No More Funny Stuff

Fitchburg State student Haylee LaBell at the exhibit.
Fitchburg State student Haylee LaBell at the exhibit.

By: Haylee LaBell

On Sunday February 9th the Fitchburg Art Museum held a gallery opening for Jeffu Warmouth’s “No More Funny Stuff” exhibit. This exhibit is a mid-career retrospective of Warmouth.  His art features the puns, parody and absurd humor of a dearly loved local concurrent artist. This exhibit came to life with the help of a pilot collaboration between the Fitchburg Art Museum and Fitchburg State University. Communications Media students helped conceive, design and promote the show throughout the fall 2013 and spring 2014 semesters. Everyone involved in the gallery was thanked during the opening.

“This has been an amazing opportunity for our students, and I am grateful to the Fitchburg Art Museum leadership and our faculty members for their initiative,” FSU President Robert V. Antonucci told Telegram Towns. “This exhibition strengthens the university’s ties to the city at the same time it creates meaningful educational and cultural opportunities for our students.”

The exhibit opening had a great turnout. Members of the community, those involved with the project and Fitchburg State students and faculty attended the opening of the exhibit, held last Sunday afternoon. There was positive feedback all around. “I love how interactive his pieces are,” said Fitchburg State student Ciara Brady. “It makes you feel like you’re part of the art instead of just taking in the view. He has a way of reaching every audience so no matter what the age, you’re sure to enjoy coming.”

Jeffu Warmouth is an artist who based his work through technology and interactive media, but he also incorporates jokes and comic twists. He has a variety of pieces that are sure to intrigue. Whether it is crazy fast food options, Day of the Cabbage short film or any number of his interactive projects.

Warmouth essentially made a career out of playing with his food. He incorporates food in numerous ways in his interactive gallery. Not only does he have a Jeffu Market known as JeffuMart that carries brand name Jeffu products, he also has Jeffu fast food restaurants such as Il Jeffuria Pizza, JeffuBurger, and JFC (Jeffu Fried Chicken). Each restaurant is an interactive piece in which viewers can order one of his “specialties” and he makes them, virtually of course. His food options aren’t like anything you would see at any other fast food restaurant, they’re definitely Warmouth originals.

Warmouth has a long standing relationship with gaming and he incorporates many gaming aspects into his pieces. One piece, called 1UP, is a 30 second video formatted for a distinct 80-foot high video marquee. This piece consists of five repetitions of Warmouth moving through a shifting set of game environments pulled from the golden age of arcade games. The three game environments have different settings, obstacles, goal and rules of physics, all of which affect the characters’ movements and controls. Not only does he incorporate gaming into his work but he also helped to develop Fitchburg State University’s gaming program.

Warmouth’s gallery will be shown at the Fitchburg Art Museum at 25 Merriam Parkway, Fitchburg MA 01420, from now through Sunday June 1st. But the Fitchburg Art Museum isn’t the only place where you can see Warmouth’s photography, videos, objects and installations. There are numerous places around New England where his work is shown, and his film/video work has been screened in festivals internationally.