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The Fields Opening Day at Art Omi: June 16

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    Nari Ward: Scapegoat.
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    Lonnie Holley: These Sharing Eyes & The Lookers.
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    Sara Greenberger Rafferty: After Harry.
May 31, 2018 12:03 pm

GHENT — Art Omi presents Fields Opening Day 2018 on Saturday, June 16 from 1 - 4:30 p.m. Concurrent openings will inaugurate the inclusion of works by Tamar Ettun, Rachel Hayes, Lonnie Holley, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Nari Ward in The Fields Sculpture Park.

From the playful inflatable forms of Tamar Ettun to the grave contemplation embedded in work by Sara Greenberger Rafferty and Nari Ward, Fields Opening Day offers the opportunity to explore exciting new work by contemporary artists recently installed in the Fields Sculpture Park. Art Omi: Education will activate the Education Pavilions with a collaborative Block Party. All are invited to collaborate, experiment, and build with wooden planks and become a part of this day-long installation. In addition to the new sculpture works on view in The Fields, an exhibition of paintings by Thomas Nozkowski continues through September 4 in the Newmark Gallery in the Charles B. Benenson Center. Lunch and snacks will be available at Café Omi throughout the afternoon.

The Fields Sculpture park is free to visit, and open daily from dawn until dusk. All activities during Fields Opening Day are free and open to the public.

Nari Ward: Scapegoat

With a colossal faux-stone head that recalls the enormous busts of historical figures, this forty-foot long hobby goat toy can be understood as satire of masculinity and monument. In Scapegoat, Ward infantilizes the impulse towards the mammoth by the addition of handlebars and a precarious wheel of rusted steel and used tire. The title invokes individuals shamed and blamed by others, thereby addressing communal values and modes of inclusion and exclusion. Scapegoat appears courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.

Nari Ward (b. 1963, St. Andrew, Jamaica; lives and works in New York) is known for his sculptural installations composed of discarded material found and collected in his neighborhood. He has repurposed objects such as baby strollers, shopping carts, bottles, doors, television sets, cash registers and shoelaces, among other materials. Ward re-contextualizes these found objects in thought-provoking juxtapositions that create complex, metaphorical meanings to confront social and political issues surrounding race, poverty, and consumer culture. Nari Ward received a BA from City University of New York, Hunter College in 1989, and an MFA from City University of New York, Brooklyn College in 1992. Ward has received numerous honors and distinctions such as the Joyce Award, The Joyce Foundation, Chicago (2015), and the Rome Prize, American Academy of Rome (2012), and awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation.

Lonnie Holley: These Sharing Eyes & The Lookers

Two new wire and steel sculptures by Lonnie Holley, exploring themes of ancestry, tradition, and how humans coax beauty even from positions of despair. Said Holley about his recent work: “I think really what got me interested in the wire sculptures was my grandmothers ways of using materials, my father’s mother, she used to get up and go to our city lot every morning and she would rake out these big bundles of copper, brass or aluminum, and she would ball them up, crush them as tight as she could, and put them in barrels. And later they would take them as a recycled material to the junkyard. So one day I just took a bundle of this wire out of her trash container and I start unweaving it and I kept unwinding it and I ended up straightening it out. And I made this beautiful butterfly for her, and I hung it up in the house, and when she got home that evening, the butterfly was there and when she saw it, she started crying.”

“A lot of these things I’m doing now is part of my appreciation of my ancestry or to my peoples or to my mother, grandmother, great grandmothers. And so a lot of times you come up with a lot of faces in my works, a lot of times you’re going to see a lot of connections, a continuous fold or continuous binding into one big head. A lot of people say, well he’s bringing it from a traditional point of view. I didn’t know that much about other people’s habits, I only learned what I have learnt from my family-my grandfather on my mother’s side, and the steel works that he did working in the industry, my father, and whatever his work habits were, even my grandfather’s work habits, and my great grandfather.”

Since 1979, Holley has devoted his life to the practice of improvisational creativity. His art and music, born out of struggle, hardship, but perhaps more importantly, out of furious curiosity and biological necessity, has manifested itself in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, performance, and sound. His work is now in collections of major museums throughout the country, on permanent display in the United Nations, and been displayed in the White House Rose Garden. In January of 2014, Holley completed a one-month artist-in-residence with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva Island, Florida, site of the acclaimed artist’s studio.

Sara Greenberger Rafferty: After Harry

Created for the Public Art Fund in 2008, this work was originally sited at Metrotech Center in Brooklyn, a public plaza ensconced in the judicial center of Brooklyn. While the title After Harry explicitly references Harry Houdini-the famous magician that figured prominently in Greenberger Rafferty’s practice at that time-this work also alludes to the grave impacts of the judicial system. The courts are a place where justice is handed out and the terms of bondage are determined: will the invisible actor in this piece escape or be held in chains?

Sara Greenberger Rafferty has exhibited widely since 2001, including solo exhibitions at The Kitchen, New York; MoMA PS1, New York; Eli Marsh Gallery at Amherst College, Massachusetts; The Suburban, Illinois; and a commissioned sculpture for the Public Art Fund. In 2014, she participated in the Whitney Biennial; the Hammer Biennial; and had solo exhibitions in Portland, Oregon, Riga, Latvia, and New York. In 2015, her work was included in exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center in Georgia, and Galerie Andreas Huber in Vienna. In 2016, she mounted her 4th solo exhibition at Rachel Uffner Gallery; and had a solo project at Document in Chicago. In 2017, she opened a traveling museum show with accompanying fully-illustrated catalogue, published by SUNY Press.