Wellesley school hosts works by cutting-edge artists.

Things are getting pretty weird at the Dana Hall School.


Blame it on Gallery Director Michael Frassinelli.


The Holliston artist and teacher invited four "weird" artists he met last year in Vermont to exhibit work that's "a little outside the mainstream" in the prestigious private high school in Wellesley.


Now Matt Krawcheck has covered the Dana Art Gallery's walls with drawings and a slide show about a vast technological conspiracy that's subverting the American way of life.


Parents! Do you want your children exposed to Krawcheck's cartoony visual screeds about school kids being forced to read "The Joy of Digital" and projectors that emit radiation?


And a bearded guy named Sean McCarthy has hung ink and graphite drawings of demons and dragons in the gallery.


If that's not enough, Brent Fogt is showing off obsessive drawings that resemble cells dividing and Neil Bender has painted the gallery walls pink.


Frassinelli organized the four of them into an exhibit called "The New Weird America" because he thinks art students and others at school will be inspired by "artists who create strikingly original work that reflects the slightly mutated new world in which we live and tends toward the fantastic, obsessive and strange."


It's probably just what goateed artistes wearing berets said about Picasso and Jackson Pollock.


Wouldn't you know it but students think it's "way cool."


Senior Jessie Kuenzel exuded, "I love it. It was all interesting, accessible and awesome."


The co-captain of the school fencing team, the 17-year-old Sudbury resident said the four artists' works "took on a new meaning every time" she looked at it.


Kuenzel, who studies advanced photography, believes "New Weird America" will inspire artists and non-artists alike "to be creative and explore the world."


"It is so different," she said. "I feel like the artists in that show employ their creativity in such unconventional ways that it makes me want to use my own creativity."


And senior Zoe Stanley-Lockman described the exhibit as "a symbol of America" because it combined collaborative effort and free expression.


A Natick resident, she said she was impressed by the exhibit's variety of artistic styles "from collage work to large and small pen designs, from scrolls to projections."


"Each artist's work is a representation of his respective thought process. They share the thread of contemporary surrealism," said Stanley-Lockman. "...It's unique. It's four peoples' brains actualized on four walls. The show is appealing and fun, collaborative and American. It's weird and new."


Frassinelli met the four "weird" artists in 2009 when they were all artists-in-residence at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vt.






He felt the way they combined drawing, painting, videography and other hybrid forms they were "cross-pollinating" each others work in cutting edge ways.


Frassinelli adopted his show's name from a 2009 exhibit, "The Old, Weird America" at the DeCordova Sculpture Park & Museum that examined how cutting-edge artists today revitalize common themes in America culture.


While he requires students to master the fundamentals of line, color values and composition, Frassinelli believes the gallery "can be an educational space" where they learn from a variety of styles.


Several artists planned to attend the Tuesday evening exhibit opening which was canceled due to the snow. The exhibit will run through March 12 in the gallery at 45 Dana Ave., Wellesley.


He thinks of "The New Weird America" as a community installation" that will familiarize his students with the way innovative young artists transcend worn-out conventions to create personal news works.


"In this Digital Age, something thought of a 'new' holds that title for a few weeks at best, until with lightning speed, the 'new, new' overtakes it," he said.


THE ESSENTIALS:


"The New Weird America"


At Dana Hall School


45 Dana Ave., Wellesley


Hours: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mon, Tuesday and Thursday; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday


Call 781-235-3010, www.facebook.com/DanaHallSchool