Form or Function at ArtPort Kingston

Art Spiel Photo Story

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Exhibition view

The group exhibition Form or Function at ArtPort Kingston features works of various media, exploring the relationship of objects in between contemporary art, design and craft with an attempt to blur the lines and create dialogue. The exhibition overall prompts a question – “Looking at everyday images, objects, tools and materials, we have very diverse emotional bonds with them. An artist creates a dialogue with their materials, providing intentions. Is it an object’s form, their history, or the story we create that attracts us?”

The show is curated by Laurie De Chiara, featuring works by Chuck von Schmidt, Karen Jaimes, Staveley Kuzmanov, Traci Johnson, Barbara Marks, Ellie Murphy, Courtney Puckett, Jim Osman, Rachel Urkowitz and Gabriele Hamill, Inna Babaeva, Clemens Kois, Sophi Kravitz, Christina Kruse, Jeanne Atkin, Kathleen Vance, Erika DeVries, and Rodger Stevens. The show runs through June 6th.

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Above artworks, L to R: Traci Johnson, Rachel Urkowitz, and Courtney Puckett.

Jim Osman’s wood construction sculptures are based on deceptively simple relationships—piling, bridging, angling. This contemplation of balance implies furniture, architecture, toys, and high modernism.

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Jim Osman

Courtney Puckett’s human-scale, found object and repurposed textile assemblages integrate sculpture and craft practices. Karen Jaimes sculpts clay to address sociopolitical issues and question the systems in place. The trans-historical and transcultural nature of ceramics makes it the perfect material for metaphor.

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Courtney Puckett (front), Kathleen Vance (back), photo courtesy Ellie Murphy
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Karen Jaimes, photo courtesy Ellie Murphy

Barbara Marks’ upcycled paper works of disassembled packaging are intimate and personal; perhaps they’re narrative. Christina Kruse’s minimalist drawings and sculpture create an association beyond form and engage a sense of balance. The hand knit steel bag of artist/jeweler, Jeanne Atkin assumes a surprisingly soft shape, accentuated by the nestled wooden and glass eggs inside. The photographer Clemens Kois constructs a heightened level of beauty and value in objects with his teetering stacked towers of delicately balanced vertical composition of maybe overlooked objects.


Barbara Marks
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Christina Kruse

 Interaction can animate the function of an object.  Chuck von Schmidt’s playful “SIT” piece invites viewers to become a part of the sculpture so it takes on a new life. Ellie Murphy’s site-specific intervention with hundreds of hanging strings plays off the existing architecture of the gallery space to create an introspective physical dimension.


Ellie Murphy

Stanley Kuzmanov’s sculptures combine her repetitive patterned textile designs within three-dimensional geometric structures that float in space. Rachel Urkowitz and Gabrielle Hamill’s tiny couches bring the potential for play into conversation with craft and color.  With the invasion of amorphous, slug-like blobs into mass-produced homegoods, Inna Babeva transforms these objects to give a sense of being overwhelmed by material. Creating a euphoric “safe space” with positive soothing energies is Traci Johnson’s intention with her soft sculptures and carpeted mirrors. All the forms and functions alter intentions creating new meanings.

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Rachel Urkowitz
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Inna Babeva

ArtPort Kingston is located in the historic maritime industrial district in Kingston, New York. After decades of varied uses, the Cornell Steamboat Co, building is being utilized by ArtPort Kingston for ongoing art exhibitions and programming.

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All photos are courtesy of ArtPort Kingston, unless otherwise indicated

ArtPort Kingston
The Cornell Steamboat Building, 108 East Strand, Kingston, NY 12401
Open: Saturdays and Sunday 12-5pm or by appointment
artportkingston.com @artportkingston