Maryam Amirvaghefi, Find My Greatest Failure #1, Oil pastel on paper, 5 in. x 8 in. 2021
a group exhibition featuring
Maryam Amirvaghefi · Abigail Smithson · Breanne Trammell
The Batesville Area Arts Council presented clock/work, a group exhibition at the BAAC Gallery on Main (226 E Main St), March 8 – April, 23 2022. clock/work was a multi-media group exhibition centered on the structure and iconicity of sports as a way of relating to society more broadly and sifting through topics of identity, representation and engagement. Time, or more specifically time constraints, are the basis for the ways in which the majority of sports and games function. Featuring the work of Maryamsadat Amirvaghefi, Abigail Smithson, and Breanne Trammell, clock/work explores those functions; the works range from being critical to celebratory of the individual elements that combine to create our shared culture within sports.
Maryam Amirvaghefi was born in Tehran, Iran in 1989. Amiravghefi’s works are the mixed media medium of painting, video art, and sculpture pieces. She graduated from University of Arkansas School of Art with an MFA. She completed her BFA at the Sooreh Art University, Tehran, Iran in 2013. She is currently working at the University Of Arkansas School Of Art as an
Assistant Director of Exhibitions and Instructor. She has had group shows in Tehran, South Korea, United Kingdom and USA. Her works have been published in n+1 Magazine, Dovtain Magazine, Al-Tiba Magazine, New Media Art 2019, CICA Museum, WOTISART Art Magazine, Studio Visit magazine, and Average Art Magazine. In addition to her studio practice, Amirveghefi has curated two shows from Iranian and American young artists in Tehran. Iran and Fayetteville. USA and co-curated exhibitions that feature artists such as Laleh khorramian, Barb Smith, Tauba Auerbach, Corin Hewitt, Trudy Benson, Tara Donovan, Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, Nikole Cherubini, Jenny Holzer, and many others.
My work is presented as an autobiography that is gender-based. As a female artist and specifically a female artist from the Middle East, I have to deal with the negative view toward women from authoritarian regimes. People expect to see these women as weak and submissive. I wonder if it is possible for me to ‘win,’ whether in life or the art-world. In trying to reconcile my situation, I have determined that sports, specifically sports-related imagery, are legitimate vehicles for exploring notions of ethnicity, gender, and politics. By putting myself at the center of the work and focusing on the autobiographical, I can consider the political and personal views surrounding a young woman who lives under constant uncertainty in the United States.
The worlds of art and sports are not significantly different. Both have the ability to convey emotion, illustrate internal conflict, and create lasting memories. In addition, each of them plays an important role in the culture and history of my motherland, Iran, as well as in the United States, where I currently live and work. Sports and art both require you to use your mind
and your body at the same time. What we do in art and sports are learned through repetition and exercise.
My emphasis is on the way in which artists or athletics create an emotional connection and the effect of gender and nationality on their practice. I will propose that certain aspects of being an artist are similar to being an athlete. Both gender and nationality play an essential role; they can be both an advantage or a disadvantage. The result is not always detrimental, as athletes and artists can obtain a brief celebrity status based solely on these categorizations.
Abigail Smithson is an artist based in Batesville, Arkansas. With a focus on documentation, her work is rooted in the appreciation, translation and act of making records. Basketball is her muse; she uses the game as a lens for viewing issues surrounding the body and representation. Smithson’s ongoing goal is to work within communities to understand how basketball exists in each place. Through events, art-making, and story-seeking, she hopes to create a platform for those around her to share their ideas in collaboration. She received her Bachelor of Studio Arts from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2010 and her Master of Fine Arts from Louisiana State University in 2017.
The drawings of basketball passes featured in clock/work have been made by citizens of Belgrade in partnership with the Belgrade Artist in Residence Program, and then mailed to Smithson. They are paired with writing from Balkan Departures: Travel Writing from Southeastern Europe by Wendy Bracewell and Alex Drace-Francis. The intention of this work is to collaborate continuously on a piece of art that presents the viewer with a question: how do we best try to understand a place that we have never been?
Breanne Trammell is an artist, amateur archivist, and nonmusician currently based in Fairfield, CA.
everyday things (like sports) can be a tool to make art ideas more accessible.
Breanne writes: "My work evolves out of the daily practice of looking, learning, zoning out, and being present (extremely local) in my environment. It's highly mobile, and I prioritize using lo-fi and common materials like T-shirts, bumper stickers, and classified ads—non-privileged and public sites of potential discourse. I treat everyday life as material for my work, sampling freely and appropriating and conflating canonical moments from art history and media culture with moments of personal importance, inserting and elevating that which is seemingly insignificant or banal. I clown around, poke fun, riff, and bootleg, lovingly teasing at language and form to frame and situate myself in a world I feel wasn't built for me. Feelings, emotions, and political and personal histories are made tangible through publication and occasions for collaboration, joy, and new experiences. Most recently, I did a reading of HVAC Boyfriend, or Air Pressure (A Lover's Discourse) at a comedy open mic night, and my Z flag (for hugs) received a 3rd place ribbon at the 2021 Arkansas State Fair. I've also adopted a highway in Iowa, toured the US performing free manicures, organized a video/book exhibition called Kind of Bluets: 33 Great Moments in Color (Aid) Commentary, read a CV on the radio, and MC'd the Sandwich Summit—a collaborative, social gathering that celebrates our nuanced relationships with food and visual culture—for nearly a decade. My life is punctuated by collaboration and through it the cultivation of friendship, and possibilities, as practice."