Emerges: Collaborations

Curated by Kira Hegeman and Jon Vogt

Featuring works by Megan Burchett, Maddie Zerkel, Jonathan Quinn Nowell, Forest Kelley, and Alexis Spina

Part of Beast It!: ATHICA’s Experimental Performance and Installation Series

April 6 – May 13, 2018
Opening reception Friday, April 6, 6-9 PM

Emerges: Collaborations is the centerpiece exhibition of the Beast It seriesThis 11th annual exhibition of the work of emerging artists explores elements of domesticity, materiality, and collaboration by weaving five artists together across disciplines of textile, print, metal, sound and sculpture in a site-specific installation. Megan Burchett, Maddie Zerkel, Jonathan Quinn Nowell, Forest Kelley, and Alexis Spina play off one another’s practices in the context of the given space to create connections, and explore elements of scale, materiality and domestic forms.

The curators, Kira Hegeman and Jon Vogt, are visual artists and art educators in Athens, Georgia. Hegeman is currently completing a PhD in Art Education, in which she is exploring material culture, consumption, and interaction through participatory, public art installations. Jon Vogt teaches at the Lamar Dodd School of Art. Both Hegeman and Vogt have contributed to ATHICA in many ways, respectively as former and current board members, as committee chairs, as volunteers, and as exhibiting artists.

The Emerges artists bring disparate practices to their collaboration.

Former Athenians and UGA students Megan Burchett and Maddie Zerkel have an established collaborative practice through which they have explored the intersection of textile and paper arts. Burchett incorporates printmaking, papermaking, bookbinding and textile processes into her practice. She has a BFA in printmaking from Cornell, has worked in several print shops on the east coast, and received her MFA in Printmaking and Book Arts from UGA. Zerkel, a native Athenian, incorporates printmaking, dyeing, and weaving into her practice, and has BFA in Textile Design from UGA.

Jonathan Quinn Nowell, a self-described river poet, has a BFA from Mississippi State University and is a recent MFA graduate from UGA. He describes his work in the exhibition as “microwaves / shear force / the divining rod / magnetic breath.”

Forest Kelley received an MFA in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BA in Social Economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is currently the Photography Fellow at the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia. With a practice that ranges from subjective documentary photography to installations based in video and repurposed web code, Kelley’s work considers the friction between subjectivity and culture—how personal psychology lives within a social ecology. Disparate and dispersed devices comprise a sonic experience that mimics a soundscape ecology (biophony). Kelley thinks of this collection of devices not strictly as a collection of media works but as independent zoomorphic beings communicating through individual signaling languages.

Alexis Spina works primarily in small scale metal sculpture and installation. Her work is constructed through an extensive body of research rooted in governmental injustices, global politics, and the objective of truth in the age of disinformation. Spina obtained her BFA in metalsmithing from the University of Edinboro and is currently an MFA candidate at UGA.

Upcoming events in the Beast It series in conjunction with Emerges:

  • Surrender, three experimental music performances curated by Artist-In-Residence composer and performance artist Kyle Lewis
    • Saturday, April 7, 2018, 8:00 PM:  Coming Together by Frederic Rzewski, based on letters of an inmate at Attica State Prison, incarcerated during the riot of 1971. Perfomed by the Incongruency Ensemble, a collaborative from Atlanta conducted by Matthew Sadowski, featuring Kathryn Koopman on clarinet, Tyler Jones on trumpet, Alexis Letourneau on flute, Noah Johnson on cello, Sean Askin on viola, and with guest artist Kyle Lewis as narrator.
    • Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 8:00 PM:  Surrender, an original composition by Kyle Lewis, featuring Guy Did Ail.
    • Saturday, April 21, 8:00 PM: Change 7, Selections from Parts 1-8 by Robert Blatt, a contemporary composer and sound artist; Fluxus Works including works by George Brecht, a major figure in the Fluxus movement.
  • Thursday, April 26, 2018: Lupita’s Revenge, a shadow-puppet play with a live soundtrack of Latin-American classics, written and directed by Abel Klainbaum, performed by the group Tango Hambre. Featuring the puppeteers Phil Jasen, Anthony Gaskins, and Laura Maria Ramirez and the musicians Megan Cole on vocals/ukulele, Keiko Ishibashi on violin, Elijah Neesmith on bass, Jeremy Raj on guitar, and Abel Klainbaum on accordion. Reception at 7:00 pm followed by performance at 8:00 pm. A limited number of tickets are available in advance for $14 ($1 service fee added) at https://tangohambre.eventbee.com/event?eid=155362333

For more information, see: https://athica.org/updates/beast-it

ATHICA is especially grateful that the organization has received sustaining grant support for its 2018 operations and programming. Beast It is supported in part through the generous support of The James E. and Betty J. Huffer Foundation, the Athens Area Arts Council, Flagpole Magazine, and the Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. GCA also receives support from its partner agency, the National Endowment for the Arts.


Jon Vogt: http://jonvogt.com

Jonathan Quinn Nowell: http://jonathannowell.com/

Forest Kelley: http://forestkelley.net

Alexis Spina:  www.alexismspina.com