[Spotlight] ‘Common Ties That Bind’
On Aug. 2, Sawtooth School for Visual Art (251 Spruce St. N., in Winston-Salem) will host a reception and artist talk with Ownes Daniels for his exhibition “Common Ties That Bind,” which is on display now until Aug. 23. The reception and artist talk with Daniels is from 5 to 7 p.m.
According to the Facebook event page, the reception will also include a guest appearance and performance by “ songstress Diana Tuffin accompanied by African drummer Hashim Saleh.” The models of each work of art in the exhibit (A.J. Jumper, Dont’a Thomas, Francessa Adams, Marisa Greeson, Ashley Price, Joseph Price, Alex Fuentes, and Jayla Allen) will be in attendance to discuss their experiences and thoughts on the exhibition.
Sawtooth executive director Amy Jordan said that “Common Ties That Bind” is a “timely and relevant exhibit.” Jordan explained that Daniels started off as a student at Sawtooth, and then became its artist-in-residence.
“He progressed really rapidly, and he did his first solo exhibit here in our Corridor Gallery and just really formed a relationship that has been on-going,” she said. “Last year he did a residency with us, and we wanted to help support him by really supporting an exhibit he wanted to put together.”
Daniels said the vision of the mixed-media exhibit “Common Ties That Bind” started as another project in April 2018, but gradually morphed into what it is now.
Daniels describes himself as “a news junkie,” and he gets a lot of his ideas from the news. After hearing people open up publically about sexual assault and harassment during the Me Too Movement, “the biggest thing that struck me was, everybody came on T.V. had something that was common among them: Some old white guy, some time ago, had molested them.”
Through the stories of people coming forward to share their experience, Daniels said he started to notice this pattern, and it inspired him. He also noticed the difference of being “tied” to something versus being “bound.”
“You are tied up, but you have a certain amount of independence,” Daniels explained. “So, whereas, you are bound to something, you have either no independence or no freedom at all. That is why it is called ‘Common Ties That Bind,’ The work I want the visitor to suggest to themselves is, ‘am I tied to this situation, or am I bound?’”
Upon entering the gallery, Daniels said there would be a small basket with cut-up rope in it for viewers to take with them and give it away as they walk through the exhibition. As they look at each work of art, they will examine themselves and ask themselves if they are tied to it or if they are bound to it.
“It is our hope that the community will visit this exhibit and experience the narrative that the artist brings to life in this body of work,” Jordan said. “Art is a compelling medium for elevating and addressing ideologies, and our partnership with Owens endeavors to engage the diverse members of our community and jumpstart conversations about race and other forms of bias.”
Jordan pointed out that Sawtooth will be celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2020.
“We continue to provide creative art expression for all age groups in 10 disciplines, including painting, drawing, printmaking, glass, metals, wood, digital arts, textiles, photography and ceramics,” she said. “Sawtooth was founded by the Junior League and was originally known as the Arts and Craft Workshop. Since then, we have moved several times and gone through many transitions, but always providing a space for our community to create.”
Jordan said the “Common Ties That Bind” reception and artist talk will be held in the Davis Gallery, located on the second floor of Sawtooth.
The next exhibit opens in September and will feature paintings by New York-based artist, Mariyah Sultan.