MITCHELL GAUDET: SHOOTING GALLERY
OCTOBER 27 – NOVEMBER 25
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 27, 2018, 6-9 pm
Gallery Hours: M-F 10am-5pm; Sat 10am-4pm; Sun 1-4pm
Working in Arabi, next to New Orlean’s Lower Ninth Ward, mixed-media artist Mitchell Gaudet is known for his beautiful cast glass. His new exhibit, Shooting Gallery, uses the visual seduction of glass to comment on a gruesome American phenomenon: school shootings. Also included are metal castings of toy guns, and sculptures made of found objects, such as shooting trophies coupled to antique school bells. Focusing on the traditions of Americana, the exhibit also includes a carnival shooting booth with a twist: instead of tin ducks, fleeing school children mixed with so-called “active shooters” are the targets. The object is to hit the shooters without taking out a child.
“Now it seems that the NRA (National Rifle Association) is just pushing more guns, and guns in schools, and teachers owning guns and bringing guns to school,” Gaudet told The Times-Picayune of New Orleans. “To me, it’s just insane.”
Gaudet, however, is not the expected liberal artist in this discussion. A former Marine, former Army paratrooper, and retired captain in the Army Reserve, the artist owns a shotgun and supports the Second Amendment. He is also an artist with a deep commitment to craft and finely balanced composition. These diverse traits combine to deliver work that makes us confront our attachment to shiny things: glass, guns, and bullets. If only we could keep this obsession–as some claim it to be–a sporting proposition.
Mitchell Gaudet has sculpted glass for over thirty years.
Born in New Orleans, he received his BA from Louisiana State University and a MFA from Tulane University. In 1991 he founded Studio Inferno, a glass studio and artists space where he continues to work.
He is influenced by the patina and pace of New Orleans, found objects, nature and historical objects of desire. His primary working material is hot glass and his working method is sand casting which allows him to easily compose and abstract his collages.
He has exhibited work nationally and internationally and has received both a Pollock-Krasner Grant and Joan Mitchell award. He has taught at the Pilchuck School of Glass in Seattle, Wa., the Glass Furnace in Istanbul, Turkey, Toyama Institute of Glass in Japan, Bildwerk in Frauenau, Germany and the Glass School in Bornholm, Denmark.
He is currently living on luck, with his artist wife Larkin in the Bayou Sauvage marsh.