Inside Joke

Inside Joke

A group exhibition curated by Sherry Mayo features artists using their well-honed observational skills to invite viewers inside a joke

November 1 - 22,  2011

Augusta Savage Gallery


Some of the ways we share our cultural influences are through eating, art, travel, learning a language, and laughing. Regarding laughter, the visual arts have a special role to play in sharing humor because it is primarily a non-verbal medium.  This group exhibition challenges artists to utilize their well-honed observational skills and invites viewers inside a joke. Curated by artist and researcher Sherry Mayo, the show features 22 artists exploring and expressing humor through their work, and respond to the goal of making someone else laugh. 


Mayo says: The moment someone lets you in on a joke, you’re given real access to “get it.” Not only is laughter good for you, but Daniel Pink, in A Whole New Mind, argues that humor is also a key attribute needed in future leaders.  Laughter breeds social connectivity.  And while, WebMD isn’t sure if there exist physiological benefits to laughing; it can be said that it increases your quality of life. Nancy D. Bell, investigator of sociological aspects of cross-cultural communication through humor, stated that “joke competence is a somewhat dynamic construct, that understanding can be partial and that lack of full understanding need not preclude appreciation” (International Journal of Humor, Vol. 20, Issue 4, p.367-­‐387).  Horror is an international seller because violence is easily depicted and universally understood.  Comedy, on the other hand, is more difficult to translate but consumed the most, grossing more money than any other genre. 


Curator Sherry May was born in Queens, NY.  Her areas of research include: arts technology integration. Scholarly interests include: digital aesthetics, the cultural impact of digital technologies, consciousness, cosmology, and the post-human. Her recent exhibitions include: "Faculty/Selects" Westchester Community College Fine Arts Gallery, Westchester, NY and "Private i," Skylight Gallery, Chelsea, NY.  

Exhibiting Artists:
Maria-Elena Alvarez | Kristin Anderson | Kristin Baxter | Lisa Breznak | Holly Crawford | Claudia Jacques |
Angie Eng | Matt Ferranto | Marcy Freedman | Carla Goldberg | Beth Haber | Richard Jochum | Carla Rae Johnson |
Jill Kerwick | Gaetano LaRoche | Danny Licul | Christina Mazzalupo | Thomas McKean | Tricia McLaughlin |
Gene Panczenko | Lise Prown | Paula Stuttman


For more information about artist, Sherry Mayo, please see