artists John Farley, director of art galleries at Marshall University, and
Marshall art and design major Lorin Michki will present a joint exhibition of
their work at Gallery 842 in Huntington beginning Friday, Aug. 19.
Their exhibition, (re)discovery, opens at 6 p.m. Aug. 19 with a reception, which is free and open to the public.
Farley, of Huntington, is a MU alumnus and was recently named The Herald-Dispatch Arts Citizen of the Year. Michki, also of Huntington, is an award-winning student whose emphasis is in printmaking.
The artists will exhibit recent drawings, paintings, prints and other works that explore questions of the human condition, Farley said.
“This exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Cabell Huntington Coalition for the Homeless, whose mission and vital civic services improve the welfare – the human condition – of so many in our community,” Farley said. “A percentage of any money generated from the sale of artwork will be donated directly to the CHCH.”
The collaboration with the CHCH is rooted in real-world experiences. Michki lost his home and nearly all his possessions in a fire last summer and was faced with the prospect of rebuilding. Farley took him in. At about the same time, Farley was working at Gallery 842 and developed a personal relationship with “Steve,” a homeless man who searched trashcans on 4th Avenue for food. Farley frequently buys him a meal.
“Through this exhibition, we seek to promote and foster a spirit of personal and civic engagement, further elevate the arts within our community, and demonstrate the kind of collaborative spirit that will lead to increased awareness and change,” Farley said.
For Michki, being asked to exhibit work in a two-man show was flattering.
“When John asked me about doing this show, I felt honored that he would want me to exhibit work with him and knew that this was too great an opportunity to pass down,” Michki said.
“My work deals with various issues that relate to the question of ‘reality’ as being truly real or as something that we make real for ourselves, and how devastating a false reality can be to us in certain instances.”
“The process and product of art-making is a universal thing, to be made relevant, enjoyable and accessible to all,” Farley said. “We want the community to be able to come in, and buy some art – for it not to be solely a luxury item.”
The artists were awarded a grant from Café Huntington and a matching grant from Create Huntington to subsidize the cost of the exhibition, allowing them to make high-quality prints in an effort to make some of the artwork more affordable.
According to its website, Cafe Huntington provides “micro grants” to artists and activists in the Huntington area. Each month, a guest chef prepares a meal for which tickets are available for $10 per person. All of the income from that meal is given as a grant to support a local project, which is selected by vote of the meal attenders.
Create Huntington is a local organization whose focus is on improving community
livability and whose projects include matching grants such as the one received
by Farley and Michki.
Farley noted that being awarded the matching grant from Create Huntington was an added bonus.
“Being awarded a Create Huntington matching grant allows us to do even more than we initially envisioned,” Farley said. “… In a sense, it is also a positive affirmation of the things we have chosen to pursue, and it feels great to have already received so much community buy-in.”
The exhibition will continue through Friday, Sept. 23. Gallery 842 is located at 842 Fourth Avenue in downtown Huntington. Admission is free and open to the public, Tuesdays through Saturdays, from noon to 7 p.m.
Photo: John Farley (left) and Lorin Michki will present an art exhibition at Gallery 842 beginning Aug. 19.
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