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Exhibition: Made in the USA


  • Fri, Oct 2, 2009 – Sun, Oct 18, 2009 First Friday Opening Reception on Oct 2 (6 pm-9 pm); Mon-Wed (11 am-5 pm); Thurs-Sun (1 pm-7 pm)

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LOCATION: William-Cozart Inc. - 320 S Harrington St

"Made in the USA" (MUSA) is a multi-media art exhibition exploring what it means to be "made" in the postindustrial USA.

Made in the USA (MUSA) is a multimedia art exhibition examining the effects of globalization and the transition from an industrial to a post-industrial era in the U.S.A. MUSA directors Carter Hubbard and Sara Botwick have partnered with Otho Cozart. owner of the building which once hosted his thriving furniture manufacturing business, to produce an interpretive, visual perspective that will allow patrons to reflect on what it means to be “made” in the USA; a question even more poignant in these current economic times.

Set in one of North Carolina’s countless shuttered furniture factories, “Made in the USA” opens October 2nd and features film, installations, original artwork and photographs that illustrate the changing environment of our society. Organized around the unique features of the factory space of the building, which dates back to the Civil War era, MUSA provides an in-depth, multiplicitous view of what it currently means to be “made” in the USA.

The exhibition takes place in a furniture factory in the warehouse section in downtown Raleigh, NC. Like many other furniture businesses in North Carolina, the company fell prey to the economic pressures of rising labor costs and cheaper production outside the United States. The business closed its doors in 2002 and the building has since lain dormant. Just a few months ago, walking into the production area felt like walking into a space frozen in time. Boards lie cut but unassembled, tools strewn across workbenches. On October 2, 2009, the space will be transformed into an exhibition alive with installation artwork, film, performance, as well as sculpture and two-dimensional works. The show will represent 20-40 established and emerging artists from the local area and across the country.

As visitors enter the MUSA space, they will have the opportunity to view clips from the film entitled “With These Hands” of The Unheard Voices Project. The films produced by Matthew and Cornelia Barr are dedicated to collecting and recording the thoughts and stories of working people concerning their occupations and the impact of global and technological change in their lives and their families. An exciting collection of photographs by Dave Alsobrooks will be projected in a blackened space in what used to be the primary “spray room” where all the furniture was painted after assembly.
Continuing toward the main exhibition space through the artisan painting and worktable area, Matthew Zigler explores the dying past time of pigeon breeding popular among blue collar workers through an installation containing a series of oil paintings. Carter Hubbard reflects the state of the human condition by examining expectations of society in the workplace and beyond in contrast to the individual. The auxiliary spray room hosts Jody Servon’s work highlighting the history of the room’s paint and the hallway gallery contains Sara Botwick’s portraits of the back bone of the American workforce; Latinos.
The main exhibition space opens out into a large open space that was the main area for cutting, assembly, and shipping. This space will include an array of artists such as Andrew Ross and his response to the former furniture business in relationship to the circle of birth, growth, death, decay, and rebirth in man’s use of trees, and local graffiti artist, Blake Burnette. David Newton correlates the “Golden Mean” to the heart and soul of the building and its owner through a striking overhead installation. The work of Julia Gartrell explores the demise of the American industry through an interactive installation of slowly eroding, unfired clay. David Finn portrays people performing the ordinary work of making things produced everyday in the US, all with imbued dignity. International sculptor, John Barlow Hudson spotlights the dying art of felt hat making. Mark Dixon, performance artist, and his group called “Invisible Sounds” will be using traditional musical instruments and found objects typically tossed aside or neglected to create a site-specific music.