Thunder-Sky, Inc.'s 2014 Exhibition Season: Anomaly Lessons
Thunder-Sky, Inc.'s 2014 exhibition season includes paeans to an idiosyncratic fiction-writing genius, a local hat-wearing folk hero, and other wonderful outcasts, including Mr. Thunder-Sky himself in a season-ending installation that incorporates his desire to build a Utopia while destroying whatever got in his way. We're using "Anomaly Lessons" as the organizing concept and title for a whole year's worth of shows that teach us all what it means to be gorgeously abnormal.
"Head Shots: Portraits by Bob Hoke and Stacey Vallerie" opens January 10, 2014 with a reception 6 to 10 pm. The show closes February 14, 2014. Hoke, from Hannibal Missouri, creates whimsically bizarre and bizarrely whimsical portraits of people with a Paul-Klee flourish; Cincinnati-based Vallerie finds inspiration and serenity in reality. Side by side, their works seem to whisper sweet nothings to one another.
"Deep in Thought: Paintings by Mark Betcher and Scott Carney" opens February 28, 2014 with a reception 6 to 10 pm. The show closes April 11, 2014. Northern Kentucky's Betcher layers his work with words, pictures, and word-picture hybrids; Carney looks for Utopia in his storybook paintings. Both approaches feel thoughtful without belaboring the point, both visually appealing and a little off-kilter.
"Rejoice!: A Retrospective of Avtar Gill, the Cincinnati Hat-Man" opens April 25, 2014 with a reception 6 to 10 pm. The show closes June 13, 2014. Avtar Gill (pictured above), known by many downtowners as The Hat Man, passed away early 2013, but he will always be remembered (like Raymond Thunder-Sky) as a Cincinnati folk hero for the sign-emblazoned hats he wore while walking all across the city, and for his dedication to maintaining a strong, cultural voice and presence throughout his life. This exhibit will feature photographs, video, testimonials, stories, and actual hats and signs The Hat-Man left behind.
"The Meanest of Them Sparkled: Visual Artists Respond to Flannery O'Connor's Fictional Universe" opens June 27, 2014 with a reception 6 to 10 pm. The show closes August 8, 2013. "Meanest" commemorates the 50th anniversary of Flannery O'Connor's death. A skilled, humorous, dead-on writer of short stories and novels ("A Good Man Is Hard to Find" and Wiseblood chief among them), O'Connor's prose is steeped in beautifully unsettling images and set-pieces. O'Connor was a painter and cartoonist besides being a fiction-writer, and this sensibility informs a lot of what she wrote and depicted. We've asked several artists to create art inspired by O'Connor's genius, no limits on media or style. We'll also be sponsoring a reading of some of O'Connor's works to go along with the show.
"Outcasts from Hollywood (the Greatest Celebrity Art Show Event): Antonio Adams and Emily Brandehoff" opens August 22, 2014 with a reception 6 to 10 pm. The show closes October 10, 2014. Adams and Brandehoff often work side by side on Saturdays in the basement at Thunder-Sky, Inc. They will be creating separate suites of work that investigate/celebrate/satirize the poetry and absurdity of celebrity culture and its aftermath. "How Deep Is Your Love," a Thunder-Sky, Inc. fundraiser happening in the basement gallery, opens as well.
"New Clownville Amusement Park: Constructing Raymond's Perfect World by Matt Waldeck Jr. and Sr. and Marc Lambert" opens October 24, 2014 with a reception 6 to 10 pm. The show closes December 12, 2014. The Waldecks (a father and son team), along with Lambert (whose painting of Raymond is above), are taking over the gallery to create a Raymond-Thunder-Sky-inspired installation that pays homage both to his drawings and to his life. Sculpture, drawing and other media will be on display. As well, we'll be presenting a new show of some of Raymond's more obscure and eccentric drawings.