Helen S. Smith Gallery

Joe Batt: Connectivity - Now Virtual!

A Virtual Exhibition
June 29 – September 20, 2020
Virtual Artist Talk TBA!

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Joe Batt's Connectivity
Connectivity, Clay and Mixed Media, 2019

Joe Batt documents and explores the super quickly expanding presence of Wi-Fi culture, digital technology, and mobile devices in our lives. His recent series of clay figures and charcoal drawings depicts children engaged in the constantly evolving, relentless digital landscape of the 21st Century. His 2-D digital compositions, done using Photoshop Touch, offer a glimpse, through layered imagery, of the show components in a digital realm. The exhibition has evolved in recent months to include about fourteen ceramic figures, twenty large drawings on paper, twelve hanging drawings on light wood, and eight digital montages. A recent piece added to the exhibition is Conversation Piece, an interactive set of helmets viewers may wear to converse about their experiences with technology, through Face Time, in each other’s physical presence. A brand new piece in the show is called Connectivity. It features two toddlers in their pajamas, facing each other with their outreached hands nearly touching but not quite. In addition, there are several floor accessories which include ten freestanding plywood clouds and miscellaneous ceramics space junk, i.e., iPods, keyboards, etc. 

See more about Artist Joe Batt!

Joe Batt's Line of Seekers
Line of Seekers, 2018, Charcoal on canvas paper with mixed meda, 10 h x 10 w feet

From the Artist:

My narrative ceramic sculptures combine various recognizable images such as people, animals, and natural or manufactured objects, to make compositions which appear to make sense. The ongoing Hares series explores the figure, nature, and childhood.

I have always gravitated toward the figure and color, possibly the influence of watching many after-school and Saturday morning cartoons as a child. I come from the Midwest and relate to the color, distortion, and depth of the Chicago Imagists like Red Grooms, Jim Nutt, and
Don Baum. Art teachers turned me on to the Pop sensibilities of
Robert Arneson and other “California Funk” ceramic artists. Edith Garcia, Kukuli Velarde, and Arthur Gonzalez continue to inspire me with their robust story telling in clay and mixed media.

My work is pinched and fired to a mid-range stoneware temperature. Forms are accentuated and surfaces are embellished with colored pencils and pastels.
Joe Batt

Joe Batt's Seekers
Seekers, Digital Collage, 2016, 16 x 20 in

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Call to artists

Helen S. Smith Gallery on the Green River College Campus is currently requesting submissions for a themed summer group exhibition. Artists will be selected by invitation and from submissions. The overarching theme is "Summer Memories" with a more specific concept being curated from proposed work. Emerging and established Northwest artists are encouraged to apply.

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