Trustman Art Gallery

Not Really Practical

Janice Jakielski, Warren Mather and Janice Redman

November 9 - December 14

Opening Reception:
Thursday, November 14, 5-7 p.m.

Simmons University presents Not Really Practical, an exhibit of sculptural mixed media, from November 9-December 14 at the Trustman Art Gallery, located on the fourth floor, Main College Building, 300 The Fenway in Boston. A reception from 5-7 p.m. will be held on Thursday, November 12. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. The gallery will be closed on November 11 and 25-27.

This exhibit wittily examines objects gone awry. The artists contravene our expectations concerning utility and materials. We tend to associate certain media, such as ceramics, with practical craft. But Warren Mather and Janice Jakielski claim the media and re-purpose it for their own conceptual ends. Jakielski and Janice Redman co-opt domesticity and its association with practicality. Apparel and utensils are intentionally rendered unusable through sculptural transformation. These strategies make us consider the homely and conversely, the frustrations these items of material culture impose.

Janice Jakielski has an M.F.A. in Ceramics, but her present practice combines ceramics with felt, fabric, wood and paint in highly inventive ways. She describes her objects as a paring down of interaction with an overwhelming world. Her piece Carefree, made of porcelain and mixed media, is a bonnet with blinders.

Warren Mather has been working with clay for many years and received a Massachusetts Cultural Council grant in 2015. His stoneware – exploding Coffee Blue, defies gravity and makes a liquid solid. The proper cup and saucer cannot contain the energy within. This cup along with others on exhibit, are anti-user. They are sculptural, not practical, expressing the psychological feeling of being hyper-caffeinated. The interplay between the contained and containers fascinates Mather.

Janice Redman thwarts the alleged user of her objects. Ordinary kitchen implements in her Covert Utility series are rendered useless. Spoons are bound in bilious pink felt or sunk into plaster. These spoons now serve no domestic purpose. Redman employs an intuitive process, working with disparate media but the work implies either subjugation or vexation as she mysteriously joins or deconstructs the constituent parts.

Trustman Art Gallery hours are 10 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, 10 AM – 7 PM on Wednesday and Thursday. The gallery is free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible. For more information, contact Kyle Mendelsohn at (617) 521-2268 or find us on Instagram.