Out There: Photographs in the Spirit of Jeremy Ayers

March 18 – April 23, 2017
Curated by John English and Assistant Jillian Girardeau
Opens Saturday 3/18/17 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm

“Out There!  Photographs in the Spirit of Jeremy Ayers” features recent work from the late Ayers as well as from other photographers who share his quirky, iconographic aesthetic.

Ayers (1948-2016) was a fixture in the Athens avant garde art scene, a supporter of and participant in ATHICA, and a multi-talented artist who was a songwriter, playwright and fine art photographer. Considered by many to be a primogenitor of the Athens music scene, Ayers returned to Athens after a stint in NYC during which he was a member of Andy Warhol’s factory. The exhibition celebrates his joy for living as an artist and his legacy of influence on and collaboration with decades of Athens musicians, artists, and friends.

English and curating assistant Jillian Girardeau selected 33 photos from Ayers’ body of work in both New York and Athens.  While the majority of his pictures were portraits, Ayers also documented street politics, including Occupy Wall Street, as well as creative shots of nature.

Among the other “out there” photographers in the exhibition are:
Shawn Campbell
Melanie Cohen
Mark Cooney
Didi Dunphy
Nancy Babosa Hathaway
Rick Hawkins
Mike Landers
Brittainy Lauback
Will Major
David Noah
Stacey-Marie Piotrowski
Ben Rouse
Jason Thrasher
Rosemary Woodel

During the exhibition’s run, a multimedia presentation of Ayer’s final performance work, “Canray Poole,” will be performed live at 8 p.m. Thursday, Mar. 23rd in the Tree Room of the Tracy Street Arts Complex, with a reception in the ATHICA gallery before and after the reading, starting at 7:30 p.m. New York-based performance artist Daniel Allen Nelson will direct the play with a cast of Cal Clements, Ashley Crooks, Sam Lane and Kate Morrissey. Joseph Stunzi will provide multi-media technical direction and video design.

“Canray Poole derives from Ayers’ interests in Shamanism and metaphysics,” says Nelson. “The result is both a fictive-biographical expose and an account of the fantastical musings of a shape-shifting, gender-fluid witch, the central character.”

The first of the exhibition’s two closing events will be held on Saturday April 22nd, from 7 – 9 p.m. and will include a showing of artist Jim Herbert’s 11-minute video, “Carnival,” a celebration of Ayers’ band Limbo District circa 1983.  A panel discussion of current issues in photography will be part of that event.

The final event on Sunday April 23rd will be a musical evening during which Frank Hurricane from Brooklyn, N.Y., is the headliner.  Hurricane performs acoustic soul/folk/blues music. Organizer Michael Lauden said several local bands would round out the bill from 7 to 11 p.m.

According to Curator John English, “The exhibition and related events really capture Jeremy’s spirit of being out there.”