Factory Works Gallery presenting ‘Close to Home’ exhibition

PHOTO PROVIDED The Pajama Factory will be hosting a new exhibit on Aug. 2.

Factory Works Gallery and The Pajama Factory Artists In Residence Program at the Pajama

Factory invite you to “Close to Home: The 2018 Pajama Factory Artist In Residence Pop Up Closing Exhibition,” from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 2, 1307 Park Avenue, Studio 9-210.

“The Pajama Factory Artists In Residence Pop Up Closing Exhibition is the culmination of our yearly Artists In Residence Program,” said Factory Works director Brian Spies.

This year’s artists, who all reside in and around Williamsport, were chosen to participate in this year’s program with the stated intention of creating work larger in scale and scope than their usual working space would allow. Creating works in mediums as varied as fibers, sculpture, painting and photography, they represent a diverse array of practices emblematic of the spirit the Pajama Factory Artist In Residence Program has embodied since its inception.

In addition to Spies, the exhibition features work from artists Ari Hajdu, Chad Andrews, Madelin Beattie, Meredith Re’ Grimsley and Paula Swett.

Hajdu received her MFA in Studio Art at Moore College of Art and Design this year and her BA in Studio Art from Bloomsburg University in 2015 with concentrations in fiber and sculpture. She uses methods of embroidery, fabric dyeing and sewing combined with the usage of the accumulation of elements and color within her work.

“I’ve always found beauty within elements or items that most might overlook or view with disgust,” she said, “The broken glass in windows of abandoned houses, the way mold grows on forgotten produce in the refrigerator, how elements of our own human sexuality can be found in nature.”

Spies works in a diverse array of media with concentrations on conceptually-driven photography and drawing. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions around the United States, including recently at The Power Plant Gallery at Duke University and Eastern Penitentiary in Phila­delphia.

“In a world where how we define what makes a man is increasingly being exposed as dangerous and threatening and unsustainable to our culture, I feel compelled to explore, through these self-portraits, how straight men, that nonetheless identify towards the femme end of the gender spectrum, like myself, express our identity and how the complexities and nuance of this performance provide a possible alternative to this crushing system of violence and oppression that is undermining civil society,” Spies said.

Andrews is currently an assistant professor of Printmaking and Foundations at Bloomsburg University. He maintains a private painting studio and a community printmaking studio at the Pajama Factory, and his work has been in exhibitions both nationally and internationally. As a printmaker, Andrews has printed editions for the Philadelphia Museum of Art as well as numerous artists around the country. His current body of work reflects his interpretation of the North Central Pennsylvania region.

“I use the region around Williamsport as the catalyst and backdrop for my studio endeavors,” he said. “The diversity of our communities and the landscape provide me an opportunity to consider contemporary issues and share personal insights. I am trying to capture the essence of the community in a mash up of representative and abstract imagery.”

Beattie is a printmaker and sculptor living and working in Williamsport. She obtained her BFA in Studio Art from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania in 2015. She is currently a tenant at the Pajama Factory, where she holds a studio and works as a Print Studio Assistant in Studio Paper+.

As an artist, Beattie considers herself a maker of many things – working in several different mediums, which fit into both the two- and three-dimensional category, producing prints and sculptures.

“I find that working in these different forms influences the way that I create images,” she said. “I have a strong interest in architecture and mathematics and turn to geometric planes and forms as inspiration in much of my work. Along with that, I find myself looking to my surroundings to pull inspiration for my work.”

Re’ Grimsley received her MFA in 2002, and her BFA in 1999, in Fabric Design from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Her work, including wearable art, installation, performance, two- and three-dimensional forms, has been shown in numerous national and international venues in solo and group exhibitions.

“Through my work, I reconnect with the mysteries of life: perfectly timed pain, darkness, love, forgiveness, gratitude and friendship have all ushered me into a radical acceptance of self-worth,” she said. “My work discusses the impact of our history, the endurance of the human spirit and the gift of healing.”

Swett is a textile, mixed media artist at Crowhill Studio, in Lewisburg. Her work is exhibited nationally and internationally in galleries as well as museums and is collected in many private and public collections. Several works are in area hospitals as well as corporate settings. Her work has been featured in such publications as Susquehanna Life and Fiber Art.

Swett’s textile paintings are rich with layered surface designs enhanced by her machine and hand stitching, reflecting love of line, color and texture. She continues to be inspired by nature as well as life’s events.

“I look at my work, journals, photos, drawings and notice consistent images that have followed me all my life,” she said. “The text and imagery represent visual stories referencing important people, places and times. These images have become the soul of my work. It may be a momentary look, exploring a fragment or glimpse of a memory that inspires me to create intuitively. The retelling through my work provides meaning and purpose as well as an attunement to others.”

The artists themselves will be in attendance at the exhibition to discuss their work.

“Showcasing the work created by our artists in residence over the summer, it has consistently been one of our most well-attended shows,” Spies said. “We believe that this year will be no different. The work included runs the gamut from fibers to sculpture, painting and photography. It will be a really great show.”

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