Everything Counts in Small Amounts consists of intimately-scaled life-sized structures in which people of all ages can dream and exchange gestures of friendship. The gallery will become a landscape for contemplating friendship, sharing, and memory.
A wooden treehouse made by the artist will invite children to climb into it, lay down, and view a video of the night sky. A flower shop filled with potted plants and gardening tools, just like ones you see by the side of the road, can be peered into. A quilt made by the artist’s mother from a drawing he made depicts a rolling, congenial landscape, and a painted starburst connects our personal experiences of nature with the infinite.
Kenton Parker’s work is about setting a stage for innocence, for steadfast friendship, for sharing and helping, and for letting go and moving on. His tributes to friendship and first love take place in modestly scaled vernacular structures. In these structures, re-created in the gallery, Parker channels every child’s escapist fantasy of a hideaway, a special place in which they can dream, be themselves, invite their favorite friends, and be close to nature. The gentle life-cycle of flowers and butterflies provides a mirror for the emotions and transitions of life, for the familiar dramas of being close and then moving apart.
In the interactive gallery, visitors will create greeting cards — one to keep and one to share with future gallery visitors. Handmade greeting cards that express simple, direct emotions are cultural artifacts on the verge of obsolescence. Parker invites young and old alike to draw, add color, paint, and collage on a paper card, all in the service of wishing someone well. Friendship, love, good health, a beautiful day, deep dreams, and the slowing down to be part of nature happening all around us.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website