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Buffalo artist shares insect-driven work on campus
Saturday, October 27, 2012

Artist Julian Montague poses amidst the centerpiece of his exhibit, “Invertebrates & Architecture: Works by Julian Montague,” which runs through Nov. 14 at the Marion Art Gallery.

By numerical count, insects dominate the world, with an estimated insect population of 10 quintillion living on earth at any time – and they are the driving force behind the current exhibition at the Cathy and Jesse Marion Art Gallery at SUNY Fredonia.

"Invertebrates & Architecture: Works by Julian Montague," which opened Oct. 19, features the work of Buffalo-based artist Julian Montague. The works in the SUNY Fredonia exhibition are from his ongoing project “Secondary Occupants/Collected & Observed.”

“Insects have always fascinated me, ever since I was a kid,” Montague explained. “They are literally everywhere. With my artwork, I am examining how they interact with our architecture and spaces.”

Montague’s process consists of finding an insect in everyday-life locations such as his living room, tool shed or bedroom. He then preserves the insect and observes it under a microscope. During this observation, the artist makes a detailed sketch and then transfers it to cut pieces of felt that are attached to a banner. The banner is then hung in the space where the insect was found and photographed.

“I find it very interesting to look at spiders and see how their process of creating has been around for so much longer than ours,” Montague said. “Then you see that technique lay against our more recent architectural creations.”

This project is an ongoing one that has been shown in New York City and through parts of Canada. Montague explained the focus of “Secondary Occupants/Collected & Observed” has transformed over time.

“The project was originally more about spiders and was supposed to be pseudoscientific,” he said.

Montague hopes that with this project people will be more aware of insects and how they interact with today’s world.

The exhibition runs through Nov. 14.  Gallery hours are 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 2 to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday. The exhibition is free and open to the public. The gallery is located in Rockefeller Arts Center on the SUNY Fredonia campus.

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