Starr’s cyanotype All My Plants are Houseplants and I Already Killed One, along with poet and collaborator Sarah Kain Gutowski’s Greet Again Your Failures is on display through May 22nd, 2022 at Ejecta Projects in Carlisle, PA as part of their Failings exhibit. A lovely essay written by curators Anthony Cervino and Shannon Egan has been written about the show and can be read here:
A snippet from the text about our work : “Artist Meredith Starr collaborated with writer Sarah Kain Gutowski in a series of cyanotypes and poems to reflect on the pandemic years through tragedies and failings large and small. Gutowski writes, “Praise your failures for what they’ve wrought from your stubborn foolish love.” Seen together with Starr’s lushly abstract print, titled All My Pets Are Houseplants and I’ve Already Killed One, each artist alludes to the mundane corners of home that drew our attention, that provided a kind of comfort through losses and uncertainties.“ And here is a little about the show from the press release- Failings, as a concept, implies a perceived shortcoming. Be it a moral deficit, or a material miscalculation, or some other misalignment of desire verses outcome – failings, or one’s failure, is typically perceived as negative. And yet, a successful studio practice, explicitly courting failure by defying expectations, taking risks, and pushing material or conceptual boundaries frequently defines avant-garde achievements, professional success, and creativity in general."
The artworks on display were selected from over 1000 images submitted by 131 artists through an open call for entries. The artists were asked to consider this theme of failings through processes that have gone awry, content or subject matter that addresses the idea specifically, or through some other evocation of deficiency or defeat.
The curators of Failings, artist Anthony Cervino and art historian Shannon Egan, who are also spouses, have been examining this theme since 2015, when they designed an exhibition and completed a corresponding book titled Ejecta. For this project they considered how shifting expectations for success and failure defined them as individuals and also in relation to their marital and professional partnership. As an outcome of this initial collaboration, in 2018, Cervino and Egan opened an art gallery and curatorial workshop, Ejecta Projects, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, with the name chosen - in part - because Ejecta connotes the word reject, the antithesis of accomplishment. In their life at home and as educators, artists, or curators, their failures continue to give context to their successes, and perhaps most relatable, these setbacks often push us forward as we seek meaning in loss, dismissal, and other significant “f**k ups.”
This exhibition considers how failure is perceived and successfully reflected in video, drawing, painting, poetry, printmaking, photography, sculpture by artists: Hannah Boone, John Brady, Sarah Crofts, Virginia Dal Magro, Ronald Gonzalez, Sarah Kain Gutowski, Lauren Charlene Havel, Tim Hutchings, Stacy Isenbarger, Carla Lobmier, Cory Mahoney, Sharon Pierce McCullough, Jonathan McFadden, JoAnne McFarland, SV Randall, Sarah Sagarin, Thom Sawyer, Zahra Pars, Jeff Slomba, Meredith Starr, Lisa Wicka, Nick Witten, Camila Villa Zertuche, and Annie Chen Ziyao. To learn more about Failings visit: https://ejectaprojects.com
Artwork installed at Ejecta Projects photo credit Sarah Kain Gutowski
Buttons created with the artist’s work photo credit- Sarah Kain Gutowski