Do or Don’t Do It Yourself
A Paint by Number Show
February 23rd – March 30th, 2023
Ghost of A Dream
Jodie Mim Goodnough
J Myszka Lewis
Visiting Adjunct Curator Kirstin Lamb
Dorrance H. Hamilton Gallery
Salve Regina University
Opening Reception February 23rd 5-7pm
The Dorrance H. Hamilton Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of our group show “Do or Don’t Do It Yourself: A Paint by Number Show”. An opening reception with short conversations with several of the included artists is scheduled for Thursday, February 23rd, at 5:30 p.m.
If anyone can make it, why is it art? Why should an artist be interested?
At once an emblem of mindless conformity, leisure time, the machine age and the possibilities of collaboration with the machine, the paint by number continues to inspire artists, despite its purported bad reputation. The form of paint by number democratizes painting, heralding the moment when you too, could be a painter.
This show gathers a range of artists working with painting, sculpture, textiles, and drawing and looks at the leisure activity and hard-edged readymade as it has influenced a range of contemporary American artist’s aesthetics.
What is possible now that we can use computers to generate patterns once done by hand? What does a paint by number become in the digital age? What does it symbolize? Why would an artist want to use that symbolism and aesthetic?
As a curator and an artist, I find myself gravitating to work that I feel is in some way influenced by the paint by number, either its high color and hard edges or its readymade order-from-the-internet art objects. One can get photographs printed as canvases of number gridded textiles, plans for embroideries, paintings and more, thanks to the advancements in printing, graphics and 3d printing.
Some of the artists in this show were initially uncomfortable with the idea of being included in a show about Paint by Number aesthetics. As an artist and curator, I love the art form, and use it in my work, but I can understand the hesitation. I am not judging the work as less than, or without skill. I am looking for evidence of the machine, the aesthetic of the edges of the form. We have easy access to photo processing programs in our computers and phones and that changes our visual lexicon, the high color and sharp edges spend a greater time in our field of view.
This is at once a celebration of a democratic art form and a salutation to that form in many different conceptual and painterly art practices.
The Dorrance H. Hamilton Gallery is located in the Antone Academic Center on the campus of Salve Regina. It is handicap accessible with parking along Lawrence Avenue and Leroy Avenue. Its exhibits are open to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed on Mondays.
For the run of this show, the gallery will also be closed for Salve Regina’s Spring Break, Saturday March 11th – Sunday March 19th, please be aware of these hours.