Featuring: Sam Adair, Marek Cecula, Raymon Elozua, Frank Fleming, Johnston Foster, Frohawk Two Feathers, H. Hudson, Walter Hyleck, John Kitts, Ken Little, Dante Marioni, Tom Marioni, Lloyd Hog Mattingly, Sebastian Moh, James Mongrain, Richard Notkin, The Pretentious Beer Glass Company, a design project by Matthew Cummings,Trent Ripley, Aaron L. Rosenblum, Peter Saenger, John Salvest, Mark J. Scearce, Rebekka Seigel, Squallis Puppeteers, and Paul Villinski
Ritual & Residue: The Art of Drink focuses on rituals formed around tea, coffee, beer, wine and bourbon and the residue left behind. These beverages, created by humans, have inspired countless cultural traditions from decorative vessels to social gatherings. Whether habit, necessity, or custom, consuming beverages is often a community endeavor. In contemporary life, ideas are shared over a cup of coffee, friends meet at the bar, and a sip of bourbon unites an entire state in camaraderie.
Selected artists in this exhibition use communal gatherings as the impetus to create spaces and objects that encourage bonding between people through drink. Local artists before the opening of the show will activate Tom Marioni’s legendary performance and installation The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art. The empty seats and bottles become the residue of this shared experience. The Mad Hatter inspired tea party installation by Louisville puppetry troupe Squallis Puppeteers invites visitors to create imaginary stories as they sit for teatime with a life-size white bison.
Cultural tradition forms an important narrative in the exhibition as artists investigate and interpret the history of drink. Matthew Cummings, a Louisville artist and owner of the Pretentious Beer Glass Company, re-imagines the glassware used for drinking beer, a beverage that harkens back to Ancient Egypt. Dante Marioni’s exquisite vessels recall ancient Greek wine containers, and Louisville artist Sebastian Moh meditates on the traditional form of the Chinese tea bowl.
Using coffee and tea stained paper, the spoils of imperialism, artist Frohawk Two Feathers makes paintings that blur fact and fiction, evoking the history of the fraught relationship between the beverage trade and colonialism.
Paul Villinski’s butterfly arrangements adopt the remains of drinking rituals, transforming aluminum cans into new shapes and visions. Just as a butterfly goes through a transformative process leading to flight, Villinski alters the remnants of our disposable culture by turning the discarded drinking vessel into a beautiful metaphor about flying and the regenerative process.
New traditions emerge from these long histories, and KMAC is providing many opportunities for the community to participate in various social gatherings. Each week features a different beverage allowing KMAC to partner with select local businesses, Heine Brothes Coffee, Falls City Beer, Old 502 Winery, Hyland Glass, Sisters Tea Party, and Asia Institute Crane House, to offer engaging programs.