Ochre Ghost Gallery constructs collaborative installation at Duluth Art Institute

Over 25 artists are working on a single collaborative installation piece in the Duluth Art Institute in celebration of Ochre Ghost art gallery’s one year anniversary. The Ochre Ghost Gallery, supported entirely off the young artists who rent the space for the gallery and personal studio space, focuses primarily on showing underground and underrepresented art.

The single installation piece, which is art that is created for a specific site, often incorporating materials or physical features of the site, will be made out of recycled materials from previous shows the artists have done. The group also purchased 400 pounds of stuffed animals, all for just $28 from the Goodwill.

Jessica Liszewski, founder and curator at Ochre Ghost Gallery, came up with the idea of creating a collaboration installation. At an artist dialogue that happened during the construction of the piece, Liszewski and around 10 other artists working on the piece sat down with the public and discussed the project.

“The whole conversation started ‘is there something we can do at the art institute with people that have shown there’ and it was a conversation that got the ball rolling,” said Liszewski.

The installation piece the group was working on was just wooden wall frames standing in the gallery at the time of the discussion, a skeleton to a house that is going to appear as if some outside force is altering it. Here is where the 400 pounds of stuffed animals come in. A group was working on tearing apart and sewing the animals back together as bright abstract tentacles that are coming out of random places in the house.

The group explains that the concept of the installation is upbeat, light and tangible.

“We didn’t want it to become overly political or say too much about our society,” said Liszewski. “Our idea is to make something that is kind of demented but cool to look at, and makes you wonder who did this, and why?”

Will Grant, the artist heading the construction part of the project, agreed.

“It’s a study of more emotions,” Grant said. “I feel like everything is working in kind of displacement, nothing is recognizable.”

Sean Elmquist is the artist working on videos for the project. There are going to be about five projectors set up around the installation, all showing videos made specifically for the piece.

“In some way this is like our response to what ends up happening here,” Elmquist said in reference to making the videos. “And the color, at least to some extent, will be sort of supplied by these projections, so that will be interesting.”

The show opening is Nov. 10, 2011.

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