"Everything we do speaks the self, and the day is a book we keep on reading."
- Art of the Ordinary, Richard Deming
The Community Arts Network of Oneonta (CANO) and the Living Archive Project are pleased to announce The Day is a Book We Keep on Reading, a small group exhibition from Friday, March 31 through April 22, 2023. Artists include Adrianna Newell, Christina Hunt Wood, Ellen Blalock, Jacinta Bunnell, and Jonathan Macagba.
Each artist in this show uses everyday objects, routine actions, and often overlooked moments to explore identity or personal histories and capture a sense of place. According to curator and exhibiting artist Christina Hunt Wood, the goal is to show how the mundane can be a powerful and authentic tool for communicating one’s lived experience through art.
Oneonta’s Adrianna Newell is exhibiting photos documenting their morning ritual as a Black woman. Common objects are set against a chic, Pepto-pink background, but even in this studio setting, the objects remain true to themselves—a piece of toast on a plate includes scattered crumbs, and a set of combs includes the glisten and stain of oils and pomades with strands of hair tangled into their teeth. https://www.adriannanewell.com/
Multimedia artist and the show’s curator, Christina Hunt Wood, is based in Delhi and works within the themes of rural life and everyday expressions of power. Her video work uses the “how-to” genre to explore the way ideas from multiple influences can come
together and become a dissonant cultural belief. In her assemblages, Wood uses beer can litter found on the backroads of our region to make visually attractive and conceptually unnerving works of art that provide evidence of everyday aggressions made against the land. https://www.christinahuntwood.com/
Syracuse-based quilter, Ellen Blalock presents two quilts in the African American story quilt tradition. Her pieces replace quilts that were stolen from her family while also passing down her family’s history—one that also tells the disproportionately high incarceration rate of Black men in America. https://ellen-blalock.squarespace.com/
Hudson Valley-based artist, Jacinta Bunnell uses old keys, decorated with paint and handmade yarn lanyards, as a metaphor for their childhood as a “latchkey kid” in the 80s. “Jacinta spent their days home alone crafting for hours—it kept them busy and from feeling alone. Jacinta has created joyful work that acknowledges that part of their lived experience and is a monument to other latchkey kids. https://www.jacintabunnell.com/
Jonathan Macagba’s photos were taken during the Covid-19 shutdown after the regular practice of documenting his everyday observations around his Brooklyn neighborhood was forced indoors. Common household objects, such as a lemon or an avocado, began taking on a new meaning. A small toy figurine placed on a table beside a lemon suddenly felt like an encounter in a magical land. http://www.jmwork.com/#/img/17
In conjunction with the exhibition, there is an interactive wall where visitors are provided with a prompt and invited to illustrate their responses. The wall will be photographed and included as part of the living archive at the show's conclusion. Additionally, Wood will offer a youth workshop on April 8 from 2-4 pm at CANO called “This Boring Life: Making the Ordinary Interesting,” where students will experiment with drawing, video, assemblage, and photography.
CANO’s Gallery hours are Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 12:00 to 2:00 pm (except holidays). For more information about other programs of the Living Archive Project visit www.livingarchive-catskills.org or visit CANO’s website at www.canoneonta.org for more information about their programs. This exhibition is made possible with a Creatives Rebuild New York Grant.