reference.art

September 14th, 2005

The Albright Memorial Library’s Reference Department is penning a blog devoted to references to Our Regional Metropolii, or — Scranton/Wilkes-Barre At The Movies.

Despite the limiting title, the blog extends it purview to books and music.

review.art

September 14th, 2005

The View From Scranton: Downtown Saturday Night

uch was the sorta sordid story last eve at Test Pattern, the only venue I’ve seen where once I would’ve hung, where I once would’ve been welcome. A storefront gallery, much like the storefronts of the East Village Ď80s, particularly Civilian Warfare or 101 St. Mark’s, though with a peculiarly Chicago bent (this, after all, is America), the Pattern is ramshackle and charming and honest and most importantly, it’s there. A haven and a showplace for Scranton’s indie artist set.

[….]

Then Conor McGuigan, local gadfly, roustabout and proprietor of the joint, dashed to hide the tip jar near where I inadvertently happened to be standing. I hadn’t even noticed the thing till he had it in his hands. By then I was mortified. I’ve done some mortifying things in my days; but nothing quite so scummy. And nothing quite so struck me. That I’d even be considered so below low was tantamount to a tarring. I wanted to tell the cat that I robbed banks, not galleries, especially not cool little indie galleries struggling to make their way through the morass.

[….]

[…] the crafty Cassie Rose Kobeski, Test Pattern’s artist in residence for the month of September. Her show, ‘Nobody Kids On Me,’ is a hodgepodge of cleverly assemblaged knowing, equal parts Belmar and Johns, all parts on display. These are the stirs of our souls. Beth B would approve, as would Marie Kennedy, two wily women artslingers of equally explicit strength. Since I’m of a more literal mind, I kept thinkin’ of Mary Gaitskillís Two Girls, Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love, and Jeanette Wintersonís Sexing the Cherry, and all the other knockout narrativists I dig so much but fail too often to recall. Kobeski triggered the recollection. Her work is that potent. That imploreful. Her show a wondrous welcome blast back to a place where a future exists, a future made to mean, a future with a vivid visual core.

The View From Scranton is a new blog from, er, Scranton.

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