BUCKHANNON, WEST VIRGINIA, October 12, 2022 — ART26201 will present “A DAY OF CREATION,” a solo exhibition by artist Brian Michael Reed, Saturday, October 22, 2022, at the M.I.B. GALLERY in the Colonial Arts Center.
There will be an opening artist’s reception from 4 to 8 p.m., and Reed will give a special introduction at 5 p.m. Reservations are recommended for the artist’s introduction, and they can be emailed to info@ART26201.com.
In addition to the opening event on October 22, the M.I.B. GALLERY will be open from 4-8 p.m. every Friday and Saturday through December 10.
All events at the M.I.B. GALLERY are free and open to the public. Significant financial assistance for the Colonial Arts Center Rehabilitation project has been provided by the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History; ART26201; Buckhannon Community Theatre; West Virginia Split Rail; and the FirstEnergy Foundation.
About Brian Michael Reed:
Brian Michael Reed grew up in Clay County, with family roots going back many generations in West Virginia. A conceptual, multi-media artist, he draws his creative energy from his study of a wide variety of cultural experiences, global religions, mythology, and art.
He has had solo exhibitions at the Huntington Museum of Art; Shanghai Himalayas Art Museum and Hanshan Art Museum in Suzhou, China; Governor’s Island and at Chair and Maiden gallery in New York City; The OAS Art Museum of the Americas in Washington, D.C.; and the West Virginia Cultural Center in Charleston.
Reed studied with African and Afro-American scholar Robert Farris Thompson at Yale University in the History of Art Department and earned a B.A. and B.F.A. in Painting and Art History from James Madison University. He has received awards and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the West Virginia Division of Culture, and he has favorable reviews in the New York Times, Washington Post, and West Virginia Living magazine. He divides his time between studios in New York City, and Ivydale, West Virginia.
I am a pictorial anthropologist who creates works of art in a broad range of media, which include painting, sculpture, and installation. Within my works are stories containing cross-cultural self-portraits, chronicling my curiosities about history, mythology, and the symbols that cultures create to express themselves.
The inspirations for many of my works originate from a reverence of nature. As a boy, my wanderlust brought me to explore the woods and creeks of my family’s farm, and worlds beyond through images in my National Geographic magazine collection.
Cultural communication projects and artist-in-residence programs are important tools in my art practice. Living in different regions and environments has become a key part of my art practice where I create works based on experiences and interactions, recorded thoughts, and observations from my daily life. Over the past decade, I’ve lived, studied, and worked in China, Japan, and Indonesia, and that has sculpted my sense of design and aesthetics in unique ways when overlaid with the Appalachian folk art style I grew up with.
The exhibition title, A Day of Creation, contextualizes that the works contained therein have been created or derived for the purpose of conveying a mythical and/or magical story. Each individual or group of work arranges elements and objects to enhance and project forces of nature and spiritualism. Specifically for this exhibition, I focused on ideas and physical objects found within the Holly, Cherry, and Elk River watersheds, where I grew up and continue to live today. Seeds, shells, and feathers are among the materials I use to embellish weighty wood staves and salvaged locust fence posts from my family farm.
Underpinning this body of work is my thoughtful intention to have objects project meaning derived from how I experience the world around me. As a collector of natural curiosities since youth, imbuing personal and metaphorical significance in found objects is my way of giving spiritual depth to my artwork. I have arranged sculptural assemblages in a metaphorical magical forest, containing elemental forces with relationships to fire, wind, water, sounds, and flight, as well as paintings of creatures and spirits living in this forest.
In the work titled Thunderbolt, I used feathers to grant this assemblage the power of flight, which exists between heaven and earth but is out of reach from both god and man. Red, orange and yellow melt down the burnt wooden post and seep into copper nails, which bind electrical spirits to the work, activating a power to wield lightning. Next is Here Come the Crows, a watercolor of abstracted crows that invites us to think of the associations of power and spiritualism that the crow can represent.
ART26201 is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “celebrate and promote the creative and inspirational opportunities in the Buckhannon community.” For more information about ART26201 projects, and for ways to provide financial or volunteer support, email info@ART26201.com or visit their website at www.ART26201.com.