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Community Advice: a project by Susan O’Malley 2.1 – 2.24 2013

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susan_web_imageOpening Reception: Friday, Feb. 1, 5–9 PM

Make your own poster Saturdays throughout the exhibition, from 1-4 PM.  

In her recent project “Community Advice,” Bay Area artist Susan O’Malley interviewed nearly 100 individuals asking, “What advice would you give your 8-year-old self?” and “What advice would you give your 80-year-old self?” Working with the responses O’Malley designed 10 different bold, colorful, letterpress posters. Some of the posters feature text taken from the interviews verbatim, others combine several people’s responses. Taken together they read as a set of slightly eccentric aphorisms, affirmations, and admonishments, ranging in tone from earnest to funny. “Don’t ever lie,” reads one. “Enjoy your hair while you have it,” reads another.

In the context of other signage and advertising these phrases are utterly surprising. O’Malley first exhibited the posters at the Palo Alto Art Center, but also hung them in the streets of the surrounding community. Likewise, the posters will be presented here in the project space at LCCM, but also hung throughout the town of Fort Bragg. Additionally, visitors to the gallery will be able to respond to the “What advice would you give…” question on a black board in the project space. And on Saturdays during the exhibition you can make your own community advice posters to take away. O’Malley’s posters will also be available for purchase in the LCCM store.

Susan O’Malley received her MFA from California College of the Arts. As an artist and curator she has participated in programs and exhibitions throughout the Bay Area and internationally. “Community Advice” is exemplary of O’Malley’s socially-based practice that relies on the back-and-forth exchanges between her and others as the basis for her projects. She hopes that such projects will inspire optimism and a sense of interconnectedness for those that experience them.