"TASK" will feature an art creation party with artist Oliver Herring and subsequent exhibit of the art at UMSL's Gallery 210.

“TASK,” a self-generating, improvisational art-making event developed by artist Oliver Herring, will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 21 at Gallery 210 on the North Campus of the University of Missouri−St. Louis.

Herring will curate an exhibition from the objects created by the TASK participants as well as other artwork by him. The exhibition will be on display from Oct. 21 to Dec. 5.

A reception for the TASK exhibition will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28. Herring will give a gallery talk at 6:15 p.m. in the Gallery 210 auditorium.

Herring is an internationally known experimental artist based in Brooklyn, N.Y. His works include knitting Mylar, participatory performances, Styrofoam photo sculpture, video and TASK.

TASK is an improvisational event with a simple structure and very few rules.

Its open-ended, participatory structure creates almost unlimited opportunities for a group of people to interact with one another and their environment. It is a platform for people to express and test their own ideas in an environment without a focus on failure or success or any preconceptions of what can or should be done with an idea or material.

TASK events take place in a designated area with a variety of props and materials and rely on the participation of people who agree to follow two simple rules: to first write down a task on a piece of paper, add it to a designated “TASK pool,” and secondly, to pull a task from that pool and interpret it any which way he or she wants, using whatever materials and space is available.

When a task is completed, the participant writes a new task, pulls a new task, and so on. The flow and momentum of a TASK depends on the tasks written and interpreted by the participants. The continuous conception and interpretation of tasks is both chaotic and purpose driven. It is a complex, ever-shifting environment of people who connect with one another through what is going on around them. One person’s tasks become absorbed into other people’s tasks, objects generated from one task are recycled into someone else’s task without issues of ownership or permanence.

TASK parties have recently taken place at Illinois State University in Normal; Minneapolis College of Art and Design; Bethel University in St. Paul, Minn.; Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa; Fieldcrest High School in Minonk, Ill.; University of St. Francis in Joliet, Ill.; Principia College in Elsah, Ill.; University of Cincinnati; Ohio State University in Columbus; Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; and Augsburg College in St. Paul, Minn.

The exhibition is supported in part by the Regional Arts Council, the Missouri Arts Council and the UMSL Center for the Humanities.

Gallery 210 is at 44 Arnold B. Grobman Drive on the North Campus of the University of Missouri−St. Louis between the MetroLink Station and the Touhill Performing Arts Center. The gallery is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.

All Gallery 210 events are free and open to the public. Public parking for Gallery 210 is available at the South Millennium Parking Garage on the east side of Grobman Drive. Handicapped parking is available behind Gallery 210.

For more information, call 314-516-5976 or email gallery@umsl.edu.

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Jack Crosby

Jack Crosby

Jack Crosby Senior Information Specialist 440 Woods Hall University of Missouri-St. Louis One University Boulevard St. Louis, Missouri 63121