Hamilton Gallery hosts exhibit exploring a paint by numbers aesthetic
The Dorrance H. Hamilton Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of a new group art exhibit entitled “Do or Don’t Do It Yourself: A Paint by Number Show.” The gallery will run Thursday, Feb. 23, through Thursday, March 30, and an opening reception with several of the included artists is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 23, at 5:30 p.m.
The show is curated by Kirstin Lamb, adjunct faculty in the Department of Art and Art History and spring 2023’s guest gallery manager.
“Do or Don’t Do It Yourself” gathers artists working with painting, sculpture, textiles, and drawing to explore the paint by number aesthetic as it has influenced a range of contemporary American artists.
“Paint by numbers force people to ask the question, ‘If anyone can make it, why is it art? And why should an artist be interested?'” said Lamb. “It is at once an emblem of mindless conformity and leisure time, as well as the machine age and the possibilities of collaboration with the machine.”
Despite its purported bad reputation, the aesthetic of paint by number continues to inspire artists, according to Lamb. This is because paint by number democratizes painting, heralding that magical moment when anyone can become a painter.
“As a curator and an artist, I find myself gravitating to work that I feel is in some way influenced by the paint by number — either its high color and hard edges or its readymade order-from-the-internet art objects,” said Lamb. “Anyone can get photographs printed as canvases of number gridded textiles, plans for embroideries, paintings and more, thanks to the advancements in printing, graphics and 3D printing.”
Artists exhibiting work include Will Hutnick, an artist who heads up the art program at the Wassaic Project Artist Residency in Amenia, New York; Teresa Cox, an artist from the Minneapolis, Minnesota area; and Kate Bae, an artist from New York City.
The local community might also recognize work by Salve Regina’s own Jodie Mim Goodnough, associate professor in the Department of Art and Art History.
The show will force attendees to contemplate what is possible now that artists can use computers to generate patterns that were once only done by hand. What does a paint by number become in the digital age, and what does it symbolize? Why would an artist want to use that symbolism and aesthetic?
“As an artist and curator … I am looking for evidence of the machine, the aesthetic of the edges of the form,” said Lamb. “We have easy access to photo processing programs in our computers and phones, and that changes our visual lexicon — high color and sharp edges spend a greater time in our field of view.”
All artists who are participating are listed below:
Ghost of A Dream
Jodie Mim Goodnough
J. Myszka Lewis
The Dorrance H. Hamilton Gallery is located in the Antone Academic Center on the campus of Salve Regina. It is handicap accessible with parking along Lawrence Avenue and Leroy Avenue. Its exhibits are open to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed on Mondays.
For the run of this show, the gallery will be closed during Spring Break from Saturday, March 11 to Sunday, March 19.