Riley Tenove Calls Our Attention to Forgotten Places

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” 
― Mary Oliver

Calling attention. I would say this is one of the highest services any artist can offer humanity.

Art is all about paying attention. About plucking images, moments, spaces like stars from the sky and placing them on a lampstand for us. About freezing time. 

Some art calls our attention to the obvious. A beautiful landscape or a beautiful human being. Some art asks us to go deeper. To pause and enter spaces we might have missed. Riley Tenove’s Forgotten Places is this kind of art. 

In his upcoming show, Forgotten Places, Riley Tenove asks us to pay attention.

The places are varied, but all to be found in the mundanity of urban life. An abandoned video store. A motion sensing garage light. A gathering place in a mall, where no one is gathered. The long hallways of our pedway system. All of these are places on the way to other places. None of them destinations in and of themselves.

Intersect Subway Night,  Riley Tenove, 2015

Intersect Subway Night, Riley Tenove, 2015

What happens when we stop to consider these places?

To fill them with a presence. With our own presence. To enter them, one by one, through the gaze of the artist. To let their slow solitude lead us into a certain stillness?

In a fast and full world, Riley Tenove is offering us space and breath. This is why we want to share Riley Tenove’s Forgotten Places with you in The Bleeding Heart Art Space. 

I want us to ask what happens when we enchant the quotidian vacancies of life with wonder. What happens when we stop looking for moments and spaces that demand our attention, and begin to offer it freely to all moments and spaces? Especially those places that will not beg our attention.

During the Kaleido Family Arts Festival in a few weeks, thousands will enter our little gallery and slow down with Riley Tenove’s skillful paintings. I am hoping we can offer them a Sacred Space, where a Spirit might be met beyond the wondrous noise in the streets. Where a slow stillness might refresh and recharge weary travellers.

You can catch Riley Tenove’s Forgotten Places in a quieter setting, as it opens this weekend. Join us from 11-3 this Saturday, September 5, with a special artist talk from Riley Tenove at noon.

“The first demand any work of art makes upon us is surrender. Look. Listen. Receive. Get yourself out of the way. (There is no good asking first whether the work before you deserves such a surrender, for until you have surrendered you cannot possibly find out.)”
― C.S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism 

All art is paying attention. I invite you to come and offer some of your own attention to Riley Tenove’s Forgotten Places at The Bleeding Heart this fall.

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