Easy come, easy go...
Pop up, Ames! Design on Main, Ames IA
December 14, 2013
Last month, Ames’s Cart organized a pop up exhibition called Pop Up, Ames! They invited artists from Ames and surrounding areas to submit a piece for the show, all works accepted. Over 70 artists sprang at the opportunity.
In the afternoon before the reception, event organizers Tiberiu Chelcea and Lyndsay Nissen, installed works in semi-salon fashion along the walls, sculptures sat on pedestals with videos near the back. The show was packed. Lots to explore. I spent the evening visiting with both familiar and unfamiliar faces. Pop Up, Ames! provided a crossing ground for artists to meet other artists. It helped introduce who is who and who’s making what. You got to see what turns on the other makers within our small geographic region.
A range of mediums, subject matter and craft were present. On first glance, the group of work appeared disparate. Then, loose patterns and associations began to emerge. I started to see themes exploring food, sexuality, joy, non sexual nudity, collecting stuff, identity, nostalgia, weather, pop culture, place and cats. Narratives about what it means to be an artist living and making work in central Iowa were conveniently woven from the close proximity of the tight installation.
Notable: Kathyrn Corones’ lesbian garden of eden hung above the thermostat. Bob Ander’s installation Pick you Poison created from his collection of clock radios, each quietly picking up local air waves creating a barely audible hum. Lyndsay Nissen’s video of herself stumbling into a kitchen, tearing through the fridge nude in the light of an old barn projection. See more photos of all the works here.
At the end of the night, the show closed. The artworks got picked up and taken back into hiding until the next opportunity presents it’s self for sharing. The event was a massive show and tell. Ames Cart aims to make this an annual or biannual occurrence. Leaving the show, I was inspired by the function of the pop-up’s open call and short timeline alotted for planning, installing and viewing the show. It cracked open expectations of what you can do with an exhibition opportunity. Made it lighter, invited you to showcase your best work or maybe test something experimental on a crowd. The residual feeling from the show was reminiscent of the energy that came from the 2011 Sensory Overload pop up at the Whitter building in Des Moines. Here’s to more madness and spontaneity.
Rachel Buse makes sculpture. WEBSITE