Saturday, November 18 | 3-5pm
Sadly, mental health issues, loneliness, and isolation are all on the rise in our country, so much so that it’s been declared a “loneliness epidemic”. Our response? Find joy. The joy in Sarkin and Fink’s work, and art’s overall power to bring us together, gives us reason to celebrate.
Both artists take common themes, such as superheroes and shoes and comics, and reinterpret them into a contemporary conversation. From a giant old boot to the altered face of a hero, May You Be Happy promises to challenge the viewer’s perspective and contemplate what brings them solace, or excitement, or a sense of belonging.
This exhibition is held in conjunction with Arts & Health Mercer, created by a coalition of arts and culture organizations of the Mercer County region to bring a greater appreciation, understanding, and experience of how the arts are integral to the health of individuals and communities.
Jon became an artist in 1989.
His wildly prolific artistic output was created by a condition called “sudden stroke.”
Jon’s distinctive artwork, which draws influence from pop culture, literature, and music, has garnered the attention of art experts and non-experts around the world.
Here’s the gist of what actually happened to make Jon the artist he is today:
In 1988, Jon suddenly developed tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and hyperacusis (over-sensitivity to certain frequencies). This lead to surgery…which lead to a cerebellar hemorrhage…which lead to a stroke. Jon awoke deaf in one ear, his vision splintered, and his balance permanently skewed. Parts of his brain had been sliced and removed.
The neurons that were left made new, different connections. And compulsively creating art has helped Jon recover.
Following his stroke, Jon became obsessed with drawing.
So he drew.
And he painted.
And made collage.
And wrote poetry.
And scribbled over.
And rubbed dirt into things.
And Jon drew some more.
All the time.
Hannah Fink is a local artist who works in many mediums. Found objects, remnants, scraps of material, wood, metal, paper and miscellaneous materials that often incorporate wax and oil pastels have been her medium of choice for many years. The common thread is creating objects that contain personal history and memory. They are all forms of vessels that have evolved from chairs, shoes, and undergarments, to her current work focusing on boats that float in space, occasionally in water or on land. They are containers that provide a sense of freedom, and destinations yet to be discovered.
‘My shoe series which will be featured in the November exhibition at the ACP Taplin gallery was in a large part inspired by my mother and her love for footwear. She had a rather large collection, as did my 3 older sisters. These were a take-off point, as I enjoyed making fantasy shoes as well. I use found objects, scraps of leftover fabric, leather, wire, plastic, rubber, and wax to form these works. I like to play with scale as well, from exceedingly small to the ridiculously oversized.’