Archive for The Sweet Meat Co.

Inward glimpses: “Spyglass” by Sarah C. Rutherford & Brandon Colaprete

Posted in review with tags , , , , , on June 2, 2012 by Rebecca

This post originally appeared on Rochester City Newspaper‘s art blog.

A detail from “Spyglass,” on view at 1975 Gallery through June 16. PHOTO BY REBECCA RAFFERTY

This world hasn’t lost its wonder and its magic for Sarah Rutherford – in fact she insists upon its presence and will manifest it, conjure it up from scavenged detritus wherever it’s not readily apparent. And those who also feel the sweet tug of the beautiful mystery are drawn to her luminous work like so many sleepy little moths, shaking the dust from their wings and hovering about, fascinated. On Thursday, May 31, a flurry of us swarmed to the lantern-lit preview of her new installation, “Spyglass,”created this time not with art collective, The Sweet Meat Co., but with architect Brandon Colaprete. The show is installed at the former Little Bakery spot on Charlotte Street, which will be the future, permanent home of the nomadic-no-longer 1975 Gallery.

On the approach toward the former bakery from Main Street, viewers first spy a whorl of wood surrounding a window and creating a portal; the other side of the building is illustrated with a dreamy mural of clockwork crows.

Once inside, visitors navigate distorted, twisting walls into a created room within a room, where they step into nooks or peek through globes and various found lenses into wee spaces populated by cut-out figures, animals, bones, books, gears, feathers, and all manner of natural nuance. Weatherworn warrior women stand strong, alone, or make silent appeals to elusive, reliable menfolk.

Coming from a background of painting and drawing, Rutherford says “it was wonderful working with someone who thinks in more three-dimensional terms.” Her creative partner in this exhibition is Brandon Colaprete, an architect with Chaintreuil Jensen Stark Architects, which is the firm behind the Eastman Theatre Expansion & Renovation project. In creating “Spyglass,” Rutherford felt herself starting to think differently about space. “The 2-D objects, the crows/figures, etc., became the same as the lumber – all just parts of a whole piece,” she says.

“Brandon pushed me to work in a more planned manner, at least with the overall concept/building of skeleton, and I pushed him to loosen up,” she says. “This wasn’t a building or a permanent thing we were creating. It was a place to explore ideas and concepts in a more organic way. We were creating something that will be destroyed after two weeks of being finished. I think that freedom was fun for him, but also a challenge.”

The setting feels like a fragile, broken down sylvan cathedral, a sacred spot protected by all things capably feral. And like any stumbling upon the fae world, it might not be there the next time you visit. Above the reconstructed bits of architectural salvage, more clockwork crow illustrations soar among lights and cut paper which casts layers of shadows above and below. A life-sized, seated king-of-the-forest figure presides over the scene, but various beings watch viewers from every direction. Step up to one nook to find a secret boy child on high, spying down on all.

Like all of Rutherford’s endeavors, “Spyglass” is rife with unexpected nuance, and discovering it all could fill many hours. The origin of Spyglass began with a piece Rutherford created for last year’s Sweet Meat Co. installation, “Welcome to Sweetsville,” in which she used lenses given to her by 1975 Gallery owner and fellow Sweet Meat artist, Erich Lehman, to create a little viewing box with materials scavenged from an abandoned warehouse. “I wanted to play with that same idea but on a smaller scale – drawing the viewer into a private, intimate viewing experience,” says Rutherford. “After the show, I couldn’t stop thinking about what it would be like to make a whole room act in the same way – playing with the idea on a large scale and also on a intimate scale.”

Scavenging materials for the art is ever a part of the process for Rutherford and her friends. “It’s what I do, it’s what the crows do, it’s how this show was built. We as artists are scavengers – whether we use found materials or simply scavenge ideas and visual reference from our environment,” she says.

“The crows also have such impact for me as a visual reference for Rochester,” says Rutherford. “They are an integral part of our community and so powerful when they unite as this huge group or murder of birds. It’s in the same way that I look at our community. We are all uniquely beautiful, different, but coming together has its own power that could never be created working alone.” Though “Spyglass” was primarily created by the artist pair, Rutherford says “the wonderful group of people who participated both with labor and with support are both why it exists and what fuels me.”

“For this show, it was important to me that nothing was “for sale,” says Rutherford. “I truly wanted the show to be something that was about the experience and also heavily built around impermanence.” But after working on two Sweet Meat Co. installations, Rutherford was aware of how expensive they can become. Her solution was to create an eventual takeaway component of the exhibit: each person who donates $40 dollars towards the show will receive one of the crow drawings at its completion. “I liked this idea instead of simply asking one or two people to fund the whole exhibit – this way it is funded by the community,” says Rutherford. “They are the reason it exists.”

Rutherford’s breadcrumb trail might soon appear in different cities. “This installation was very much based around the building – its shape and flow, but also based around Rochester,” assembled from “discarded and forgotten pieces of our fine city,” says Rutherford. “I would love to work on this idea in a different city, using its fabric to see how that would translate.”

“For me, this show doesn’t feel “complete”, its an exploration, a part of a whole,” says Rutherford. Each installation feels to her like a chapter from a book – they are completed in a finite period of time, build momentum and background from the last endeavor, and create anticipation for what will come next.

“Spyglass: A Viewing Experience”
by Sarah C. Rutherford & Brandon Colaprete
1975 Gallery, 89 Charlotte Street
Saturday, June 2, 4-10 p.m.
Limited Showings from June 5-16:
Tuesday-Friday 6-9 p.m., Saturday 4-8 p.m.
OurSpyglass.com, 1975ish.com

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First Friday 4/2 preview bits n’ pieces…

Posted in first friday, upcoming shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2010 by Rebecca

It’s time again for your monthly First Friday travels, and your dose of fresh new art happenings in the city…

Visit firstfridayrochester.org for a list of participating venues, or check out all the fliers in cafes for the indie ones. Make sure to put these on your itinerary:

Step into “Other Worlds” at Rochester Contemporary Art Center with colorful, whimsical, new sculpture by Paul Knoblauch and densely packed drawings by John Kastner, including his recent illustration project of Nannette Nocon’s “What’s UP with Yuk?

FourWalls Art Gallery and Thievin’ Stephen Dorobiala will present “On the Cut,” a stencil show featuring the talented Thievin’ Stephen, Crook (FUA), Downer, Biles, Jeff Copp, Kurt Ketchum and The Sweet Meat Co’s: MR. PRVRTSarah Rutherford, and St. Monci. Enjoy live turntablism by The NYAC Crew (Fresh Fingaz, Tim Tones, Silly Cutty, & Naps), a performance by the neo-funk band Lifeforms, and a video installation by The NGB.

The Record Archive is keeping the fabulous Allie Hartley’s lovely-dark illustrations and mixed-media mummy sculptures in house for another month!

Gallery r will be showing the Senior Fine Arts Studio Exhibition, and similarly, Image City Photography Gallery is hosting “Through the Student Lens,” an impressive show of student – and teacher – work.

Just around the corner in the same building is Gilded Square Picture Framing and Gallery, with the First Friday reception for the current showing of Lanna Pejovic’s “New Work: Paintings, Drawings, Prints.”

*This is a modified version of my FF bit originally printed in City Newspaper.

Fresh & Sweet.

Posted in art collectives, pop-up galleries, upcoming shows with tags , , , on March 3, 2010 by Rebecca

Art Front’s maiden voyage will focus on a recent shiny newness that Rochester’s art scene sorely needs: independent, audacious initiative, and the community’s attention and support. So, I’m about a month late with this, but I’m still excited to share…

Sweet Meat Co. panoramic

A panoramic shot of The Sweet Meat Co.'s EXTRAVAGANZA, yoinked from their flickr site.

Recently formed art collective The Sweet Meat Co. is comprised of talented young painters, graphic designers, and street artists including Sarah Rutherford, Lea Rizzo, St. Monci, Mr. Prvrt, and Erich Lehman of 1975 Gallery at Surface Salon. Naming their group for the old-timey term for candy, the collective pays homage to the Hungerford [which used to be a flavored syrup factory] where, on 01.30.10, they debuted the fruits of their one-month collaborative project. With guest artists Jordan C. Greenhalgh and Anjolee Wolfe, Sweet Meat Co. rented a 2500 square foot raw space in the Hungerford and completely rehabbed the place into an incredibly cohesive, multi-media art installation using paint and discarded objects found in the building.

Sweet Meat Co. Sarah Rutherford

Sweet Meat indeed. Photo by The Sweet Meat Co.

Both the opening and closing receptions [a week apart] were packed, signaling to the group that the community’s behind what they’re doing. The collective plans on continuing this pop-up gallery business all around the city, so pay attention.

The Hungerford was a “good starting point,” Rutherford says, because they were allowed the freedom to completely alter the space during the month of their collaboration. The group endeavor began with a few of the artists who had exhibited in Lehman’s gallery, and most of the members barely knew each other. Then more artists were invited in, a meeting was held last November, and things progressed from there.

“I really craved the community of working with other artists; it was a lot more challenging but very rewarding at the end,” Rutherford says, noting that seven artists who all have different work schedules, and are used to creating their art solo, makes for some complications. “But in that last week [before the show], everything just emerged and came together.”

The work of MR. Prvrt and St. Monci can be seen this Friday [Mar 5] at 1975 Gallery’s Saints & PRVRTS show, and at least three of the members will have work in Thievin’ Stephen Dorobiala’s ON THE CUT stencil show at FOURWALLS Gallery opening April 2.

on the cut

Save that date!