Art, drag and punk at Saturday’s exhibition

By Sam Beard, @SamBeard_DE

The spookiest time of the year is nearly upon us and the Untitled Art Collective is hosting a horror-themed art show to celebrate. 

At 7 p.m. Oct. 31, doors open to Blood at the Glove — an art exhibition featuring dance and musical entertainment and a drag show — in the SIU Surplus Gallery of The Glove Factory, the industrial warehouse-style art building across the tracks near Wise Guys Pizza and Subs.

“Southern Illinois’ sweetheart” Tammy Cannons, a bearded-bombshell and drag queen played by collective member Matthew Baccus will be the master of ceremonies for the evening.

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“Untitled Art Collective is a collective of local artists, predominately ones who graduated from the university that are still in town,” said Baccus, who graduated from SIU in 2013 with a degree in sociology. “We are made up of a lot of different identities. We get together to promote our own work, to workshop with one another and to organize and make an atmosphere that is conducive to creating fine-art.”

This will be the Untitled’s fifth show since it formed nearly a year ago and will feature visual art across multiple mediums. A horror-themed photo booth will be on-site. Operation Ivy, The Cramps and V2T2 Cabaret are some of the scheduled performances. 

While the schedule may have an array of performance art, the collective is a group of visual artists, such as painters, photographers and sculptors.

Artist Marty Lee Hagler, who graduated from SIU in 2013 with a degree in communication design, is excited for the show because Halloween brings a time where people can feel at ease expressing themselves.

Hagler, who has been an artist as long as she can remember, works primarily with acrylic paint and ballpoint pens on wood panel substrates and said she paints and draws because of the emotions making art gives her.

“My favorite part about being an artist is the feeling you get from creating,” she said. “It’s indescribable, but for me it kind of feels like my heart is warm and always on the verge of bursting.”

She will have several pieces in the gallery and has had art in more than a dozen shows, most of which have been affiliated with the university. Untitled Art Collective is not directly affiliated with SIU, but the two have collaborated to provide artists with the show space. 

Collective member and SIU alumnus Carson Cates said the group’s name, Untitled, came about when they could not think of another title. 

“All of the artists who are associated with Untitled do very different things,” said Cates, who does film, photography and mixed media. “I think that’s why [the name Untitled] ended up working so well.”

Bacchus said the hardest part about organizing a show is facilitating a show that people feel compelled to participate in. He said it is a welcome but challenging task to create a space everyone feels comfortable in. 

“I’m super excited for the show and seeing everybody’s work together in one room,” said Hagler, who has been an Untitled member since its inception. “I prefer casual settings for displaying art so that everyone is able to feel comfortable and have fun — Halloween is perfect for that.”

Although, the exhibition will be entertaining and bleeding with culture, the collective will also have an informational table to answer questions patrons may have about Untitled. 

Cates said anyone can join Untitled and only require members maintain some level of involvement in the collective. 

“There is no hierarchical organization of members in the collective,” Baccus said. “It’s all driven by one’s own agency and willingness to participate.”

The collective encourages students and community members to drop by The Glove Factory Saturday night for the Halloween celebration. Performances start at 8 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.

Sam Beard can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @SamBeard_DE. 

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