Richard Ramos Un|Rest at PLATFORMS

We’re very excited to host local artist Richard Ramos at PLATFORMS for September & October.

As an arts organization with a social mission, our 2019 PLATFORMS programming has focused on #artswithpurpose  – either community engagement, issues surrounding social justice, or has shined a light on another community organization doing good work.

For September, our O1|PLATFORMS exhibition hits all three targets.  Un|Rest, by popular local artist Richard Ramos, is a sculptural installation examining eight different aspects of the bed as a place or object where and with which human beings engage in activities including, but not limited to sleep. Issues involving social justice, mental health, vulnerability, illness and death will be addressed through the lens of common definitions and ideas about what a bed is.

At O1ARTS, and in particular with our O1|PLATFORMS initiative, we work to make it possible for artists to experiment – to stretch their artistic practice – so this is a perfect project for us to support!

Richard is most well-known for his paintings – specifically the large colorful murals which may be found all over town.  For this particular exhibition, the displayed works will be sculptural, but the idea has roots in his childhood, and brings to three dimensions a recurring element in many of his paintings – a floating bed.

Ramos says that many times as a child, he experienced the sensation of his bed being far from the ground… a place normally of comfort and safety becoming one of uncertainty and fear. While he’s included a floating bed in many of his paintings, he’s wanted for some time to experiment, to bring it into the physical world, and see if doing so helps him better understand the phenomena’s meaning.

Richard was also inspired to add an additional layer of purpose to this work, by calling attention to issues of poverty and homelessness. He says “I am obsessed with the exploration of dreams, the unconscious, and collective consciousness. It is my feeling that all of humanity experiences these parts of life, but is told mostly to disregard it as unreal and having little or nothing to do with what is important. I disagree with that sentiment. Similarly, certain parts of our society tend to ignore the injustices experienced by those regarded as “other”. “Comfort”, “Stability” and “Reality” are the concepts I am questioning here.” 

He reached out to two additional social-service organizations, Sleep in Heavenly Peace, and Youth Futures. Each of these organizations is dedicated to providing youngsters with the safety, security and comfort of a bed. SHP contributed a bed, and Youth Futures a couch, for Ramos to modify and incorporate into the larger installation.  At the time of this writing, Ramos has said the couch will be painted, and include statistics about teen homelessness.

Brooke Estes, from Youth Futures says, “We are so excited to partner with Richard and O1ARTS for this project, especially with the location being somewhere where many teens walk every day. This project is helping us call attention to this very real issue in our state, and we hope it will inform the youth who need us that we’re right down the road. We want them to see that they have somewhere to turn, whether they’re experiencing homelessness, abuse, or even loneliness, and they can simply walk down Adams and knock on our door.”

Un|Rest will be on exhibit from September 6 through the end of October.  O1ARTS thanks Weber County RAMP for their continuing support of #O1PLATFORMS, making this exhibition and others like it possible.