FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SKULLPHONE HISTORY MUSEUM
Photopourri: Recent Images from the RAM Photo Artist Network
June 3 – July 26, 2008
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 7, 5 – 8 pm

WORKS ON LOAN FROM THE 21ST CENTURY
May 27 – June 21, 2008
Reception: Friday, June 6, 6–9 pm



Riverside Art Museum
3425 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA  92501
Contact: Micah Carlson, Marketing Coordinator
Phone: 951.684.7111, ext. 312  ●  Fax: 951.684.7332
E-mail, mcarlson@riversideartmuseum.org

Web site, http://www.riversideartmuseum.org
Museum Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Thursday until 8 pm
Museum Shop Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Atrium Restaurant Hours: Monday through Friday, 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM
Admission: $5.00 per visitor / Museum members, students, children 12 & under FREE




SKULLPHONE HISTORY MUSEUM at RAM
The Riverside Art Museum announces the opening of SKULLPHONE HISTORY MUSEUM at RAM June 3 – July 26, 2008. An opening reception will be held June 7, 5 – 8PM in conjunction with the opening of three other exhibitions as well.
 
"Skullphone" is an artist who works anonymously in city streets and deserted highways, incorporating his artwork into the detritus of the urban environment. While ten foot tall posters loom high above building walls, small supporting incarnations of his image blend into utilitarian spaces. In these, Skullphone's image immediately cuts through the typically mundane environment of gas stations, public bathrooms, parking meters, roll-up gates, and trash dumpsters, the unique platforms and non-blank canvases from which Skullphone “speaks”.
 
For Skullphone’s installation at RAM, the artist has recreated his past street level environments within Anytown, USA while referencing new frontiers in outdoor digital media. Using the museum’s alcoves as a starting point, Skullphone History Museum creates an environment reminiscent of a natural history museum’s dioramas. Replacing nature with entirely man-made objects, this unnatural exhibit monumentalizes the quotidian objects of our world (our bathrooms, our hallways) built around and serving as the starting point for the artist’s embedded meme.
 
“I have noticed Skullphone’s work in cities on the East and West Coast for the past half-dozen years, and from the beginning, I found his icon compelling. Beyond simply bringing a street artist “inside,” the museum and the artist have worked together to create.
 
“Rather than simply bringing a street artist into a sterile museum space, the museum has worked with the artist to use nontraditional and unexpected spaces to showcase his work,” says Adult Education Curator Lee Tusman. “Like his work outside, Skullphone has placed his work in high profile spots as well as places where you may least expect it but where your eye is sure to go.”

WORKS ON LOAN FROM THE 21ST CENTURY

Contemporary art practice is filled with warnings against and samplings of our presumptuous, dangerous relationship with nature. Works on Loan from the 21st Century opens to the public Tuesday, May 27 through June 21, 2008 at the Riverside Art Museum with a reception on Friday, June 6, 2008 from 6 – 9 pm.   The exhibition features a blend of photographic, sculptural and installation works by seven 1st and 2nd year MFA students from University of California, Riverside.

Gideon Barnett, Alia Malley and Evans Wittenberg create photographs referencing the origin of the world by expressing an impermanent relationship between man versus nature with visuals depicting terror of the sublime or structural collapse by natural disaster.

Christine Frerichs and Courtney Oquist craft paintings focusing on the experience of nostalgia and an investigation into man’s relationship to the complex environment.

Kate McPeak and Alison Walker create installation art that is built from readymade objects taken out of their natural environment. McPeak’s work features an upturned raft as both a physical and metaphorical image that presupposes the viewer as just beneath the surface, unable to right the raft. Walker builds her installation from pool slides fashioned together and dominating as a sculpture in the gallery.

“Artists like these could be considered journalists of the spirit, formulating visual op-ed pieces out of their ineffable, otherwise inexpressible sense of the rightness and wrongness of the world,” says RAM Senior Curator, Peter Frank. “Whether it documents natural or human destruction, proposes natural or human solutions, finds evidence of natural-human symbiosis or symbolizes natural-human conflict, the artwork of UC Riverside’s graduating MFA candidates reflects their almost allergic sensitivity to the relationship of their species to the ecosphere.”

Photopourri: Recent Images from the RAM Photo Artist Network
Curated by Lee Tusman, Shagha Ariannia, Micah Carlson

On May 27, RAM mounts an exhibition of Photo Artist Network (PAN) photographs in the museum’s lobby and mezzanine. Featuring a variety of photography, from traditional film to digital work, candid’s and posed, simple to complex, the work represents the diverse range of styles and approaches within the PAN group and within photography today. PAN is an affiliate artist support group of the Riverside Art Museum, made up photographers from around the region who get together monthly for workshops, field trips, critiques and lectures. This exhibition features the work of 27 member artists.

To display the variety of images, the curatorial team chose to hang the images in a chockablock “salon style” with photos flush-mounted flat and unframed. Turning the exhibit into a contemporary art installation, the placement of works are meant to forge connections between different works. Some works hang alone, while others are clustered together to display a series by a single or multiple artists. In some cases, the same work shot by different photographers allows the viewer to see the exchange and feedback between fellow artists who have met in the PAN group.

Despite having no single overarching theme, there are recurring motifs within the group of works. Images of cacti and desert landscapes harken to the call of the wild and allure of traditional landscape photography, while gritty street scenes and the repeated icon of decaying vehicles speak to the changes humans have created in the region. For some photographers, it is the abstraction of landscape, of lines of architecture or cracks in the sidewalk that catch their eye, while other photographers have captured solitary moments and impromptu group shots in the urban environment. Seen together, the patchwork of images shows the diverse visions of these Southern Californian photographers capturing their view of the world through a lens.”



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