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Ghosts of exhibitions past: the Big Orbit Gallery & David Mitchell Spotlight (Part I)


Photo by David Mitchell

 Sometime back in 2008 Big Orbit Gallery showcased artist David Mitchell.  As is most often the case in the art world one must be in the art scene to take advantage of the various events and openings happening throughout the region, our Queen City being no different.  If for, whatever reason, you missed Mitchell’s ‘Red Hearts / Black Tongues’ show, below is a critique of that 2008 interactive exhibition. It was an experience filled with unexpected surprises worthy of recollection. Hopefully, you, too, will find the review intriguing enough to give both artist and gallery a gander. 

The Gallery                                                                                           Surprisingly (or not) there is, yet, another gallery hidden in the nooks and crannies of Buffalo’s own backyard; Big Orbit.  Located on Buffalo’s Historic West Side, the gallery space is sited in an architectural gem with a rich history of its own (more on that in another article).   Interestingly Big Orbit has been in existence for close to two decades and is partially funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation.  

Free to patrons, Big Orbit’s exhibitions are a product of two generous programs available to both professional and emerging artists.  The Visual Arts Program offers a 5 month On-Site Summer Residency/Exhibition Program that gives artists project funding, work / exhibition space and creative license to work on site specific projects for 3 months and exhibiting the fruits of the labor for the following 2 months.  (Nice!) The other side of this pair is The Sound Lab Program which focuses on “experimental theater, literary performance, new music and sound art”.   The goal of both programs is to nurture the unconventional discoveries that come from creatively thinking outside the box.

The Artist                                                                                                        David Mitchell, a graduate of NYU, is a multi-talented artist skilled drawing, sculpture, video, photography and installation work.  In this exhibit Mitchell showcases his skills by melding seemingly unrelated mediums to produce a show that calls upon more than just the sense of sight.

Mitchell’s own artist statement best describes the shows inspiration and intent...

“In our cars at night, the dotted lines pass through our peripherals like some cryptic code, headlights dance across a blanket of black, and the horizon is emptied of all discern. We drive and we dream. We move at superhuman speeds. We pass through the night in dream machines. The machines are a part of us, a physiological appurtenance, and in them we become recluses.”

It is Mitchell’s very words (while cryptic to some) that give clue to the catalyst of his work.

WAIT!  Don't go!  This review is continued on Part II.  Please click here.

~Desiree Cruz-Nevilles, Your Citizen Journalist

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