Two exhibitions at 516 Arts are part of STIR: A Festival of Words. Both run from September 6 to October 18th, 2008 and both incorporate poetry (see Book Lung).

Cautionary Tales: A Visual Dystopia

In an epoch in which our global community seems to be rapidly disintegrating politically, economically and most alarmingly, environmentally, this exhibit will present work by artists whose images reflect a world going/gone awry. This is a place where much is not well through misuse/abuse of the environment, where because of the failure of society as a whole to properly take care of itself and the world it exists in, we may actually be near the end of the world as we have always known it. These artists have a common theme of alarm and dismay, while at the same time finding haunting beauty and powerful personal expression in their words of caution to us all. Featured artists include Roger Ballen, Jeff Gibson, Robert Hirsch, Rhiannon Mercer, Lori Nix, David Ondrik, Robert Sullkin, Emily Trovillion, Laurie Tumer, Erika Wanenmacher, William Wilson and Cathy Wysocki. Curated by Holly Roberts.

Finding a Pulse

We trust in science and technology, along with human compassion and ingenuity, to fix broken bones, cure disease, protect drinking water, provide healthy food from healthy land. However, there is much that is in need of aid — from the health of living organisms and the environment, to human relationships and social institutions. Despite the odds, the need to rescue, nurture and protect remains strong. Psychologically, we turn to private charms and talismans, suits of armor, self preservation and faith in the powers of super heroes and deities to ward off possible harm and enforce justice. Physiologically, the living body’s ability to heal itself is a reflection of the larger systems of healing and regeneration found in nature. When darkness brews on the horizon, what survival kit could contain the means to fix or transcend obstacles? The artists in this exhibition come to the rescue with a visual silver lining in the dark clouds; a personal message of hope, healing and resuscitation. Curated by Rhiannon Mercer and John Photos, 516 ARTS.

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