Now in its eighth year, the visual-art-by-musicians installation Minus Sound Research returns tonight with “Music for the Eyes.” Curators Maria Albani and John Harrison hope to present another peek into the often-overlooked alternative creative outlets of some local musicians. Featured artists this year include: Theresa Stone (Boykiller), Kim Ware (The Good Graces), Caitlin Cary (Tres Chicas and The Small Ponds), Scott Myers (The Kingsbury Manx), Jess Edison (Once and Future Kings), Clarque Blomquist (Waumiss) and Albani (Organos) and Harrison (Jphono1 and North Elementary).
The art—a collection of painting, photography, drawing, collage, sculpture and woodwork—is an interesting glimpse into how imagination moves depending on medium.
“It’s weird to talk about that because it helps when you know the person,” admits Albani. Still, glancing around the gallery, she and Harrison both light on the work of Waumiss songwriter and Kingsbury Manx member Claque Blomquist as a prime example of how music and visual art can share intention. “I’ve known Clarque since I was 17 years old, and he is a fabulous musician. I feel like when I look at these pieces I see Waumiss—vibrant, creative, weird.”
“Psychedlic,” interjects Harrison.
“There’s just a lot of shit going on, which is Clarque,” reasons Albani.
Other works in the show offer a similar interrelation: Caitlin Cary’s wonderful stitched landscapes suggest her warm Americana music. Albani’s playful creature gourds reflect the adventurous Organos. There’s contrast, too: The pop simplicity of Harrison’s screenprints doesn’t hint at the ambition in his musical arrangements. The messy violence of Jess Edison’s paintings is a far cry from the dreamy indie rock of Once and Future Kings.
Even so, Albani and Harrison aren’t too concerned with the philosophy of this show anymore. “I don’t know that we’re necessarily researching [process] anymore,” says Albani, “It’s just still about bringing new people into the mix who make visual art that don’t typically show it and providing a platform for them to be able to do so.”
Minus Sound Research 8 opens tonight, Friday, Nov. 8, with a welcome reception at Outsiders Art in Durham 5:30 to 8:00. Visit MinusSoundResearch.com for more. Check below for a playlist of participating artists.