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John Gutoskey’s Mandala Project Featured in Wish List Exhibition

Gutoskey mandalaproject

John Gutoskeys (MFA 2014) Mandala Project is featured in Wish List, a group exhibition at Toledo’s Gallery Project open through August 30

The mandalas in this exhibit reflect my wish for peace and tolerance around the issues of queerness and queer identity, and the end of the divisiveness in our country around race, identity, gender, religion, and politics. They also reflect my interest in both how spiritual or sacred energy is represented, and how I can appropriate that representation and reflect it back through a queer gaze. Visitors are invited to take a moment to sit down on the meditation cushions and soak up the feeling of the space, and perhaps meditate, pray, reflect, or find quiet. (Equally, the solitary making of the mandalas in my studio — the physical & circular repetition, the rhythm, the color & design — was a meditation of it’s own.) 

With this project, I am making queer meaning from the discards and detritus of straight culture by up-cycling” these found objects and using them in unexpected ways. This work presents a queer point of view about religious and social issues. It also strives to have the same visual and visceral impact of the gilded and bejeweled icons found in many churches, shrines, and temples while working with low, humble, unusual, & peculiar found materials. This queering of the materials — by using them in an unusual, strange, or peculiar context — allows me to queer the spiritual icon of the mandala and to give them an alternative, queer meaning.

Wish List
Gallery Project’s 3rd Annual Dual-site Exhibit
One Lake Erie Center (600 Jefferson Ave), Toledo, OH 
August 1 – 302015