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eco/logic | mailed review

Eco/Logic

Hybrid Exhibit: artists/activists/community

July 29 - September 13, 2008

[View event video by Clinton Haness here]


Eco/Logic: artists / activists / community

Striking a balance between Pretty Pictures and Doom and Gloom, Eco/Logic was an environmentally themed exhibit coinciding with Hawai'i Conservation Week.  This multidisciplinary exploration of environmental issues included an Open Call to Artists, invitations to key artists and neighborhood groups, Hawai'ian and environmental activists, commissions, and community projects.  Over 5,000 people saw this show and the collaborations initiated between the arts and environmental communities continues.

Participants: Open Call Hawkins Biggins, Kenna Doeringer, Dana Forsberg, Kris Goto, Clinton Haness, Mac James, Steph Langkamp, Aly Maderson-Quinlog, Loreen Matsushima, Patrick Mizumoto, Naomi Olson, Alex Preiss, Bruna Stude, Laurie Sumiye, Estefania Velilla, and Julie Weinberger.  Invitees Chris Reiner, Scott Groeniger, Scott Yoell (Big Island), Susan Maddux (Brooklyn), Vince Hazen, Marc Yoakum, Kirsten Simonsen, Carl Pao, Corinne Kamiya (Boston), Gary Sweeney (San Antonio), Melinda Morey (Kauai), Mike Takemoto (Maui), Molly Turner, and logo/postcard design by Mariko Merritt.  Special projects Celebrated prints of rare Hawai'ian species from "Remains of a Rainbow" by David Liittschwager and Susan Middleton courtesy of The Nature Conservancy of Hawai'i, and Mat Kubo's commissioned community art project "OffTheGrid: ActionFunUrbanSurvivalism" (matkubo.blogspot.com).

An unpublished review by Marcia Morse

"Eco/Logic," current at The ARTS at Marks Garage, is the kind of exhibition that Marks does best.  Timed to coincide with Hawai'i Conservation Week, the exhibition engages the fresh perceptions of artists to heighten the awareness of the community at large.  Invited or selected on the basis of an open call, more than thirty artists explore the issues that, while highlighted with a special day or week once a year, should really merit our constant vigilance-how do we conserve our resources and protect our environment?  How do we develop a sense of stewardship?  How do we malama'aina?  As with most exhibitions at this gallery that serves as a hub for Honolulu's downtown/Chinatown art district, "Eco/Logic" is something of a mixed bag, both visually and conceptually - but in this case that serves to reinforce both the idea that the problem is multi-faceted, and the understanding that solutions need to be diverse as well.  The works range from the minimal (like Kenna Doeringer's "Take One," a stack of 5,000 handouts with a primer on paper recycling - let's hope all these sheets get recycled too...) to the highly elaborate, like Mat Kubo's "Urban Survival," documenting a 3-week social experiment-cum-performance.  Some works take a gently humorous approach, like Corinne Kamiya's "Cage" constructions of paper, or Susan Maddux's "Light Industry" watercolors.  Others present a more somber perspective, Iike Loreen Matsusbima's mixed-media bucket of "Ocean Choke Trash" or Melinda Morey's painting "Our Legacy," with a departing car leaving an oil-slick in its wake.  One way or another, most works remind us of the delicate balance, the exquisite vulnerability of world we inhabit.  We are also reminded, via Gary Sweeney's wry assemblage of discarded signs, that "civilization is an interlude between ice ages"- and that there are potential consequences that exponentially exceed human care or neglect.

Collaborators The Nature Conservancy of Hawai'i, KAIIEA: The Hawai'ian-Environmental Alliance, Malama Learning Center, Evan Tector/Forward Foundation, Hawai'i Conservation Alliance, Sierra Club, KANU Hawai'i, Youth Speaks Hawai'i, Blue Planet Foundation, Honolulu Theatre for Youth, State Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hawai'i Nature Center, State of Hawai'i Department of Health, University of Hawai'i, DJ Travis T with KTUH, The Mayor's Office on Culture and the Arts, and environmental consultant Mike Lee.

Supporters This is the first exhibit of contemporary art at Marks to be partially funded by a generous two-year grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation.  Hawai'i Arts Alliance is a member of the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network.

Background The Hybrid exhibition format developed at Marks combines an Open CalI to Artists with invited artists, commissions and/ or community-based work to address important themes.  These exhibitions are intended to honor our commitment to the arts community and to our neighborhood businesses and residents.  An exhibit committee made up of members of Partner arts organizations based at Marks and members of the Alliance staff selects entries received for the Open Call portion of the Hybrid exhibition.  The Alliance staff lead by Creative Director Rich Richardson, are responsible for developing, curating, and coordinating Hybrid exhibitions including soliciting and selecting artists and art and commissioning work.

The ARTS at Marks Garage is the key community project of the Hawai'i Arts Alliance.   This collaborative gallery, performance and office space for businesses and non-profit organizations is working to transform downtown Honolulu with the power of the arts.

Eco/Logic July 29 - September 13, 2009 at The ARTS at Marks Garage Tel: 808-521-2903 Fax: 808-521-2923 info@artsatmarks.com www.artsatmarks.com 1159 Nu'uanu Avenue, Honolulu, Hawai'i 96817

Next Page Susan Maddux's 7 by 10 inch watercolor and pencil on paper, "Domesticated," was lost in transit, but not before finding its way into our hearts.

eco/logic | honolulu star bulletin | 8.24.2008

The concept of the pristine gallery, kept sanitized by exhibitions of "art for art's sake," loses its legs in a place like The ARTS at Marks Garage.  Here, collaborations with the Chinatown neighborhood in which its situated, and with groups who work for the betterment of the community, find their footing instead.

The latest in this multidisciplinary approach to creating art is "Eco/Logic," comprising activists and neighborhood groups alongside artists to explore the theme of environmentalism.

The show, which runs through Sept. 13, features the work of 16 artists who were selected from an open call, plus 13 invited artists.  It also includes the acclaimed photography of David Liittschwager and Susan Middleton, who documented rare Hawaiian species in "Remains of a Rainbow," which continues to tour the state.  The collection comes courtesy of The Nature Conservancy, which also contributed to the concept of the larger exhibition.

Another facet of the exhibit is a commissioned piece by artist Mat Kubo, who, courtesy of a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation, completed an experiment in survival without reliance on currency.  Kubo traded instead; he took fruits and vegetables from his home to the neighborhood and only ate what he could hunt or trade.  In developing his skills, Kubo rekindled a kind of relationship with neighbors that reflect an earlier time, when people were forced by necessity to get to know one another.

The results of his experiences are reflected in an installation of photos of the folks he met and the items he acquired from his trades.

Rich Richardson, creative director at The ARTS at Marks Garage, says the concept of "Eco/Logic," and all the gallery's multidisciplinary projects, is "to bring the arts community around a particular issue.

"This (project) was really gratifying.  We've done more than 80 shows here, and this one is one of my favorites.  Using the arts for something utilitarian -- using the power of the arts to tell a story that needs to be told -- is really worthwhile."

eco/logic | midweek | 8.8.2008

The ARTS at Marks Garage is hosting a new exhibit, Eco/Logic, which is intended to explore different environmental issues through the works of a variety of artists.

The exhibit, on display through Sept. 5, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

"It's a combination of invited artists, artists of the community and activists to talk about the environment," says Rich Richardson of the ARTS at Marks Garage.  "The environment is something that is on everyone's minds, and we're trying to inspire people to look at the issues from a fresh set of perspectives."

The exhibition is a collaboration by 31 artists and environmental activists sensitive to the subject.  Artists were chosen from past exhibitions and through public advertisements.  Once everyone was contacted, each was given an assignment.

"We'd given everyone about three months to come up with an artistic statement about the issues at hand," says Richardson.  "And I think we have a really nice show."

Installations, paintings, photography.  and everything else is on display, and if you missed First Friday this month, the exhibition will still be on view for the September art walk in Chinatown.

Art important aspect of the show is that it's easy on the eyes, says Richardson.  To avoid preaching to a crowd that appreciates art and hopefully, the messages behind it, all of the art is meant to inspire thought.

"It's not all pretty pictures, but it's not all doom and gloom." says Richardson.  "We really are conscious of the fact that a lot of people who are going to walk here are empathetic (to the message).  We don't want to be didactic."

Richardson hopes people walk away from the exhibition inspired and connected to current environmental concerns, "I want to make it exciting to participate in these issues and network the solutions," he says.   "I think we're trying to hype up the idea a bit - becoming more conscientious about our practices and think about sustainability."

-Matt Touhy

eco/logic | honolulu weekly august 6-12 volume 18 number 32 | 8.6.2008

With the eco-mania rampant, aesthetically-minded denizens are wondering what they can do beyond recycling and using canvas shopping bags.  How can sustainability look pretty?  Leave it to a downtown art gallery to come up with an answer.  Coinciding with Conservation Week, the Hawai'i Arts Alliance presents Eco/Logic.  An environmentally themed multi-media exhibit, Eco/Logic is an attempt at creating and perpetuating a comprehensive community approach to creating a more sustainable O'ahu.  The exhibit aims to bring artists, activists and the rest of the community together, partly by illustrating art from action and encouraging action from art-creating a constructive cycle without preaching to the choir or being too preachy in general.  (Although the black-lined drawing of a cow and the words, "You are breeding me to kill yourselves and destroy the planet" featuring the caption 'Dumb humans' below is questionable.)

Other pieces take a softer, yet still active approach to the theme.  Corrine Kamiya's series of delicate birdcages made from thin strips of paper, encasing still more thin strips of paper (perhaps a commentary on the nature and amount of our resources), is also accompanied by a stack of postcards.  The text on the cards explains her absence (she's currently at school in Boston) and an in-progress eco-friendly project in which anyone can participate.  In the spirit of Hawai'i's culture of sharing, you can mail Kamiya an old pair of pants and she will sew you a hat or bag.

Mat Kubo's project, ActionFunUrbanSurvivalism, chronicles his three-week experiment of living on only what he could pick, grow, catch, hunt or collect in urban Honolulu.  Kubo says the project has had a lasting impact on his lifestyle, and he continues to trade herbs and fruit from his garden for other food.  Before the adventure, Kubo felt "cynical and isolated as an artist." He found that sharing and creating community was more important than the food.

Sustainability needs to start with making connections.

If the exhibit inspires you to be ecological and make connections, network with other like-minded folk during the next First Friday.  Or chance it on who you might meet during the gallery's regular hours.

-Margot Seeto

just east of west | honolulu star bulletin | 8.5.2007

The "geography and culture of In-Between" is the theme of "Just East of West," the latest exhibit at The ARTS at Marks Garage, on exhibit through Sept. 1.

Twenty-three pieces of artwork "center on the phenomena of being where our aesthetic is influenced by the overlap of East and West," says Rich Richardson of Marks Garage.  "We're in a unique position globally to specialize in the merging of those influences.  Most communities have maybe two major groups.  We have the layering of so many groups in ours.  It's very unusual."

The show began with an open call to artists, wherein 130 pieces were submitted and 23 pieces by 17 artists were selected by the partners of Marks Garage.

In addition, isle artist Masami Doi also contributes three prints to the show, and a portfolio by 14 isle printmakers that deal with land use, titled "Plotting Paradise," comprise another facet of the show.  Another bonus in the exhibit is the unexpected contribution of a surfboard, shaped by Chinatown Boardroom's Eric Walden and painted by visiting Bhutanese monk Sangay Rinchen (see story on F1).

the happy show | honolulu weekly | 11.19.2003

"For some, happiness is about the satisfaction of various appetites.  San Shoppell offers to feed us, quite literally, while Kenna Doeringer's colored Plexiglas constructions are sophisticated eye-candy."