Megan Wilson
Writings > The Wayward Museum

The Wayward Museum
The Luggage Store
Through February 17

As I watched George and Laura Bush being interviewed in a barn on 20/20 recently and heard the following day that Clinton had denied Leonard Peltier a pardon, I could feel the need welling up in me to check out for a bit. What I hoped to find was a space that would take me away from contemporary culture and transport me to a faraway place that still held possibility as a virtue. What I found was “The Wayward Museum” at The Luggage Store, a delightful and magical installation of individual and collaborative works by Carolyn R. Cooley, Erin Forrest, and David Cunningham. Upon entering this museum of the misbehaved, I was first struck by Cunningham's richly colored and meticulously crafted bean and seed mosaics on plywood panels. Arranged in both horizontal and vertical groupings of organic patterns and symmetry, these textured works of every seed and bean imaginable are reminiscent of aboriginal art forms. Moving further into the space, viewers come upon an alcove that appears to be a cross between a set from a Victorian storybook and a New Orleans' botanica. Vials of shells, beads, and feathers share shelf space with taxidermy roosters, while drawings of birds and bees overlay pages of an old Dictionary of Arts and Sciences. Nearby, Carolyn Cooley's sepia-toned drawings and paintings of birds, cows, and mice (to name a few) mixed with text have been closely hung against a water-stained wall that for some reason brings to mind Charlotte Perkins Gilman's “The Yellow Wallpaper.” The centerpiece drawing, enclosed within an old cardboard picture frame features a loosely sketched donkey with a sign strung above it reading “Slowpokes Welcome Here.” Directly across the room, the space is sparser and the mood quieter. Erin Forrest's small charcoal gray and ochre drawings of knots on wood are placed between two text pieces: one reading “tomorrow I will go,” the other “tomorrow I will stay,” both repeated over and over, creating a sense of hope that either could happen. As Forrest writes in her artist statement “The work is a tribute to the desire to vanish, and the will to come home…. Drinking salt and honey in turns.”

The Luggage Store
1007 Market Street (near 6 th ), San Francisco
Wed. – Sat. 12p.m. – 5p.m. (and by appointment)
(415) 255-5971 (Megan Wilson)