LAB VERSION 1: June 8th- 2013

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© Winsome Smiles Photography


Lily Erb-Artist

Meet artist Lily Erb! For Lily has created strikingly original sculptures out of material she has found in her shop. Experimenting with things like spray foam, steel, and sanding belts, Lily says she thrives on “the act of discovery in experimentation.”


“I set rules for myself, and then I break them” she explains. There are specific things that she aims to achieve or focus on, like channeling the mountains near her hometown in Virginia, but within that structure she allows herself infinite possibilities.

Her art is evolving, as well. Every installation she does their is a slight difference in the display. “It allows me to work with the space” Erb explains, “as well as my mood.”

Experimentation in 5 words for Lily:

Re-invention, relaxation, repetition, adjustment, expression

See Lily Erb’s unique sculptures at the Laboratory on June 8th!

Esther White-Artist

Meet artist Esther S. White!


For her work in The Laboratory, Esther will be showing a series of mono-type prints, created by applying ink to a smooth plate and then pressing that onto paper. The process means that no two prints come out exactly the same, and Esther further experiments with her pieces by taking ink off in different ways or adding extra layers. She also experiments with trace drawing, applying pressure to the back of a sheet of paper in different places to create various lines on the print.

While the application of the print varies, the images remain consistent. Esther uses images of hands, inspired by the chronic pain she started to experience some years ago, specifically in her hands. “I became interested in the expressive language of hands and reading into them” she explains. After trying other mediums, she discovered that mono-type was the best way to convey a particular feeling as well as allow her to push the emotional and communicative aspects of color. 

To Esther, experimentation can be described in just three words:

Intuitive, Flexibility, Risk.


See some of Esther’s work at The Laboratory on June 8th, and even more at Amherst Town Hall starting June 6th! She’s everywhere!

Nikki Gardner-Artist

Next up is artist Nikki Gardner, a local artist appearing in the Laboratory exhibition.

For her work that will be shown in The Laboratory, Film Ends, Nikki photographed the discarded ends of 35mm film that have been sent off to be developed in a lab. In doing so, Nikki intentionally relinquishes control over both the capturing and developing of the photograph; different emulsions, light exposures, and hands touch each film end. She is interested in approaching film as a “moment in time, either a beginning or an ending.”

This project depicts a less controlled vision, the aesthetic is in the surprise of the outcome.

Nikki’s project hinges on experimentation by removing control for part of the process. The experiment lies in letting go.

Experimentation to her is create conscious measured chaos freely.

Come see the results on June 8th!


Jason Kotoch-Artist


Artist Jason Kotoch

Artist Jason Kotoch













Local Artist Jason Kotoch is the next in our artist exposé series. His art grows from a seed of investigation; “I like sitting down with something and figuring it out.” Jason’s five words to explain experimentation were “going down the rabbit hole”, and this approach to his craft has led Jason to explore a variety of creative means.

For his exhibit in The Laboratory, Jason took on the idea of  communal space-focusing on what the designations of public vs. private space actually mean. He decided the best means for this job was furniture, namely chairs. And you better believe he went out and learned some carpentry to turn his idea into a reality.

“We are constantly negotiating the space around us.” Jason says, ” My work is intended to interrupt the spatial expectations that many of us have by inverting commonly understood spatial norms.”

Intrigued to see how Jason is using chairs to demonstrate this? Come to the opening night of The Laboratory on June 8th to see what his experiment yields.


The Laboratory