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Factory Works Gallery opens fall season with exhibition by Damon McCloskey

With a sweltering hot summer slowly winding down, Factory Works Gallery at the Pajama Factory is delighted to kick off its fall season with “Cognitive Renovations,” an exhibition of mixed media works by local artist Damon McCloskey, consisting of a series of colorful, expressionistic works on canvas and paper.

The exhibition will run from Sept. 6-26, with an opening reception from 6-9 p.m. Sept. 6.

In his artist statement McCloskey quotes from sources as varied as Dr. Albert Barnes and Dante Rosetti, to Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, and describes his process as, “Allow(ing) my intuition to break through the matter of my bodily systems and create expressions of this world which I temporarily inhabit…my conscious-self grips hold of something that pulls the substance through the other side to be splashed onto a material object such as paper, canvas, metal, or keyboard.”

In his words: “Regardless of the formula or anti-formula that I choose to follow on any given occasion the fact of the matter is that each mark made is a decision. It is a choice to create and record a specific moment in time.”

“The pictures featured in this exhibition are current,” McCloskey said. “They are the shields I employ during the endless onslaught of dialectical flux between art and work.”

Born in Williamsport in 1983, McCloskey attended Hughesville High School. After a two-year break from HHS during his junior year, he returned from Washington state to finish his high school diploma. After attending Lock Haven University and Lycoming College, McCloskey transferred to Goddard College in Vermont to continue in-depth studies of travel, studio art, art history, aesthetics, sustainability, and ethics of local economics. He graduated with a BA in Individualized Studies, Studio Art, Art History & Aesthetics.

McCloskey’s work is rooted in his local tradition and cultural upbringing in Pennsylvania.

“I come from a long line of hell-raising mountain and valley folk who understand the value of DIY,” he said. “My early days of educational experience were the catalysts of my current thoughts of art in terms of process and experimentation. Everything seemed so hidden. I knew the teachers were still searching too.”

His work has been shown in numerous exhibitions locally, including Gallery 425, Converge Gallery, the Genetti Hotel, Lycoming College Art Gallery, the Community Theater League and beyond.

McCloskey and Factory Works Gallery Director Brian Spies are pleased to have this opportunity to show McCloskey’s work to start the gallery’s fall season.

“This exhibition came together because Brian and I keep pushing for more radical space in the areas that we inhabit in terms of local culture, music, politics, beer and wine, smiles for miles, and fun!” McCloskey said.

For him, art is a necessity — something he feels he has to do. It’s also a way to play with content, form, and prestige.

“Painting and drawing are first nature to me,” he said. “The earliest inhabitants of this planet did it and so do I. It feels good and makes me think differently each and every time I am working on a new composition. Beyond the boundaries of any game exists the prospect of a new road to a simpler and more elegant solution.”

McCloskey sometimes likes to think of the work that he is creating “in terms of their relationship to music, especially jazz, classical, and rock and roll.”

“An interdisciplinary arts approach is attractive and usually effective. In the case of my most recent work, there is a concerted effort to make art that stands on its own ground and digs deeply into the stories of many minds beyond my own.”

He describes his latest body of work as representing “a search for novel, spontaneous, and unexpected imagery.”

“The paintings and drawings I make, at this point, are a reaction against the data driven world of megatech and trend. They are my personal affirmation of the value and intrinsic beauty of painting and drawing with my hands, my heart, and my mind.”

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