Jonathan Brilliant

Stick Stack Show
November 4 – December 21, 2011

Jonathan Brilliant, VisArts’ 2011 Artist in Residence, spent two weeks on site preparing for his exhibition, Stick Stack Show. Brilliant gathered materials in what he refers to as “his natural environment,” the coffee shop, and used everything associated with commercial coffee consumption, from stir sticks to sugar packets, to execute site-responsive installations. His monumental, sculptural and architectural installations addressed the upsurge of our contemporary caffeine culture and the development of the coffee shop as a popular 21st century social habitat. Using a labor intensive, craft-based material process, Brilliant constructed installations containing 30,000 to 60,000 coffee stirrers woven in place using only tension and compression.

Stick Stack Show was a continuation of Brilliant’s Have Sticks Will Travel World Tour that began in 2009. The tour evolved as a marathon series of site-specific installations created in 13 galleries (in three countries and on two continents) over a period of 18 months. In September of 2010, the tour temporarily concluded at the McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, North Carolina, where Brilliant completed a three-month residency.

VisArts’ exhibition was Brilliant’s first installation in the state of Virginia.

Jonathan Brilliant was born in 1976 in Charleston, South Carolina. He holds a B.A. in studio art from the College of Charleston and an M.F.A. in Spatial Arts from San Jose State University. He has received numerous fellowships to artist residencies and communities including: Ox-Bow School of Art, Penland School of Crafts, Redux Contemporary Art Center, The University of Oklahoma, The University of Memphis, The East/West Project in Berlin Germany. In 2007 he was awarded a Joan Mitchell foundation full fellowship in Sculpture to attend the Vermont Studio Center. In August he was named the 2012 South Carolina Artist Fellow. In October he was awarded the prestigious Pollock-Krasner Individual Artist Grant.