Freshly Squeezed and Marilyn Death Fest Group Shows to Open for One Night Only

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Organizing a one-night-only, pop-up exhibition is a complex art in itself, as any curator can attest. Artists will commit and then back out. Usually the venue is non-traditional and can fall through at any moment due to myriad circumstances — and God forbid there are no toilets. Fortunately, the organizers for Freshly Squeezed and Marilyn Death Fest were able to pull everything together with a cast of emerging and established artists for their ventures.

Freshly Squeezed organizer Madison Asher says: “We are a group of emerging artists trying to find our place in the art world. Individually, we are still trying to figure it all out. The art world is extremely competitive and hard to break into, I wanted to give myself and others the chance to make our mark. We have all graduated in the past two years, earning a bachelor's degree in an art form. I hope people will appreciate the atmosphere we have created.”

These eight female artists will be presenting their work in a cavernous industrial space, letting the 16-foot garage door open to allow natural light, as opposed to the track lighting in a traditional white cube gallery. The idea is to have the space amplify the work and to give a more exclusive and underground feel to the show.

Kaylynne Etienne and Allie Morris are two artists in Freshly Squeezed you should put on your radar. Etienne’s series “Living with a Pessimist” exposes the sometimes uncomfortable tension between persons in a long term relationship. A marriage of muted and bold tones surrounding her figures along with translucence of her subjects’ skin furthers this idea. We are squeamish voyeurs to her self portraits and she levels us with the beauty of her paintings. Morris takes traditional woodcut technique to another level with her prints. Creating vignettes of imagined landscapes, she pulls us in to another time. The Durer influence is undeniable, yet Morris’ work very contemporary. Her storytelling is intriguing, as well.

It’s great to witness such artistic strength and we hope the rest of the exhibition is as strong.

Freshly Squeezed: A Group Art Show will be open on Saturday, Aug. 5 from 6-9 p.m. at 4920 Commerce Parkway in Warrensville Heights. More information can be found on their Facebook event page or via email at madisonasher29@gmail.com.

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Marilyn Death Fest organizer and veteran artist, MCXIII recalls the first group exhibition in 2012: “It was birthed as a haunted art exhibit and grew more and more elaborate. I had gathered nearly forty artists, nine bands of varying genres, burlesque & boylesque, and SFX film artists to help design the decor and installations. The original idea for MDF was to be held at a defunct, century old funeral parlor in East Cleveland. It was a monolithic task trying to clean and renovate the abandoned building. Ultimately, just like the building itself, we had to abandon that venue due to utility issues. I was heartbroken. So many wonderful artists had work that needed to have their unveiling regardless, so I found another venue downtown to take us in just weeks prior to our show date. Ever try moving an entire event last minute? It isn't easy, but again, there were so many artists and volunteers that had helped for nearly a year prior that I had to do it. I wanted to do it. I love that Cleveland has such a diversity of talent and this community of involvement. And yeah, here we are five years later. MDF laid in moratorium long enough.”

MCXIII has just opened Generic.Gallery on Lakeside Avenue in Midtown Cleveland where Marilyn Death Fest will he held. “Ironically, Marilyn herself did not fascinate me," MCXIII says. "Celebrity death and how our culture recycles our icons and ideologies intrigues me.” The famed actress died on August 5, 1962. “The majority of artists involved then and now are not Monroe fans, but they aren't supposed to be. The theme is meant to challenge us. It challenged myself as I built the event around someone that I wasn't a fan of.”

The impressive roster of returning and new artists to the fest includes such notables as Angela Oster, Brian Kelly, Colin Toke, Robert Boardman, Cade Burkehammer, and Alex West of SemiSynthetic Photography as well as emerging photographer Robyn Leigh Becker, and Benji Diaz whose stunning Pop Culture Erotica has been gaining recognition and collectors. Making her debut will be Detroit sculptor Monkeyteeth with performances by DJ TEXTBEAK and DJ THRoAT YoGURT DEssERT.

With the opening of Generic.Gallery, MCXIII promises some fun and meaty material. “I have already set up exhibits for the remainder of 2017, including the 3rd version of Dreadful Things in October; Alien: Communion in November that explores sci-fi, horror and theology; and Baggage in December, which is a mixed media exhibit using suitcases and luggage to tell stories of what it means to be homeless and/or a refugee. For 2018, we hope to have shows once a month when possible. We kick off February with I Choo Choo Choose You, featuring trains and hobo love. Newly booked for June is A Grrrl for All Seasons: Cool Riders & T-Boids, which pays homage to the greatest American musical ever: Grease 2.”

Marilyn Death Fest can be experienced on Saturday, Aug. 5, from 4 - 10 p.m. at Generic.Gallery, 3901 Lakeside, Ste 104. For more information visit www.generic.gallery or email gallerist@generic.gallery.

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