Sculpture of donkey tails, like the children's game, Pin the Tail on the donkey

Guen Montgomery, Pin the Tail

Here Goes Everything

Guen Montgomery + Sage Perrott

February 17 - April 9, 2023 // Gallery 1

Artist Talk + Art Activity

Saturday April 8, 1pm

Join us on Saturday April 8, 1pm, for an artist talk + party hat making activity with artists Guen Montgomery + Sage Perrott. Learn about their exhibition and creative process. Free, but please register so that we may anticipate attendance.

Artists Sage Perrott and Guen Montgomery collaborated to create Here Goes Everything, an immersive and absurd “party-work.” Presenting the aftermath of an imagined event, the artists’ installation captures the joy, excess, sadness, and anxiety that are characteristic of our post-pandemic consumerist culture. Here Goes Everything is also a celebration of material, bringing together Montgomery’s sculpture and installation work with Perrott’s iconic prints and animation.

For visitors to the space, there is an immediate sense of fun and excitement in the bright colors and familiarity of objects throughout the gallery. Both artists have a whimsical and kitschy sensibility that creates a welcoming feeling. However, it soon becomes apparent that the festivities have ended, and the viewer has missed something crucial. An empty row of paper mache seats suggest a recently played game of musical chairs, balloons printed with the show title are in varying states of buoyancy, distorted and hard to identify objects intermingle with the familiar, and a line of donkey tails adds an almost menacing presence to the room. The result is a complex sense of levity tempered by confusion, discomfort, and sadness, the joy has passed and what’s left is a collection of objects that have lost their purpose.

This exhibition speaks to our cultural propensity for material gluttony but also the importance of human connection at a time when we are all too familiar with isolation and anxiety. For the artists, “the installation hints at our cynicism and exhaustion with human excess, while betraying our nostalgia, love, and earnest desire to connect and for things to be better.”  This exhibition is more than a commentary on the ills of consumerism and its impact on our world, more broadly the work speaks to the emotional power that materiality can have. Objects function as powerful tools for connection bringing us comfort in their familiarity, but ultimately endure as a shoddy substitute for real human interaction.  

Annah Lee, Creative Director

However, it soon becomes apparent that the festivities have ended, and the viewer has missed something crucial.

Print by Sage Perrott of Here Goes Everything
Inflated balloons tied to a folding chair painted in a purple pattern

l-r: Sage Perrott, Here Goees Everything; Guen Montgomery, Musical Chairs? 

Guen Montgomery

Guen Montgomery is an artist and performer whose work investigates identity through studies of material culture, gender, and family mythology. Materially, Montgomery’s work is located in the intersections between printmaking, performance, and sculpture. Montgomery has exhibited nationally and internationally, and has work in multiple public collections including the Centre for Art and Design in Churchill, Australia, and Mushashino Art University, Tokyo, Japan, with recent exhibitions in Nashville and St. Louis. Guen currently teaches in the Studio Arts program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she lives with her wife, dog, and two cats. 

Sage using a hairdryer to dry her print

Sage Perrott

Sage Perrott, who also works under the name Haypeep, is a printmaker and educator originally from West Virginia. Her artwork features grumpy, lumpy, ghost-like creatures situated in cramped, often humorous circumstances. Perrott’s preferred process is screen printing. She has degrees in printmaking from West Virginia University (BFA) and from Ohio University (MFA). Perrott is currently an Assistant Professor teaching printmaking at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN. Her prints, drawings, and zines have found their way into the hands of folks all over the United States and the world.