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OAF Talk

The Raw and the Cooked

Outsider Art Environments and Installation Art

New York 2018

Emery Blagdon, The Healing Machine (installation view, An Encounter with Presence: Emery Blagdon+Shannon Stratton, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 2017), ca. 1955–1986 John Michael Kohler Arts Center, gift of Kohler Foundation Inc.
Eddie Owens Martin (St. EOM) in front room of Pasaquan, Photo by Carl Fleischhauer, South-Central Georgia Folklife Project collection (AFC1982/010), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress


Ace Hotel New York
20 W 29th St
New York, NY 10001

Exploring the relationship between Outsider Art environments and contemporary art installations, “The Raw and the Cooked” considers the similarities and differences in these highly imaginative realms. Taking OAF’s Curated Space project related to the visionary environment Pasaquan as the point of departure, our panel discussion presents the polished perspective of two exhibiting artists, who are actively engaged in creating public and installation art, and two exceptional Outsider Art professionals, who are at the forefront of appreciating and preserving the passionate enterprises of under-recognized, self-taught artists.

Paul Laster
Art critic and curator
New York Desk Editor at ArtAsiaPacific and a Contributing Editor at Whitehot Magazine for Contemporary Art and artBahrain, Laster is a frequent contributor to Time Out New York, GARAGE Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Galerie Magazine, Observer and Cultured Magazine. He recently co-curated (with ReneĢe Riccardo) the exhibition “Maker, Maker,” a group show of contemporary works that blurred the boundary between fine art and craft, at the Children’s Museum of the Arts in New York.

Saya Woolfalk
Multimedia artist
A graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Whitney Independent Study Program, Woolfalk has had solo shows at the Everson Museum of Art, Sugar Hill Children’s Museum and Storytelling, Chrysler Museum of Art, Montclair Art Museum and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks+Projects. She recently completed a video installation commission for the Seattle Art Museum, and is currently working on a solo museum exhibition commission for the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City. Woolfalk also organized OAF’s Curated Space project, which features her artwork.

Karen Patterson
Curator, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
After completing her Bachelor of Arts in Folklore Studies at Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada, and her Masters of Art Administration at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Patterson joined JMKAC in 2012. Focused on the Arts Center’s premier collection of folk art, self-taught art and artist environments, she incorporates these works into curatorial projects that explore a variety of contemporary themes. Current JMKAC exhibitions feature the art environments of Emery Blagdon, who turned a dilapidated shed into a sculptural installation he dubbed “The Healing Machine,” and Loy Bowlin, who styled himself as “The Original Rhinestone Cowboy.”

Michael McFalls
Director of Pasaquan and Professor, Columbus State University, Georgia
A practicing artist, professor of art and director of the visionary art environment Pasaquan, McFalls received his BFA in fine arts from the Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio, and his MFA from the University of California at Davis. Formerly a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Gothenburg and artist- in--residence at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, since 2014 McFalls has managed Pasaquan, a fascinating 7-acre art site developed by an eccentric folk artist named Eddie Owens Martin, who called himself St. EOM.

Ellen Harvey
Multidisciplinary artist
Known for her ambitious institutional installations at such venues as the Barnes Foundation, Turner Contemporary, Bass Museum of Art and Pennsylvania Academy of Art, Harvey is a 2016 recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in the Visual Arts and a graduate of the Whitney Independent Study Program. Exhibiting internationally since1998, she currently has a solo show at the Children’s Museum of the Arts in New York and is working on a permanent installation commissions for the renovation of the Miami Beach Convention Center and South Station in Boston.

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