NEW WORK: academy records, matt lynch, nathaniel russell, george shumar, and chris vorhees

Through years of art business – first as an art supply store, more recently as an art gallery and frame shop – Brian and Genny Gordy have enjoyed the company of dozens of Ball State art students. Both graduates of that program, the Gordys found many student applicants were readily trained to work in their downtown business. Some of these employees graduated to become professional artists, art professors or game developers. For their November art exhibit, the Gordys will feature five of these former co-workers who have continued to collaborate and create, exhibiting from Chicago to New Zealand, Los Angeles to Bologna. Sometimes solo, often in collaboration, these men weave music, live performance, film, installation, and other artisans into their bigger-than-life exhibitions.

Stephen Lacy, Matt Lynch, George Shumar, Jr. and Chris Vorhees may be remembered for their late 1990’s downtown art gallery, “Sandbox,” or their rolling art gallery, “Object D’ART,” a fully-functioning mini gallery on wheels, pulled by a 1973 Dodge Dart. Filled with juried works of art, the project toured each quadrant of the country and produced a bound “Tour Diary 1998-99” of events, including stopping points and stats, such as: “Actual Total Stops Nationwide: 87. East Coast: 48. Avg. Viewers per Day: 48.” Joined by Nat Russell, the D’ART project was just a starting point for the ongoing collaborative art produced by this very active group of creative thinkers, art and music makers.

New technologies have enabled these five artists to reach ever-wider audiences, in their trademark “more is more” fashion, with more than a sprinkling of humor. Examples include a Styrofoam car created by Vorhees for installation in a tree at a Phish concert and a huge wooden skate bowl, installed at a Chicago art venue and then moved to Los Angeles.

Stephen Lacy placed a mock TV studio in a Los Angeles storefront, complete with a 1960’s variety show set and filmed it all as performance art to be broadcast through his Academy Records and Actual Size websites.

Vorhees, organizer of the event, owns Theoretical Woodworking, a custom design and build company. He is an installation specialist, working with artists, museums, and architects.

Skateboarder, installation artist, and surfboard & poster-painter, Nat Russell is famous for his hand-scrawled posters, served as artist-in-residence at Facebook in Menlo Park, CA, and has exhibited at art venues in Australia, Canada, France, and Berkeley.

Lynch, an art professor at the University of Cincinnati, works under the name, SIMPARCH, creating site-specific and responsive, large-scale artworks that strive to encourage communal interaction and social exchange. He claims an infatuation with “absurdly functional forms.”

Shumar, who studied metalsmithing at Ball State, discovered quilting after moving to Vermont and will exhibit “Hot Weather Quilt 2013,” made from jersey mesh, mosquito mesh, key rings, and balloons.

The opening reception for “New Work” will be held Thursday, November 7, 2013 from 5 to 8 PM at the downtown Gallery. Light refreshments will be served, and the artists will be introduced at 6:15 PM. The exhibit will continue through November 30th and may also be viewed during normal business hours: Monday-Friday, 9 AM to 5:30 PM, Saturday, 9 to 3.