Slowhand and Illustrious Gravitas: Two Shows for Spring, at YARDS

Ryn Clarke, Purple Petals Falling


The guitarist Eric Clapton was known for his pioneering electric guitar work, acoustic and slide guitar and Dobro skills. Equally impressive was his interest in personally restringing his own guitar, to his liking, between song breaks, rather than having a roadie do it. This often meant long pauses between songs, which in turn would prompt audience members to break out in a slow hand clap, thus giving him the nickname Slowhand.

The slow art movement is grounded in this Clapton dynamic, wherein the appreciation of slow, accurate, and intensive process–as well as the savoring of artworks in a conscious and deliberate manner–avoids the big gulp of the fast-paced, short-attention-spanned, tweeting society and culture. Psychology Today studied people’s observation times on six masterpieces at the Met in NYC and found it to be only seventeen seconds. Creatives and art in SLOWHAND quiet the pace of both the creation and the viewing experience, changing the way we embrace and approach its meaning. The artists featured in this show at YARDS Projects are Laurie Addis, Kate Budd, Ryn Clarke, Jill Eisert, Bob Herbst, Nancy Katz, Jacquie Kennedy, Myrya Johnson, Frank Oriti, Theadis Reagins, Katie Richards, Noel Reifel, Adrienne Slane and Judy Takács.

Theadis Reagins, Elizabeth, Charcoal on toned paper, 19 X 24 inches


Illustrious Gravitas

Graphic artists and illustrators possess the ability to speak to the collective consciousness. Often the “cartoonish quality” or “playfulness” is a discipline of communication that allows those experiencing their work to delve into the depths of the darkest, most difficult themes of life’s challenges—the ones people generally want to avoid. Harvey Pekar was a Cleveland-based, nationally-renowned underground comic book artist. He described his work as “autobiography written as it’s happening.” He said, “The theme is about staying alive, getting a job, finding a mate, having a place to live, finding a creative outlet. Life is a war of attrition. You have to stay active on all fronts. It’s one thing after another. I’ve tried to control a chaotic universe. And it’s a losing battle. But I can’t let go. I’ve tried, but I can’t.”

Through an empathic lens, the artists in Illustrious Gravitas help us cope with and understand the struggles and heartaches and the war of attrition that life in most recent years surely presents. Artists featured are Sequoia Bostick, Morgan Bukovec, Shyvonne Coleman, Benji Diaz, Martinez EB, Angela Oster, Sidney Heaton, Nicholas Nocera, Ben Krampitz, Christopher Smith, Will Wilson, Justin Michael Will, and Aaron Williams.


Benji Diaz, Balance



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