous food and refreshments. For more information please contact the museum (864) 582-7616 or visit spartanburgartmuseum.org. Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. andSunday 1-5 p.m., closed on Monday.