February 27–May 10, 2014
During the month of February, New York-based artist Janelle Iglesias will be using the Lightwell Gallery in the UB Art Gallery, Center for the Arts as a studio, developing IN HIGH FEATHER, a site-specific project inspired by her recent travels throughout Bali, Raja Ampat, and West Papua, Indonesia.
Through a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant, the artist journeyed to the Arfak Mountains in search of the most sophisticated avian architecture on earth—the bower of the Vogelkomp bowerbird. To attract female mates, the males of the species demonstrate incredible construction prowess and astonishing aesthetics as they adorn their bowers with collections of a wide array of natural and manmade materials found in their immediate surroundings.
Iglesias links her interest in the birds to her own practice–– in which familiar objects are poetically reconfigured into different mechanized systems, ecosystems, constellations, or simple displays. Exploring how objects and materials carry meaning as well as our desire to find metaphor and order in the stuff around us, she is equally fascinated by the personal taxonomies of collections and the mind-boggling amounts of matter that is thoughtlessly thrown away. She describes collection and up-cycling as key parts of her practice as the materials and objects she uses contribute layers of meaning to the installations themselves. For Iglesias’ entirely new two-story installation in the Lightwell Gallery, she will incorporate images and field recordings from her travels as well as materials sourced locally––such as discarded Christmas trees and cereal boxes.
Prior to the official opening on February 27, the public can interact with Iglesias during bird hide viewing hours when normal gallery hours will resume.
Bird hide viewing hours:
Thursday, February 13, 11am to 5pm
Friday, February 14, 11am to 5pm
Saturday, February 15, 1pm to 5pm
Thursday, February 20, 11am to 5pm
Friday, February 21, 11am to 5pm
Saturday, February 22, 1pm to 5pm
Janelle Iglesias was born and raised in NYC. Janelle studied Cultural Anthropology at Emory University, earned her MFA in Sculpture at Virginia Commonwealth University, and has been a participant at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Alongside her individual practice, Janelle maintains a frequent project-based collaboration with her sister, Lisa, as Las Hermanas Iglesias. Her individual and collaborative work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions in the United States and abroad. Residencies include the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Smack Mellon, LMCC’s Workspace program, and a Fellowship at Fine Arts Work Center. She is the recipient of an NYFA Fellowship in Sculpture, a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant, and recently traveled to West Papua, Indonesia through a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant.
This exhibition is part of the UB Art Gallery, Center for the Arts’ annual Artist-in-Residence program in which artists are invited to transform an empty gallery over time while open to the public. These commissioned projects aim to forge meaningful interactions between artists and diverse groups of people while acknowledging a turn toward research-based site-specific approaches in contemporary art that have at their core experimentation and ephemerality. Featuring 740 square feet of exhibition space, the Lightwell’s walls extend upwards for forty feet, culminating in skylights that flood the gallery with natural light. A balcony on the second floor provides a dynamic aerial view of this distinctive space, which spans two stories. By commissioning site-specific works, the UB Art Gallery furthers its commitment to the contemporary arts by offering emerging and mid-career artists an opportunity to work on an unprecedented scale and challenge their practice to move in unexpected directions.