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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. COC-08.20.12-JM-ArtGallery
August 20, 2012
 
Art Gallery Invites Community to Experience 'Big, Big Backyard'
To begin the fall 2012 semester, the College of the Canyons Art Gallery will present the eclectic, community inspired art exhibition “Big, Big Backyard,” opening Tuesday, Aug. 21.
 
The artists being featured in “Big, Big Backyard” have created a series of interactive visual artworks -- including photo essays, graphic design, film and video, sculpture, performance and live art -- which are meant to serve as catalysts for social interaction and exchange.
 
For these artists, ideas and interpretations of community are the starting point for projects designed to prod, provoke and engage the viewer, while encouraging a celebration and examination of the modern, often interactive culture, found in one’s own ‘backyard.’
 
"This is quite a unique exhibition for the college, as it represents the first time we have presented work that is intentionally interactive in nature,” said Larry Hurst, COC Art Gallery director. “The works on display will all involve the viewer, and indeed are dependent upon that involvement. I think that this will be a provocative experience for all who attend.”
 
During the exhibition, visitors approaching the gallery will encounter “The Idea Truck,” where they may select or exchange an idea from an open-ended menu of options.
 
Upon entering the gallery, guests will then have a variety of interactive displays and artistically influenced narratives to explore. Among the pieces included in this exhibit will be:
  • The video project “Trading Places,” which includes paired recorded interviews and video footage where participants tell each other’s stories. This juxtaposition of a participant's voice and story over another's body evokes strange feelings of dislocation, and offers different perspectives on what is to be a bicultural person living in Los Angeles today.
  • The nature inspired video project “Enclave,” in which the artist has incorporated various elements of video footage to collage his own personal garden, complete with accompanying sounds of nature recorded at the Monet gardens in France.
  • A photographic conversation, inspired by the online photo project “Picture Consequences,” in which the contributing artists have challenged themselves to communicate through the exchange of images as a way to showcase the power photos have as a form of language, metaphor, riddle and game.
  • A collection of artistically inspired goods and products known as ‘Deep Craft’ which are created using natural materials as a means to reinvigorate the role of handmade items, and examine the relationship between individuals and their settings. In addition, California based artist Scott Constable of Deep Craft, will be working live in the gallery, to screen print the Deep Craft logo on the personal possessions of gallery visitors.
“These works all focus on various interpretations of community. Within the communal gallery space the viewer will have the possibility to participate, reflect, question, augment, praise and protest,” said guest curator and COC photography instructor Betsy Kenyon.
 
The exhibition “Big, Big Backyard” will run from Tuesday, Aug. 21, through Tuesday, Sept. 18. Kenyon will also deliver a special presentation about the exhibition from 3 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22.
 
An artist’s reception will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, in the Art Gallery.
 
Also accompanying the exhibition will be a screening of the independent film “Breakfast with Curtis” by Laura Colella, at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, in Hasley Hall, Room 101.
 
All gallery visitors will also receive a free double-sided poster inspired by the exhibition and created by COC design students.
 
The College of the Canyons Art Gallery is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Those unable to visit the gallery during normal hours are welcome to call (661) 362-3612 to schedule a viewing appointment. All gallery exhibitions and related events are free and open to the public.
 
For more information about the College of the Canyons Art Gallery or the exhibition “Big, Big Backyard” please visitwww.canyons.edu/artgallery/.