This past September I currated a show, ‘Tin: The Element of Surprise’ for the Edwardsville Art Center. As the name suggests, the unifying element connecting the artists in the show is the use of repurposed tin cans in their work. This was an exciting project for me because ever since I laid eyes on Bobby Hansson’s book, ‘The Fine Art of the Tin Can’ I thought it would be amazing to see a show dedicated to artists working with this material.
Tin cans are covered with color, images and text designed to lure and entice us to purchase the products they contain. However, once the product is consumed, the can has served its intended purpose and it is considered refuse. For the artists in this exhibition tin containers are an irresistible material and besides their decorative exteriors, they are appealing because of what they say about us as consumers referencing culture, time, politics and taste. These references can be manipulated in an infinite number of ways to create new meaning in relationship to form and while recycling is not the focus of this exhibition it does illuminate what can be done when creative and intelligent thinking are applied to post-consumer materials.
If you didn’t get a chance to see this show at the Edwardsville Arts Center in Edwardsville, Illinois, it will travel to three additional venues: Montana State University, in Bozeman, Montana where it will be on display in the Helen Copeland Gallery through December 2010. Next it will travel to East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina and will run concurrently with their annual metals symposium through January 2011. http://ecusymposium.wordpress.com/ The next stop is at the College of the Albemarle in Manteo, North Carolina and will be the inaugural show in their new gallery space set to run from mid February through March 2011.
Artists include: Bobby Hansson, J. Fred Woell, Robert Ebendorf, Robert Villamagna, Kathryn Cole, Teri Blond, Ted McDonah, Kim Overstreet and Robin Kranitzky, Harriete Estel Berman, Robbie Barber, Tim Lazure, Leonard Streckfus, Judith Hoyt, Ellen Wieske, Marissa Saneholtz, Daniel Anderson, Bryan Petersen, Stephen Yusko, Kelly Robinson, Donna McCullough, Margaret Couch Cogswell, and Jane Wells Harrison.