Anyone who has enjoyed the creative, often high-concept exhibitions at the Housatonic Museum has seen the creativity of Terri C. Smith. These days, she’s curating Stamford’s contemporary-art venue, Franklin Street Works, which has announced its inaugural exhibition this fall. Oddly enough, or many not, it’s being named for a curator at a commercial gallery a few blocks away.
Artists Trisha Baga, Lukas Geronimas and Mads Lynnerup’s show references the new non-profit’s geographical location — the city of Stamford — and its unique position as a new alternative art space.
Preparations for “Fernando” began this summer with Baga, Geronimas, Lynnerup and Smith embarking on a two-day orientation in Stamford that included tours of the Avon Theatre and NBC studios; discussions about Stamford’s downtown revitalization and historic architecture; and meetings with civic leaders.
During the visit, when Smith and the artists mentioned contemporary art, inevitably, someone would say, “Have you met Fernando?” referring to Fernando Luis Alvarez, a gallerist on Bedford Street. The FSW announcement explains further:
This phenomenon and other observations have contributed to the exhibition’s formation, with Baga, Geronimas, Lynnerup, and Smith continuing to explore and research Stamford’s communities, organizations, and infrastructures as their projects unfold. Intentionally unpredictable, Fernando’s structure is designed to promote surprises and flux, fostering situations that welcome improvisation and experimentation.
The activities around Fernando will bring three additional perspectives to the new cultural enterprise that is Franklin Street Works, contributing to the organization’s formation and early growth. This approach embraces what artist and author Pablo Helguera describes as “art space as a self-contained art project.”* According to Smith, Fernando is also “aligned in some ways with the goals, accomplishments and failures of the democratically run alternative cultural and media organizations that proliferated in the 1970s.” Smith adds, “This is a topic on Franklin Street Works’ radar. After all, in 2011 what should this, or any art space that claims to be ‘alternative,’ be an alternative to? Our observations during Fernando will be considered as Franklin Street Works moves forward in developing its mission, audience and programming.”
According to founder and Board President, Kathryn Emmett, the art space is ten years in the making and she is “excited to see how programming will bring the idea to life,” adding, “I’m eager for FSW to open and look forward to being part of its continued growth and success as a great contemporary art space in Stamford and a vibrant destination in the region.”
The art space and café are open to the public on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday:
12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. with extended hours on Thursdays, 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Franklin Street Works does not charge an admission fee during regular gallery hours.
Franklin Street Works is located at 41 Franklin Street in downtown Stamford, Connecticut, less than one hour from New York City via Metro North. Franklin Street Works is approximately one mile (a 15 minute walk) from the Stamford train station. During regular business hours, metered parking is available on Franklin Street, and paid public parking is available nearby in the Summer Street Garage (100 Summer Street), behind the Target. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us on Facebook.
About Franklin Street Works
Franklin Street Works is a new, not-for-profit contemporary art space, café, and social gathering place in Stamford, Connecticut. It produces original on-site and off-site exhibitions, artist projects, and related programming. Located in renovated row houses on Franklin Street, the two-story space includes three galleries and a café. Franklin Street Works embraces innovative art and exhibition practices, a DIY attitude, and a workshop approach to its programming, audiences, and organizational structure. The activities and attitudes of the café reflect and expand on the organization’s mission as a contemporary art venue.
About the Artists and Curator
Trisha Baga was born in Venice, Florida in 1985. She studied at The Cooper Union, New York and the Milton Avery School of Art at Bard College, where she graduated with an MFA in 2010. Baga is an artist who often works in video and performance in ways that build romantic structures, allowing natural forces such as gravity, failure, and imagination to interact with its subjects in a pop-culture infused, emotion-based language. Baga has exhibited her work internationally, including exhibitions and performances at Vilma Gold, London; LAXART, Los Angeles; and in New York venues such as Greene Naftali Gallery, PS1, Art in General, Artist’s Space, and Anthology Film Archives. Baga lives and works in New York City. Smith and Baga have worked together twice in the past few years, including an exhibition that featured Baga’s video There Is No I in Trisha and a performance of Madonna y el Niño at the Housatonic Museum of Art, Bridgeport, Connecticut. http://www.bagalab.biz/work/About.html
Lukas Geronimas was born in Toronto, Ontario, in 1980. He received a bachelor of commerce from the University of British Columbia, and an MFA from the Milton Avery School at Bard College. His art is often based in manufacturing exchanges that are experiential and open one element in a situation up to another. It is also about the value of context, and the way an artwork lives within the studio, the exhibition, and the collection. With each context comes a separate evaluation, and Geronimas believes an artwork is most meaningful when it is responsible for all of them. This is Lukas Geronimas’s third time working with Smith. Previously he produced a traveling art piece in collaboration with David Horvitz during the spring of 2009 titled What’s in the Box, and he was invited in the spring of 2011 to install and perform Nickname Game 2 for the group exhibition “It’s For You,” Conceptual Art and the Telephone at the Housatonic Museum of Art, Bridgeport, Connecticut. http://www.lukasgeronimas.com/
Mads Lynnerup was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1976 and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He recently earned an MFA from Columbia University in New York. Lynnerup often foregrounds observations of everyday life as well as the art world’s social, creative, and monetary exchanges, noting that he admires artists who “are capable of letting you into their world of thinking, essentially creating other possibilities of observing life and the underpinnings that exist around us.” He has shown his work at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; P.S. 1, New York; Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany. Lynnerup is in numerous public collections, including the Blanton Museum of Art; Miami Art Museum; Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY; Orange County Museum of Art; and the San Jose Museum of Modern Art. Lynnerup has worked with Smith in two group exhibitions over the last four years, and she wrote an essay for his 2009 Baer Ridgeway gallery exhibition You are the Artist. You Figure it Out. http://www.madslynnerup.com/
Terri C. Smith is the Creative Director of Franklin Street Works and the curator of Fernando. With approximately fifteen years of curatorial experience, she has created exhibitions and related programming for museums and other not-for-profit art institutions, including award-winning contemporary art programs for Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville, Tennessee. After more than ten years at the Museum, she returned to school, earning an MA from Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies in 2008. Smith has curated exhibitions for venues in Connecticut, Florida, New York, Oregon, and Tennessee. Other projects have included commissioned catalog essays and journalistic projects for print and radio. http://terricsmith.blogspot.com/
“Fernando” is on view from Sept. 23 – Nov. 13, 2011. The public opening reception is Thursday, Sept. 22 from 5-8 p.m., and a street food event with the artists will take place noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22.