Madison's spring Gallery Night takes place Friday, May 6, with art galleries of all shapes and sizes opening their doors for special exhibitions, showings and performances. The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is organizing the event, and has compiled a list of Gallery Night happenings. But that listing, though extensive, doesn't include every art event happening Friday night.
Here are three under-the-radar events worth at least a perusal. Tell your friends, or keep it on the down-low and brag about it all weekend; the choice is yours.
Ford's Gym, 2114 Winnebago St., 6-9 p.m.
This project promises to be one of the most unique of the night, listed or not. Co-creators Erin Hood and Marina Kelly, plus sound designer and technical director Jim Vogel, are taking over Ford's Gym for the night, using the boxing ring and its huge street-facing window to stage what Hood said could be labeled either a "durational performance" or a "live art event"
Defying traditional genre classification, the performance will meld choreographed movement and audience participation into semi-narrative form. If you're attending, says Hood, know that "there's a couple of different layers of audience to it. There's the two [volunteers] that will be in the ring. And we'll bring two new people into the ring every fifteen minutes." The volunteers (by advance sign-up -- go here for more information) won't actually be boxing, but will instead be both audience and part of the show. But if you're shy, don't fear; the space on the other side of that window will serve as a passive viewing gallery and will be wired for sound as well.
Either way you choose, it should be a mind-opening experience. "It's movement based in the sense that there's boxing, but it's also relationship based. It's kind of an investigation of what happens and what are the potentials for happenings in the spaces between two people," says Hood. "We're just kind of looking at potentials for intimacy and damage and recovery that you can feel in the space between two people."
What is Creativity
The Project Lodge, 817 E. Johnston St., 5:30-7:30 p.m.
In an email, Elizableth Lefebvre expounds on the singularity of the form. "Silk screening is a unique process in that if you are looking for perfection, you won't find it here. Each print is an original and no two are alike. The amount of ink on a screen, to the amount of pressure, makes each pull different from the one before and the one after. The uncontrollable accidents that happen along the way are what make this art form so unique."
There will be twelve artists on display Friday night, and while "creativity means something different to everyone," Lefebvre encourages the public to "try to define creativity for yourself and then come by our show and see if we got it right."
A Show Called 'Mark Bender': The Artwork of Guzzo Pinc
La Mestiza Downtown, 121 E. Main St., 10 p.m.
Guzzo Pinc is an exceptionally talented artist living in Ixonia, Wis., via Chicago and California, and his prints are worth a look. In email, event organizer Sam Johnson of Firecracker Studios explains, "I would describe the artwork as urban tribalism. [It's] a cross between graffiti, a hot climate and abstract." Intrigued? One of the works on display, entitled "Clown Twins," is painted with oil on jute (a burlap-like material) and features bright patches of red and white across an abstract rendering of, well, two clowns. It's nearly impossible to do justice in print.
As always, La Mestiza's location and top quality Mexican food and drinks will make for a festive gallery environment. If you come, says Johnson, expect "great music, great people and a party atmosphere. That's pretty much how we've always done our shows and that's what the people who attend seem to enjoy about them. Oh... and drink specials. We'll have those too."