Running from January 15, 2016 to March 26, 2016 in the Main Gallery

A Curatorial Opportunity Program Exhibition curated by Pamela Campanaro

Darek Bittner | Dan DeRosato | Kevin Frances | Mark Hoffmann | Emma Hogarth

You Are Here presents place as both physical and conceptual geographies. The exhibition title references the subjective phrase commonly found on directory maps, used to orient and help navigate people within public places. To pinpoint a specific location on a map is easy, but how we interpret place is an unpredictable variable. The artists exhibiting in You Are Here present place as physical, liminal, or psychological spaces through the mediums of: digital glitching, painting, sculpture, video, and collage.

DAREK BITTNER (Portland, ME) proposes a radical interpretation of “here” in the form of a mental state. He creates work with the notion that we psychologically carry the places we identify with. Bittner creates abstract pages of a larger narrative through sentimental, personal collages. Set within the High Peaks, a region of New York’s Adirondack Park, Bittner utilizes color, shape, and choice of found paper to create his version of place. While High Peaks is a geographical area on a map, Bittner says High Peaks is also a psychological mindset. “High Peaks as a mental landscape enables me to channel a myriad of themes, characters, conflicts and points of view to paper.” While occasionally Bittner’s titles reference a specific location, he insists that each space can be for anyone, anywhere.

Bittner is a designer and printmaker based in Portland, Maine. Bittner is a member of Pickwick Independent Press and graduate of Montserrat College of Art. His work is bold and matter-of-fact, often concerning the High Peaks region of Upstate New York. Bittner works most frequently with collage methods and letterpress printmaking. Bittner actively shares his work as it’s made on his studio blog.

DAN DEROSATO (Philadelphia, PA) presents easily recognizable sites that over time reveal themselves as either missing something or slowly coming undone. The places DeRosato replicates provide their viewers with an approachable sense of security. But, as an audience spends time with each piece, the more it becomes clear that the place once providing stability and comfort is actually breaking down. In an instant, the viewer realizes they are caught in a liminal state between reality and imagination.

DeRosato holds a BFA from Montserrat College of art. He works mostly with digital glitching methods to damage and alter digital files into entirely new pieces, but also has experience in traditional printmaking, letterpress, bookbinding, screen printing, lithography, video editing, web design, installation, and performance art.

KEVIN FRANCES (Boston, MA) is a printmaker and sculptor. His work often deals with connections between the home and set design, more specifically how the objects around us are props; physical indicators that communicate the owner’s personality, interests, and contribute to a larger personal narrative. Frances will utilize the stage-like space on the left side of the gallery to install the mixed-media installations Our Bedroom (2012) and Lucas (2014-2015). From afar, the room looks ordinary, much like a set would to an audience. However, as the viewer steps into the bedroom, you begin to see that parts of the room are fake like a paper silkscreened rug or a dresser made from foam core. By combining the mediums of flat, 2D prints and ceramic sculpture in his installations, Frances creates the illusion of a place that is neither here nor there.

Frances received his MFA in Printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2013, and his BA in Art Studio from the University of California, Davis in 2010. In 2012 he was a participant at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

MARK HOFFMANN (Salem, NH) will create a series of chronological illustrations detailing the transformation of the New Art Center from 1972 to the present. Hoffmann describes his interpretations of place as, “naive visual vocabularies” that are conceptually tied to cultural distinctions of American history. Classic American sites rich in history and contemporary tourism, such as Yellowstone National Park and Niagara Falls, serve as inspiration from which Hoffmann interjects his identity as an illustrator. Hoffmann recycles factual folklore into a world that is distinctively his own. Recurring color palettes, body proportions, and crude application of materials define his practice. Hoffmann will play on the physical location of the viewer, painting a factual miniseries presenting a frame by frame exaggeration of the building’s history through his identity as an illustrator.

Hoffman received his BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design and his MFA in Visual Design from UMass Dartmouth. He currently works as freelance editorial and advertising illustrator, painter and animator, and also teaches at Montserrat College of Art in the illustration and animation departments.

EMMA HOGARTH (Providence, RI), an interdisciplinary artist, associates “here” with physical presence. Her immersive, video field “Compound Vision”, operates as a portal through which the viewer may re-experience the specific location in which it is installed. Hogarth’s custom software loops footage, both prerecorded and a live stream of viewers engaging with her work, onto three screens. Hogarth’s interpretation of “here” entangles physicality, memory, and history of place.

Hogarth holds an MFA in Digital+Media from Rhode Island School of Design, and a Bachelor of Visual Arts – First Class Honors in Painting from Sydney College of the Arts. Her practice engages performance, drawing, glass, video and installation, often combining media to explore relationships between performance, documentation, time and the image. Her projects have been presented in gallery spaces, theaters and urban public arenas in New York, Sydney and New England. Emma currently teaches in Foundation Studies at Rhode Island School of Design.