Alt Exhibitions

Alt-Ex: Allen Spurlock, OVERSPRAY

Watch Video (click link):

On view: 07-Dec-2017 24-Jan-2018

(On view at the Upstairs & Big Room Galleries)

The title OVERSPRAY conveys the enthusiasm and, to some extent, the jubilant excess embodied by Allen Spurlock’s artistic practice. Overspray is the paint that goes where it shouldn’t when an artist uses spray paint or an airbrush (Spurlock uses both depending on what he is making). The blurred lines it creates can be used to stunning effect, which, of course Spurlock does with expertise.  What’s more important is the energy conveyed by accepting overspray into an artmaking practice; it projects nonchalance and a sense of freedom many people aspire to. I love the joy with which Spurlock jumps from one theme or subject matter or technique to another. My fairly buttoned up writing cannot live up to it. I have found I really enjoy the bright colors adorning the floor in front of Spurlock’s tags. We left that overspray because it seemed festive.
Enjoy Spurlock’s graffiti tags and oil paintings, that is what they are for. 

Benjamin M. Hickey
Curator of Collections & Exhibitions

Follow Spurlock on Instagram @allenspurlock, as well as @allenspurlockart and on Facebook @allenspurlockart.
Follow the Masur Museum of Art on Instagram @masurmuseum and on Facebook @masurmuseumofart.

Alt-Ex: Julian Montague, Secondary Occupants/Animals & Architecture

Watch Video (click link):

On view: 07-Dec-2017 24-Jan-2018

Secondary Occupants/Animals & Architecture

(On view at the Outside Gallery, the end of Art Alley by the train tracks!)

This Outside Gallery exhibition features two designs from Julian Montague’s ongoing series Secondary Occupants/Animals & Architecture. Secondary Occupants examines the relationship between animals and architecture on many levels. Montague is extremely interested in the symbiotic relationship between animals, architecture and, often, buildings’ decay. It is interesting to think about how these two portraits of spiders defy looking human, but are posited as images of tenants in a building  that is both decaying and being rejuvenated by the various art galleries associated with the Downtown Arts Alliance and Downtown Gallery Crawls. The most interesting conceit of Secondary Occupants is considering how each animal, humans included, co-habitat in spaces. It is a more difficult relationship to evaluate than one might imagine.

Series Statement Excerpted
Secondary Occupants Animals & Architecture is an ongoing series of projects that consider the animal/architecture relationship in a common conceptual space. At the center of that space is an unnamed fictional investigator who is the lens through which the work is made. The aims and motivations of this author are not entirely clear. However, clues to the logic behind his thinking can be found in elements of the project, particularly his reading materials.

The first phase of this project was called To Know The Spiders. The title was adapted from B. J. Kasten’s 1978 arachnology manual “How to Know the Spiders.” The project was a visual exploration of the spiders that live inside and on the exterior of buildings. The process began with the collecting and killing of a spider. I assigned the specimen a number and stored it in a glass vial. I then studied its face under a microscope and from the resulting drawings created a portrait of the spider in the form of a fabric banner. I then photographed the banner in the exact spot of collection. The banner illuminated the presence of a silent witness and sometime symbiotic partner while also serving as an ironic memorial to the spider that had to die for that understanding to be gained. The banners depict the faces of spiders reduced to their most basic shapes, the head, eyes, jaws and fangs. The photographs of the banners show them hanging in very mundane domestic settings, bedrooms, kitchens, and garages. Set against the familiar materials of everyday life, the banner image appears as an alien presence. 

For more information about Julian Montague and Secondary Occupants/Animals & Architecture, please visit It is worth the read. 

Follow Montague on Instagram @montagueprojects and on Facebook @montagueprojects.
Follow the Outside Gallery on Instagram @outsidegallery318 and on Facebook @outsidegallery.
Follow the Masur Museum of Art on Instagram @masurmuseum and on Facebook @masurmuseumofart.