This summer, Oolite Arts will present two new exhibitions: “Lean-To,” Oolite’s annual artist-in-residence exhibition featuring works by 15 Miami-based artists, and “At The Edge,” highlighting six female artists who are working in hard-edge abstraction. Both exhibitions open Wednesday, June 8 at 924 and 928 Lincoln Road with a public reception starting at 7 p.m.
Inspired by the architectural form of a lean-to, a temporary, often improvised shelter, “Lean-To reimagines systems of support, ranging from the spiritual to environmental and economical, as well as preservation and care. Using varying media and personal entry points, many works examine how these structures manifest across time and space. Throughout the exhibit, artists reflect on current events and tangible themes, such as migration and justice.
“‘Lean-To’ has a double meaning,” said curator Leilani Lynch, who is the curator at The Bass Museum of Art and conceived the show while visiting the artists in their studios. “It’s a temporary structure, or improvised shelter, and it’s also symbolically leaning toward something in the future. Many of the artists are also thinking about care in some way – whether it’s the rituals they perform for self-care or their care for the community and the environment.”
The group of visual and cinematic art residents participating in the Lean-To exhibit work in a wide range of disciplines. They are: Jen Clay, Yanira Collado, Rose Marie Cromwell, Carolina Cueva, Co-residents Rev. Houston R. Cypress & Jean Sarmiento, Mark Fleuridor, Friday, Felice Grodin, T Eliott Mansa, Reginald O’Neal, Edison Peñafiel, Ema Ri, Greko Sklavounos and Roscoè B. Thické III.
Several of the artists have created new or site-specific works for the exhibition. O’Neal will create a space that represents a prison cell where his father was incarcerated. O’Neal will also display a painting along with a real garden that will be inaccessible and will slowly die during the exhibition, symbolizing his father’s disconnection from the outside world. Ema Ri is planning a multi-sensory installation using dried flowers that guests can walk through and will activate all five senses. Meanwhile, Collado will transform part of an installation she created at Emerson Dorsch Gallery, reformatting sections of wall into a freestanding sculpture that reflects on history and memory held in materials and architecture.
About “At The Edge”
“At The Edge” is an exhibition of female artists using abstraction to investigate and challenge the boundaries of material, process, and environment. Co-curated by Oolite’s Programming Senior Manager Amanda Bradley and President and CEO Dennis Scholl, the exhibit surveys abstraction as a space that lies at the edge.
“A key component of this show is that abstraction can provide the space to evoke the same deeply-held emotions as more naturalistic works of art,” Bradley said. “These artists are using abstraction to respond to notions of labor, resistance, and transformation.”
“At The Edge” features works by Nathalie Alfonso, Georgia Lambrou, Devora Perez, Jennifer Printz, Karen Rifas and Donna Ruff. Their approaches to abstraction are built from interdisciplinary practices that span both two- and three-dimensional space.
“In a way, abstract work also functions like poetry,” said Printz, who participated in Oolite Arts’ 2021 Home + Away travel residency program at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. “There is a condensation of meaning into forms and the visual patterns within a piece of abstract art – it can say so much about experience, time, and human nature with so little.”