R.I.P. the album cover, sort of. We said our goodbyes to that roomy square-foot of substantial cardstock, with its fantastic artwork — maybe by Warhol or Dali or Mapplethorpe —to name just a few. We also said our goodbyes to the hours of contemplation of the cover-art while the music spun on a nearby turntable, a unique synthesis of the aural with the visual with the tactile — a feast for the soul. Then the album cover was demoted in both size and importance, a mere afterthought of a booklet cover, encased in brittle plastic. Now stripped of its physicality entirely, it’s relegated to the ether where its low-rez pixelated remains live out their diminished existence barely visible on tiny hand-held screens. Until now! With LP sales now at a twenty-eight-year high, the album cover (both genuine and fake) is back!
Original Hits by Original Artists, opening May 4 at the Good Arts Building, will pay proper homage to the art of the album cover, both past and present—without the album. The exhibit features covers for dozens of fabricated albums cut by bands that exist only in the artists’ imaginations. The show will be on view May 4 – May 31, 2017 in our 108 Cherry Street storefront, downstairs from ’57 Biscayne & next door to the future home of Cherry Street Coffee House.
A Release Party and reception for the artists will be held First Thursday, May 4, 6:00 -10:00 p.m. followed by the Upstream Music Fest, May 11-13, when there will be actual live (if unrelated) music on site, programmed by Upstream during the run of the festival. One of a handful of free venues in the neighborhood, it will be open from 4-8PM on May 11 & 12; and 1PM-8PM (music 4-8PM only) on May 13. Beer and snacks will be available for purchase during the festival courtesy of co-owner Cherry Street Coffee House. The exhibit will also be open on the last two Fridays and Saturdays in May, from 1-6PM and by appointment.
Original Hits is co-curated by artists Jane Richlovsky and Dara Solliday of ’57 Biscayne studios which, incidentally, were named for a Joni Mitchell song lyric. For this show Richlovsky and Solliday invited approximately thirty-three and one third artists to unearth those long-forgotten catch phrases that had once sparked a reply of “That would make a great band name!” and then create a full-size old-school 12-inch LP album cover for this hypothetical hitmaker. Artists include Romson Bustillo, Kelly Lyles, Nia Michaels, Jed Dunkerley, Gabriel Campanario, Richlovsky, and Solliday, showing fake album covers in paint, collage, repurposed tin, textiles, wood, and who knows what else.