Serving Face investigates and documents Atlanta's drag queens by combining traditional embroidery techniques and animation. Co-presented by Barbara Archer Gallery and Goat Farm's satellite location Erikson Clock, Serving Face will showcase Atlanta artist Aubrey Longley-Cook's portraits of drag queens, paired with work created by his RuPaul Cross Stitch Animation Workshop – a collaboration of 35 artists. The dynamic show runs from December 14, 2013 through January 4, 2014 at Erikson Clock at 364 Nelson Street in the Castleberry Hill Arts District. The public is invited to a free opening reception Saturday, December 14 from 7:00 to 10:00 pm highlighted by performances from local drag queens.
The term “serving face” is a drag-community expression used to describe a queen striking an intense pose. Longley-Cook's portraits offer intimate glimpses of his subjects as seen through vanity mirrors. Many contemporary Atlanta queens continue to develop their own distinctive styles, connecting to their female personas by pushing their creative practice into artistic realms of dance, music, poetry and performance art. Serving Face takes inspiration from the local scene and shines a spotlight on some of its rising stars.
The RuPaul Cross Stitch Animation Workshop is a community-based embroidery and animation project hosted by WonderRoot Community Arts Center earlier this year. During workshops, 35 participants learned to cross stitch, viewed experimental animation, and celebrated drag culture through performances by local queens. Each was assigned an individual template abstracted from stills from RuPaul's Supermodel music video. While the original footage is black and white, each stitcher chose a color palette that corresponded tonally to the lights and darks of the original footage. This abstracted every image even further and when seen together, an animated, kaleidoscopic rainbow effect is created. Both the front and back of the pieces are documented through animation, giving the viewer a participatory sense of the knots behind the cloth, the chaos behind the order, and the stubble under the makeup. For details on the workshop, visit rustitch.com.
Participating artists include Ashley Anderson, Kimberly Binns, Jess Bernhart, Katherine Bernhart Rachel Burnstein, Clay Butterworth, Ben Cheaves, Kaitlin Commiskey, Olisa Corcoran, Lauren Cunningham, Jared Dawson, Kate Doubler, Sarah Durning, Jane Garver, Maggie Ginestra, Sally Hansell, Brooke Hatfield , Tricia Hersey-Patrick, Andre Keichian, Taryn Kelly, Genevieve Leavitt, Christina León, Adrienne Lowe, Romy Aura Maloon , Lauren McDonald, Amy Salley , Steve Sauer, Chris Seely, Nathan Sharratt, Sarah Martha Shipman, Nathaniel Smith, Christa Tinsley Spaht, Mike Stasny, Drew Watts and Elizabeth Yates.
Longley-Cook received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. His work investigates the union of animation and embroidery, telling stories by blending the two art forms. He is a 2013-14 Walthall Fellow and has shown locally at Barbara Archer Gallery, Mason Murer, MOCA GA, WonderRoot, Young Blood, Mint, the B Complex, Eyedrum and the Plaza Theater. His work was featured internationally at the Magic Stitch Expo in Moscow, Russia in 2011. He designed and cross stitched the cover of Atlanta Magazine's The Southern Issue, November 2012, and his work has been featured in Art Papers, The Atlantan, Creative Loafing, GA Voice, Hoopla: the Art of Unexpected Embroidery, Stitches Magazine and Form: Artistic Independence 2009.
This project is supported in part through an investment from Idea Capital, a community-based fund created by and for Atlanta artists. Additional support comes from WonderRoot, the Awesome Foundation and The Goat Farm's AIP (Arts Investment Package). This project is also supported in part by the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs.
Erikson Clock is a Goat Farm Satellite
More Information on the Aubrey Longley-Cook: http://spoolspectrum.blogspot.com/
ArtsATL / Catherine Fox: Idea Capital Announces 2012 winners of its artist grants
Atlanta Magazine / Cover: Atlanta Magazine November 2012