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Mark Staff Brandl with Gary Scoles and Thomas Emil Homerin, Contemporary Art Center of Peoria, Illinois
11 July – 27 August Gallery 3R
The trio creates a comic book installation on site from scratch, eventually enveloping the entire room. Visitors are invited to watch the process and interact with the creators. Their activities are documented in video and photos, also becoming part of the completed exhibition
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
When Mark Staff Brandl of Switzerland was invited to exhibit at the Contemporary Art Center, he realized this would be an opportunity to fulfil a long-held desire to reunite his friends Gary Scoles of Pekin and Emil Homerin of Rochester, New York into an active creative team to realize one of his Panels Painting-Installations, using as a springboard the steady stream of comic-related ephemeral sketches and doodles he and Scoles consistently produce. Starting on 11 July, the team will convene in Gallery 3R to create the work on site.
The three met in 1965, at the age of 10, in fifth grade at Douglas Primary School in Pekin, Illinois. They became fast friends, spending almost every Saturday and Saturday night together for years, through high school, creating original superhero comic books. Mark and Gary were the artists and letterers, Emil the author and editor. All created their own characters, yet each helped to contribute to and develop the others' ideas. Emil bore the brunt of making narrative sense of them all. Although their lives took them in various directions after high school, the three have remained in contact, sending comics, art and related materials to one another and collaborating on projects.
The installation will begin with a batch of collected comic-art-oriented doodles on various scraps and sizes of paper made and collected by Brandl and Scoles over the year prior to the exhibition. These have no planned continuity nor are even consciously linked or guided in any way. They will be laid out as well as mounted on the walls and serve as the basis for the event and installation. Then Homerin will concoct a narrative from these, telling the artists what to add, complete, extend, or change. Visitors will be invited to come to the Art Center, watch the process and interact with the creators. After a week, an installation-comic will envelop the whole room. The activities will be documented in a video, photos, perhaps even sections of ‘meta-comic’ where sequences about the creation of the work will become part of the completed exhibition.
The opening reception on Saturday, July 16, 6:30-8:30 pmwill also honour Minnesota artist Sally J. Bright in the Preston Jackson Gallery. Food & drink will be provided. Music provided by Paul Adams. Admission is free but a donation is requested.
This exhibit is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.