Couple Shares Guest Exhibition

The Gaddis Geeslin Gallery will start its fall 2014 exhibition season with the opening of “Anything That Has A Front” on Tuesday.

Married couple Christopher and Ariel Lavery will bring their talent in sculpting to Sam Houston State University through their exploration of consumerism and the human footprint, assistant art professor and Gaddis Geeslin Gallery committee chair Annie Strader said in a statement.

“The Laverys’ work intersects with regard to their mutual interests in the human experience as it relates to both consumerism and irony that leads to an overall sense of entrapment,” she said. “Their works are extraordinary sculptural investigations sharing the spirit of appropriation.”

While the couple has mutual interest in the concept of the exhibition, their methods diverge in the creation of each piece.  Ariel Lavery uses domestic objects, such as lamps and sinks, and creates a body of work in surreal and awkward positions to comment on obstinacy against good consumerism.  On the other hand, Christopher Lavery’s work deals with the wonderment and horror of the destruction of Earth by its own inhabitants.

Ariel Lavery wants her work to start a conversation and have viewers question what surrounds them in their daily lives.

“I like to talk about my work more as investigations or reflections on certain ideas and phenomena,” she said.  “I am really interested in dissecting the aesthetic and utilitarian choices we make in outfitting our domestic lives.”

This is the first opportunity the couple has had to exhibit together and the inspiration for their show came from their time together, according to Ariel Lavery.

“We wanted to see how our work would come together in this space and where the overlaps might be,” she said.  “We titled the show out of a conversation about the way both our work addresses “faux” objects and concepts.”

While the couple has assembled this show together, the two do not live together.  In fact, they live in two separate states, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Ariel Lavery said that despite their separation geographically, the couple often works together.

“I think some of the most satisfying moments I have in my life are when Chris and I can be in the studio together both working and focusing on our individual work but being together in the space,” she said.  “It’s nice to have a partner there you can trust to give you very honest and clear feedback if, for example, you need help seeing work from a different point of view. “

Ariel Lavery will give an artist talk at the exhibit’s opening Today at 5 p.m. in Art Building E Room 108 with a reception at 6 p.m. in the gallery itself.  Christopher Lavery will give a talk at the exhibit’s closing on Oct. 9, in Art Building E Room 108 at 5 p.m.

Ariel Lavery, who recently received the Artist Enrichment Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Colorado Boulder and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  She uses images and objects from domestic “Middle America” to create mutated versions of the home vision.  Ariel Lavery has also recently exhibited solo shows at the Zephyr Gallery in Louisville, Kentucky and the Herter Gallery at The University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Christopher Lavery was the recipient of the Emerging Public Artist Project Grant in 2008 from the Colorado Percent for the Arts at Denver International Airport and won a 2010 award from the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network.  He has exhibited internationally and held residency at the Vermont Studio Center, the largest international artists and writers’ Residency Program in the United States.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Annie Strader at

Leave a Reply