This past year I went to the local TEDx Conference, and one of the speakers was Connie Sullivan-Blum with the ARTS Council of the Southern Tier Finger Lakes. Her talk, titled “Picking & Scrapping: The art of getting by” introduced me to something known as “outsider art”. It’s a culture of art that is produced by self-taught artists outside of an artistic establishment. The ARTS Council is now featuring several local outsider artists in a full exhibit at 171 Cedar Arts in Corning, titled Salvaged: Outsider Art in the Southern Tier.
The opening reception for this artwork is January 17th from 5-7, and includes artist talks. The exhibition is open now through March 21st. Connie tells me, “All of the artists have very interesting stories… They used whatever materials they had at their disposal and created fascinating, visionary, but sometimes disturbing art works.”
Featured Artists include:
- Kev Card – a farmer in Millerton, PA
- Tom “Holy Moses” Kerr – former laborer and salesman from Canisteo
- Amos Oakden – a recluse who had lived in an abandoned one room school house outside of Addison
- Martha Robertshaw – a cleaning lady who painted murals on every surface in her modest home
- Bob Smith – a septic tank repairman who lived outside of Syracuse
This is an inspiring and thought provoking exhibit; take some time to stop by the Houghton Gallery at 171 to check it out. Several events, from a panel discussion with the artists to Connie’s Picking and Scrapping talk, will bring a deeper understanding of this art culture that is rarely seen. A list of the events around this exhibit can be found here.