Main Gallery Exhibition
June 2 – July 26, 2023
First Friday, June 2, 2023
From 6 — 9 PM
Invisible Planet features exhibiting artists Virginia Russo and Joseph Smolin investigating themes of belonging through an imagined alternative world. Invisible Planet is an imaginary world that represents untouched beauty and the raw wonder of creation. Russo created “The Planet” which aims to be a refuge for neuro-divergent people who suffer from sensory issues and overstimulation. This world in her work is a mysterious and ethereal land filled with mountains, cliffs, mushrooms, and an ever-present orange sun. Smolin’s experience growing up half-Jewish in the Deep South—Birmingham, AL—is reflected in his symbology and exploration of identity issues. His flamboyant and androgynous characters, as visitors on “The Planet“, challenge gender norms and societal expectations. Smolin’s work delivers condensed psycho-symbolic imagery that deals with themes of identity, religion, oppression, and conformity.
Joseph Smolin, born and raised in Birmingham, AL, is a Jewish painter and multimedia artist. In 2020, he co-founded Rattlesnake Art Magazine, a journal highlighting underground art in the Carolinas. His contributions, both 2-D and 3-D, were an integral part of the immersive group exhibition Candy Machine. He has also shown work at Modal, Inchoate, Eighth State, and Carolina Bauernhaus. Smolin marries playfully grotesque characterization with bright, candy-colored aesthetics and a dry sense of humor. Joseph has lived in Greenville, SC since 2018.