Herron alumni David Schmitt and Marx Shoemaker hadn't worked together before Mt. Comfort curator Austin Radcliffe invited them to collaborate on Sure Thing. And they didn't even work in the same space until the final installation, instead swapping partially completed pieces for each other to finish.
Radcliffe and the artists also collaborated on the installation process. A few of the show's pieces didn't take their final form until after they were mounted, when the artists added oil pastel lines and shapes directly to the wall. The art incorporates media that nods to the artists' architectural inspiration, including drywall, paint, canvas, cement and oil pastel.
The collage pieces have a distinctly Dada-esque flair, though they still feel contemporary. Old houses full of potential for reinvention were inspirational to the artists.
"A lot of it came from the things Marx and I appreciate about art, which is the repurposing of materials and a focus on the formality of materials," Schmitt told me during an interview. "A lot of domestic materials and architectural investigations that we were both interested in, and once we started talking about it we were even more interested in it; we figured out the specifics of our interests."
Every piece in the show is excellent and eye-catching due to the unlikely combinations of colors and materials. They lean toward representation, yet remain abstract. It's fresh, compelling group of art - and another strong showing for Mt. Comfort. Through July 26 at Mt. Comfort