Alumni Biennial: aggregate

September 2–October 18, 2009
Cole Caswell • Vasilios Gletsos • Eric Hongisto • Shannon Rankin • Aaron T Stephan

2009 Aggregate in ICA

The Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art & Design (ICA at MECA&D) will present aggregate, a juried exhibition exploring place, pattern, and permutation. An opening reception for aggregate will take place during the First Friday Artwalk, September 4, 5 – 8 pm. The works in aggregate employ a process of accumulation and assembly of parts to make a whole— each artist elaborates on an initial matrix. Individual objects such as books, maps, game pieces, or mold spores are treated as building-block components.

Five artists working in various media—painting, collage, photography, sculpture, and performance—manipulate the context and form of fragments to explore notions of geography, perception, and possibility. aggregate highlights new bodies of work by five alumni from MECA&D's Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts programs: Cole Caswell, MFA ’08; Vasilios Gletsos, Self Design ’01; Eric Hongisto, Painting ’97; Shannon Rankin, Graphic Design ’97; Aaron T Stephan, MFA ‘02.

The exhibition is a juried biennial accepting three to five artists whose work is connected by a common theme. Cole Caswell’s photographs of mold colonies are luminous studies in configuration, revealing structures analogous to human networks. Performance artist and puppeteer Vasilios Gletsos creates a playful, organic topography in which to stage journeys for his anti-hero, Baconface. Painter Eric Hongisto’s architectural interventions serve as extensions of the surrounding geography, making connections between local forms and phenomena. Shannon Rankin’s deconstruction of maps into intricately patterned installations explores the relationship between physical place and intangible experience. Sculptor and public artist Aaron T Stephan’s altered book structures are part of a practice that reconsiders familiar objects, pursuing material metaphors that question the substance of appearances.

Jurors for aggregate were Nick Capasso, Ph.D., Senior Curator at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park; David K. Ross, visual artist, art historian, and critic, Montreal; Ellen Wieske, Assistant Director at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts.

Exhibition organized by Linda L. Lambertson and Jill Dalton.