Work by Katrina Sánchez Standfield, BIG BODY PLAY (installation), 2021. Photo: Jessica Swank.

On Display: “BIG BODY PLAY” by April Dauscha

Originally I planned to curate this exhibition, BIG BODY PLAY  for the summer of 2020, but we all know how that story ends. Instead, the show came together this summer, just in time for a much needed summer respite. What better timing could we need – it’s the summer of freedom and fun – traveling, hugging our loved ones for the first time in a year and a half, eating at restaurants, looking at art (in person!), sitting on our porches with wine, and taking long walks in the cool evenings. That summer feeling seem to perfectly align with both the BIG BODY PLAY exhibition and Surface Design Association’s summer journal, Spontaneity and Play in Fiber Art.  This summer required the theme of PLAY, did it not?

Work by Katrina Sánchez Standfield, BIG BODY PLAY (installation), 2021. Photo: Jessica Swank.

As one of the founding members, a curator, and now Gallery Director, for Tiger Strikes Asteroid Greenville (TSA GVL) and as the Fiber Arts Instructor for the Fine Arts Center (FAC), I was thrilled to curate the next TSA GVL exhibition and install it in FAC’s beautiful Sheffield Wood gallery. What I’m even more excited about is to see the reactions of the students who will come through the doors in just a few short weeks to finally experience this fun show, in person and on their campus. My hope is that it not only offered a fun exhibition for the community to see this summer, but it will also act as a teaching tool to the visual arts students at the FAC – this is what happens when you PLAY in your studio, when you pick up a material that you’re drawn to and see what it does. It’s also a lesson on not taking art so seriously – humor and art never looked so good together. 

Work by Katrina Sánchez Standfield, Jamie Bull, BIG BODY PLAY (installation), 2021. Photo: Jessica Swank.

Work by Madison Creech, Matthew Creech, Jamie Bull, Coorain, BIG BODY PLAY (installation), 2021. Photo: Jessica Swank.

BIG BODY PLAY  is an exhibition that uses humor and imagination to explore the banality of the everyday. This show uses playful colors and materials, in plush, oversized forms to celebrate boredom, experimentation, and absurdity. Addressing themes of the body, pop culture, nostalgia, and domesticity, this collection of soft sculptures highlights the fascination these artists have with their materials and their love of “playing” in the studio. These works push scale while using current material culture as inspiration – these objects tell personal narratives, make punny jokes, and address our need for recreation and distraction. The show features work by Amelia Briggs, Andrea Vail (SDA Board Member), Coorain, Jaime Bull, Kat Sánchez Stanfield, Madison Creech, Matthew Creech, Mindy Sue Wittock, and Natalie Baxter.

Work by Madison Creech, Matthew Creech, Natalie Baxter, BIG BODY PLAY (installation), 2021. Photo: Jessica Swank.

Work by Mindy Sue Wittock, BIG BODY PLAY (installation), 2021. Photo: Jessica Swank.

If you live in the Southeast, this show is definitely worth the drive and is on exhibition through September 10th. Gallery hours are Monday–Thursday, 10 am–4 pm. A closing reception will be held on Friday, September 10th from 6–8 pm including artist presentations and a performance by Coorain from 6:30 pm–7 pm. 

Work by Amelia Briggs, Andrea Vail, BIG BODY PLAY (installation), 2021. Photo: Jessica Swank.

Work by Coorain, Natalie Baxter, BIG BODY PLAY (installation), 2021. Photo: Jessica Swank.

Tiger Strikes Asteroid Greenville is the newest part of the Tiger Strikes Asteroid network of artist-run spaces and joins locations in Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. They are a platform for artists that is curated and organized by a group of artist-volunteers. Their mission is to create the physical, mental, and emotional space for artists to show their work, meet, and exchange ideas on their own terms. TSA GVL will specifically focus on connecting the art communities in Greenville and the greater Southeast to the global art world. TSA was founded in 2009 in Philadelphia and is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

The Fine Arts Center (FAC) of Greenville County School District was established in August of 1974 as the first pre-professional arts school in the state of South Carolina for gifted and talented high school students in the Fine, Visual, and Performing Arts.  Since its opening, thousands of students have chosen to become members of this unique community in which individual talent and expression are nourished in a supportive environment and stimulated by instructors who are themselves highly regarded professionals in their fields.  The Fine Arts Center offers the highest level of instruction in Architecture, Creative Writing, Dance (Ballet and Modern), Digital Filmmaking, Music (Chamber Strings, Jazz, Voice, Winds/Brass/Percussion), Theatre (Performance and Design/Production), and Visual Arts.  

Gallery Hours:
June 7th – September 10th
Monday – Thursday
10am – 4pm

Sheffield Wood Gallery
102 Pine Knoll Drive
Greenville, SC 29609

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