Summer Farrar, Mom, 2009, embroidery and watercolor on silk.

Cory Imig, detail of correspondence from Written Maps, 2008-2011.

Working for an Understanding of the Neuroses of Family and Friendship

Cory Imig, Written Maps: Catalog of Imigs, 2011, Graphite and marker on paper, 43 x 84".

IInstallation view, Strangers Like Us, Paragraph Gallery.

David Imig and Family who traveled to Kansas City for opening on September 16, 2011

Cory Imig, Sincerely, With Love, Your Fellow Imig, Date: 2008-2011, Medium: Imig Responses, paper, wood, plexiglass, metal screw posts, 14 x 18".

 

Urban Culture Project Space
21 East !2th Street
816-221-5115
Kansas City
Strangers Like Us:
Summer Farrar and Cory Imig

September 16-November 5, 2011

Strangers Like Us, a two person exhibition, featuring new bodies of work from Kansas City-based artists Summer Farrar and Cory Imig. Bringing together a series of mixed media on fabric pieces by Farrar with documents and artifacts of Written Maps, an ongoing, interdisciplinary project by Imig, this show considers how we define our families, how our families define us, and how extending our definitions of family might connect us with “strangers like us.”

Summer Farrar shows a series of pieces composed of found fabrics, embroidery and paint that are inspired by dreams and events from her own life. Portraying a variety of characters representative of family members, friends, and strangers, they also feature hand-stitched marks and imagery alluding to character traits, emotional states, and histories real and imagined.

Using repurposed fabric, Farrar plays off preexisting patterns, holes and stains as she slowly builds her pieces, which enhances the dream-like quality of these works: her figures have the quality of ghosts, emerging from the shadows of the materials themselves and existing together in an intimate, psychologically charged space. Hanging the pieces in groupings, Farrar further enhances their sense of inter-connectness, giving tangible form to the manner in which we construct extended families of sorts for ourselves within our minds from a matrix of memories, fantasies, and associations.

In 2008, Cory Imig wrote personal letters to everyone in the country with the last name “Imig” that she could locate through a search on whitepages.com: 278 individuals. In response, she received nearly 100 letters back, in which these other Imigs shared personal stories, family histories, and photographs, which Cory Imig posted to a project blog. While driven less by the genealogical aspect of the project than by the idea of connecting with strangers related in some manner, in this case by name, she discovered through the process that, in fact, only one Imig family had come to America from Germany in the early 1800s, meaning that she and all of these American Imigs are, at least distantly, blood-related.

Exemplifying her ongoing interest in investigating and recording everyday situations, and organizing and categorizing information, for Strangers Like Us Imig will present materials related to and generated through this project, including catalogued letters and photographs, web-based research, and documents that painstakingly chart the information she has gathered, including tracking locations, professions, and relationships.

In addition, she mailed postcards to all locatable Imigs (since beginning the project, the number of Imig’s listed on whitepages.com has grown from 278 to 650, suggesting that the artist has successfully spurred an Imig-family conversation), inviting them to the opening of the exhibition and encouraging them to reach out to Imig’s who have changed their names as well. As such, the exhibition itself will open as a real-time experiment and, one hopes, manifestation of the artist’s intent to identify previously unobserved relationships in a manner that spurs new conversations and possibilities.

Summer Farrar was born in Wichita, Kansas. She graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute with a BFA in Fiber. Farrar has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions and was the recipient of the Merit Award in Creative Innovations at Fiber Focus in St. Louis in 2007. She currently lives and works in Kansas City.

Cory Imig is an interdisciplinary artist currently working in Kansas City, Missouri. She received her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2008, where she studied fibers and sculpture, and later attended residencies at Virginia Commonwealth University and The Vermont Studio Center. Her work has been exhibited at a range of venues in Savannah, Richmond, and the Kansas City area. She is the recipient of a Charlotte Street Foundation Urban Culture Project Studio Residency (2010-11) and, with four collaborating artists, of a Rocket Grant to support PLUG projects, a new venue in Kansas City’s West Bottoms that aims to energize artists and the community at large by exhibiting challenging new work, initiating critical dialogue, and expanding connections of artists in Kansas City as part of a wider, national network of artists. Visit www.coryimig.com for more information.

Cory Imig, Sincerely, With Love, Your Fellow Imig, Date: 2008-2011, Medium: Imig Responses, paper, wood, plexiglass, metal screw posts, 14 x 18".

Cory Imig, Written Maps: Catalog of Imigs, 2011, Graphite and marker on paper, 43 x 84".

 

Dummer Farrar, Orlando, 2011, embroidery and paint on cotton.