East Islip, NY: Islip Art Museum is pleased to present Flag Day, curated by artist, writer and independent curator, Janet Goleas. Flag Day will explore the way in which information, belief systems, politics and identity are communicated through pennants, banners and flags as well as things that wave, fly, hang or fold like a flag, things that relate to nationalism, pride of place/gender/race/ideology or that celebrate events or mark a place or time. They might commemorate an event, celebrate a triumph or mourn the loss of a loved one.
Participating artists include Ivin Ballen, Patrick Brennan, Mary Carlson, Amanda Church, Michael Conrad, Peter Dayton, Carla Edwards, Jameson Ellis, Veronique Fischetti, Joe Fyfe, David Gamble,William Graef, Priscilla Heine, Christopher K. Ho, Darren Jones, Stephen Maine, Christa Maiwald,Karyn Mannix, Bobbi Mastrangelo, Joe Nanashe, Gabrielle Raacke, Lynn Richardson, John Salvest, Matthew Satz, Andrew Schoultz, Robert Seng, Michael Solomon, Rafael Vargas-Suarez, Banks Violette, Ryan Wallace.
An object that is designated as a flag -- whether national, personal or ornamental -- is purposeful and symbolic. Like painting, flags are rooted in the distinct conveyance of an idea. Since Betsy Ross stitched those first 13 stars into a circle, there have been over 27 iterations of the American flag, each one signifying a precise adjustment in meaning. From the patriotism of Childe Hassam to appropriation as in Jasper Johns' Flag and David Hammons' African American Flag to the fierce protests against Dread Scott for his 1989 installation at the Chicago Institute of Art, the flag -- graphic, plastic and ripe with content - is an ongoing artist's muse.
As the face of a nation, the flag itself - any flag, in any country - can be a powerful tool for dissidence as well as patriotism. The solid green of Libya; color triunes used by Lithuania, Thailand, France; the sleek graphics of Botswana, Columbia, Germany and club pennants, banners, markers, nautical flags and decals - each represent a concept that is as rich in imagery, color and graphic design as it is in political, personal or national content. In concept, however, flags are plastic. As a tool for communication they can function symbolically or literally; they might adhere to a fixed pattern or be fluid in theory or philosophy or perhaps, like painting itself, they might serve as a statement of personal identity unrelated to politics.
Flag Day, Islip Art Museum's Annual Invitational and Open Call, will bring artists together in a convergence of ideas and interpretations from the painterly to the political, the performative to the static, the idea driven to the purely visual.
Flag Day opens to the public on June 15th and will continue through September 4, 2011. An artist's reception will take place on Sunday, July 24, from 1 - 4 p.m. For further information, please call Islip Art Museum at 631-224-5402 or visit www.islipartmuseum.org