This is the Only Place that Can Save My Heart

Masha Badinter, Mark Campbell, Michael Grothusen, James Johnson & Leah Bailis, Jenny Kanzler, Hope Rovelto, Mark Shetabi, and Shelley Spector

Curated by Alex Gartelmann

Friday, January 8th – Saturday, January 30th 2010
Opening Reception Friday, January 8th 6-10 PM

The word home is by definition a many faceted term. It can be used as a noun, verb, adverb, and adjective according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. In it’s most common usage, as a noun, Merriam and Webster give us six sub definitions of home:

1. One’s place of residence: domicile: house
2. The social unit formed by a family living together
3. A familiar or usual setting: congenial environment; also: the focus of one’s attention
4. A place of origin; one’s own country
5. An establishment providing residence and care for people with special needs
6. The objective in various games

The point being that home is many things, and it is always specific to the individual. We use the word in common phrases such as, “I’m going home for the holidays.”, “Home is where the heart is.”, “I’m headed home after work.”, in which we all understand what the meaning and intent. But in truth home differs from person to person. The history and context of peoples lives define what home is to them. That definition is specific to that person alone. Siblings may come and go to the same “home” but their memories and experiences in that place are not the same. The idea of home changes over time as well. When a person is young home is where they are being raised, but that changes as they grow older and move onto new places. We may know our homes like the back of our metaphorical hands, but is that the physical elements of the house we grew up in? Is it the attitudes of the people that occupy a place? Is it all of these things? There are many people who do not have a single place that they call home. What do nomadic groups consider to be home? Or foster children who jump from family to family? Or an adolescent who moves to a different country?

This is the Only Place that Can Save My Heart looks at a variety of perspectives on this issue. Each artist has a different perception of the power and definition of home. This place, or people, or feeling has an impact on the work that the artists make. Some of the artists address the issue of home directly, while some use the people, places, and things they think of as home as spring boards for their art making. Nostalgia, memory, historical context, and architecture as icon are just a few of the ideas that are examined in this exhibition.