–  Jennifer Drinkwater, Joel Swanson & Mario Zoots – 

Making Headlines

November 7, 2018 – December 8, 2019

Recently the value and impact of current events media coverage has been in flux, as news organizations historically anchored in print media suffer from an ever-shortening news cycle and over-saturation of data. What import do we ascribe to information received, and how do we respond thoughtfully as a culture? The Firehouse Art Center presents work from three visual artists creating responses to media production and presentation.

Jennifer Drinkwater reproduces magazine covers in painstaking embroidery. Replacing print pixels with stitchwork, she pairs issues of Time and People to contrast the tone and imagery of two print publications released on the same date, emphasizing the variety in consumed information. While each magazine bears a short shelf-life, her carefully crafted work suggests permanence, allowing us to question the thoughtfulness and purpose of each publication.

Joel Swanson’s collection of Headlines presents a reinterpretation of how newspaper mastheads announcing the death of famous (or infamous) individuals linger in memory – literally stretching the page, as a reflection on the import and lasting impression those headlines have left in his psyche. Presenting them as a group emphasizes the seemingly relentless nature of such information, and the scale of the work suggests their outsize impact. By printing the work on delicate paper and designing them to trail the floor, Swanson does not let us forget that the source material is flimsy, fleeting and vulnerable.

Mario Zoots creates cutaway collage-like works from vintage issues of print magazines – recalling both the nostalgic import of historical publications as well as a myriad of 20th-Century artistic practices such publications inspired. His works are dream-like in their completed form, textured and abstracted. By choosing vintage magazines and playing with the physical nature of the prints, he creates objects that remind us of our cultural past, and contain a compelling, contemporary energy.