Center Gallery Exhibitions

Southern Tier Biennial 2017 Best of Show
Schuyler Dawson, Ways of Seeing: The Things I Thought I Knew.

September 21 - October 26, 2018



Opening Reception | Friday, September 21, 6-8 p.m.
Hors d'eouvres and refreshments will be served.

In 2017, Schuyler Dawson was named Best of Show winner of the Southern Tier Biennial. Sixty-two artists entered more than 165 pieces of work for the juried competition. Claypatch's work was chosen from the 50 accepted artists by two prestigious members of the Western New York art community: Thomas Paquette of the Crary Gallery Board of Directors in Warren, PA and Tullis Johnson curator and manager of archives at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

"My artistic practice is an exploration in ways of seeing, of finding meaning in the mundane, of finding value in the debased. In my sculptures I have been explore the creation of tension and balance between found objects. I am attracted to old broken objects: rusty trinkets, rotten lumber, fallen branches, peculiar rocks. In my studio, I examine how to present these objects I am fascinated with in a way that highlights and strengthens their curious nature to the viewer. There is a moment of empathy for me in the struggle of these discarded objects; the exploration of found objects led me to the question of how I can use the visual language of the old and the discarded as a metaphor for anxieties and struggles of our own conscious existences. If I can place an old branch or a broken watch in a situation where the viewer pauses to empathize with these objects, objects that in any other context may be considered passable junk, then perhaps the viewer can find some significant meaning in some of the seemingly inconsequential aspects of their own lives. To generate these opportunities for empathy I utilize found lumber as the framework for systems of balance and tension. For instance, balancing a 14-foot-long, old wooden board on a single post, then using rope tied between a broken knife and a counterweight to create a system or moment of precarious equilibrium. From these systems and moments, the question then arises: how can various materials function as objects of weight and how can those weights create opportunities for moments of empathy or understanding of a struggle? I began with more functional (although broken) readymade objects (knives, watches, and stones to name a few) and moved onto casting my own weights out of concrete. Using concrete as a weight to pull against the found objects allows the viewer to directly understand the weight and tension created by the concrete at the end of a rope. In a complementary vein, my photographs explore themes of mystery and wonder in the everyday and the debased. I abstract old, broken materials until they become microcosms of fantasy, allowing us to project in wonder our own meanings and realities onto them. Both practices are an examination of ways of looking at the world and an attempt to find wonder in unlikely places."
~ Schuyler Dawson

The Tri-County Arts Council works in collaboration with Jamestown Community College to produce this exhibition. The Center Gallery is located on the second floor of the College Center (COLL) building, on the Cattaraugus County campus of Jamestown Community College. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m.-3 p.m. The gallery is closed on weekends and all college holidays.

All events free and open to the public.

525 Falconer Street, Jamestown NY 14701 716.338.1300 | www.sunyjcc.edu