This Fourth of July, millions across the country will be setting off fireworks and cracking beers in celebration of America. But a few local artists aren't so quick to raise a glass. The American Dreams exhibition, opening at Three Little Birds Cafe on Fri. July 1, will display art that explores what it means to be American today.
Not blinded from our faults by the red, white, and blue, the art turns a more critical eye toward our country. The works of Kristy Bishop, Sarah Frierson, and Paul Cristina convey their frustration through paint, cloth, and mixed-media.
Kristy Bishop's bright neon mixed-media pieces use yarn and bright colors to focus on the illusion of classlessness in the States, and the gap in the distribution of wealth. Sarah Frierson, a City Gallery fellow and 2010 City Paper One to Watch pick, paints with honesty, never shying away from an errant trashcan or low-lying power lines. Her oil paintings capture abandoned landscapes in an attempt to show what home means today with the current foreclosure climate. Paul Cristina has a dark but stylish look to his acrylics and mixed-media presentations. He will carry this look to the American Dreams show with a mix of newspaper clippings and oil paint reflecting our constant exposure to diluted and falsified information.
The show takes a critical look at our society, but the evening will not be totally somber. There will be all-American food like burgers and fries and live music on the back porch from 6-9 p.m. Throw in some free sparklers, and the American Dreams exhibition will be a fun but thought-provoking prelude to Fourth of July weekend.