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In•Animate Objects

Founders Gallery

February 28 - May 31

in-animate objects

Opening Reception
Friday, April 19, 4-6 pm
Founders Gallery

CJ Karch, Liz Nofziger, Ruth Bauer, and Blyth Hazen each make objects and then they move them; or move lenses around them; or something else moves and then they move; or a switch is triggered; or…

Sometimes this all happens very very slowly and tediously a frame at a time, sometimes a little faster at the edge of chaos and emergence.

But in all cases what was once just a still object becomes something else entirely… it is not really that the artists breathe life into the objects but more they give us a way to see or imagine the life within.

Blyth Hazen’s creative and teaching practice often involves making things that move. Sometimes they appear to do this on their own – on a screen. While other times they need more human engagement to be activated – like a puppet, robot or an automata. Blyth first came to Montserrat College of Art in the late 1990’s to help integrate digital tools into the curriculum. Blyth is currently the Coordinator of the Games Toys Play Program where she is inspired every day by the characters and the worlds her students create.

In 2019 Blyth and her collaborator the artist Ruth Bauer completed the stopmotion animation, The War Dept. available on Vimeo.

Blyth and Ruth are now working together on a multi-year stop-motion project with the working title Big Sky. This animated short is a coming-of-age story about a young artist living in Texas in the 1960s. Both Ruth and Blyth grew up in Texas, and both left as young adults. But Texas never left them. The characters and the stories in Big Sky are amalgamation of their own childhood experiences dealing with religion, race, beauty, the landscape and horned toads.

Various forms of narrative have always been part of Ruth Bauer’s art practice, which is multidisciplinary in that she paints, makes collages, writes, has co-created two theater pieces, and is now working on a second stop motion animation project with her collaborator, Blyth Hazen. Their first stop motion animation is a short video of The War Dept. and is available on Vimeo. Blyth and Ruth are currently working on a new stop motion project titled Big Sky. Big Sky is fictionalized memoir and an amalgamation of both of their childhood experiences in Texas dealing with gender roles, beauty standards, religion, race, the expansive landscape, and horned toads.

Ruth is a proponent of slow art, and for a number of years has been writing and illustrating a fictional journal of a nineteenth century woman naturalist who has traveled to the mythical isle of Kokovoko (the home of the charismatic cannibal Queequeg in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick) to document the flora and fauna there. Information about and images of Ruth’s other artwork and projects can be found here www.ruthbauer.com

Liz Nofziger was born in Indianapolis in 1974 and grew up in a small Mennonite community in southern Indiana. Her site-specific installation work examines relationships to space within the physical, architectural, political, and pop-cultural landscape. Employing a broad range of media including sculptural elements, video, light, audio, and text, viewer investigation completes her work.

Nofziger currently has a small site-specific sculpture and audio piece tucked away in Beverly, MA on Powder House Lane, and is part of Alpha-60, a sci-fi inspired augmented reality exhibition that’s animating the Emerald Necklace from Franklin Park to the Fenway. She has had solo exhibitions at Galéria Ateneo (Medellin, Colombia), the Glass Curtain Gallery at Columbia College Chicago (Chicago, IL), Vox Populi (Philadelphia, PA), Kult 41 (Bonn, Germany), the Contemporary Artists Center (North Adams, MA), and Montserrat College of Art (Beverly, MA), among others.

Nofziger earned her MFA at Massachusetts College of Art, where she taught for many years. She currently teaches at Montserrat College of Art. Since 2018, she has been living, working, and finding community on the North Shore. www.nofzilla.com

CJ Karch is an artist and photographer living in Salem, Massachusetts. He studied Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Massachusetts and photography at the Hallmark Institute of Photography. His love of story telling and passion for all creative forms have lead him to create his own unique brand of photographic art.

Stop motion character sitting on the floor drawing
Blyth Hazen and Ruth Bauer, Big Sky, Animation Still
Collaged images of VCR players
Liz Nofziger, Pile, 2024 Paper animation, video, wooden crate
Ruth Bauer, Blyth Hazen, CJ Karch, Liz Nofziger