Assemblages: The Art of Storytelling

"Shadow boxes become poetic theater or settings wherein are metamorphosed the elements of a childhood pastime." - Joseph Cornell For the August Assignment, Stories, artists were prompted to take found objects and tell a story with them. Found art ranges from shadow boxes with knickknacks to a signed urinal to a piano covered in felt. Amy Hitchcock, both a participating artist and teacher, is very much inspired by the assemblage art pioneer, Joseph Cornell. For this assignment she taught a class and her student’s work can be seen throughout the show. I had the pleasure of speaking with Amy about this complex and fascinating medium:

I understand that your work is heavily influenced by Joseph Cornell. Could you elaborate a bit more on your connection with him?

"A friend from Jamaica Plain had a shelf of books and he mentioned that I   could take any of the books EXCEPT for the Cornell book, which immediately intrigued me. Collages had always been a part of my life and I have also been an avid collector of old family items. When I finally discovered Cornell, we just clicked."

How do you think this medium differs from others?

"Well people are drawn to the story and different interpretations. Everyone brings in something different to a found object. What may be my story may not be necessarily what people take out of it. Some people are drawn to it   because of the universal connection to an object in our culture that is OVERLOOKED i.e. hardware or old family photographs. I have noticed that people have strong emotional responses to simple items. Assemblages are also more accessible, even to people who have never even taken an art class."

"This exhibition really reinforces UFG’s mission to make art accessible and to help people realize that everyone has an artistic capability within them. There is a real element of discovery with this medium that is universal and inspiring. I think we can now say that this is the art of the past, present, and future."

"Stories" is on view at UFORGE Gallery through Sunday, August 26, 2012, including work from Amy Hitchcock and her students.