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29 Oct 2011

(inside) joke exhibition at Augusta Savage Gallery

'Worker Ant Diagram' by artist, Christina Mazzalupo, 2011

(inside) joke exhibition
Augusta Savage Gallery


on view November 1-22, 2011
Opening from 5-7 pm on
November 1, 2011

Dr. Sherry Mayo

Augusta Savage Gallery
UMass Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003

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The moment someone lets you in on a joke, you're given real access to 'get it.' Not only is laughter good for you (see laughter clubs,, Daniel Pink (2003), in A Whole New Mind, argues that humor is a key attribute needed in future leaders. It 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. (Retrieved on 10/10/10,

Nancy D. Bell (2007), 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). Resident Evil: Afterlife nearly won out as the top international bestselling movie of 2010. 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 (24% of the U.S. market share, retrieved on 10/10/10, The appetite for comedy speaks to Bell's (2007) notion that partial understanding does not preclude appreciation.

Some of the ways we share our cultural influences are through eating, art, travel, learning a language, and laughing. This group exhibition provides artists an opportunity to utilize their well-honed observational skills to invite viewers inside a joke. The visual arts have a special role to play in sharing humor because it is primarily a non-verbal medium. Akin to the visual comedy of Charlie Chaplin, artists respond to the goal of making someone else laugh.

For online e-catalog about artists in (inside) joke, see

(inside) joke, an exhibition on view at the Augusta Savage Gallery, University of Massachusetts Amherst, from November 1-22, 2011 features twenty-two artists who embrace the notion of visual humor.

Artists include: Maria-elena Alvarez, Kristin Anderson, Kristin Baxter, Lisa Breznak, Holly Crawford, Angie Eng, Matt Ferranto, Marcy Freedman, Carla Goldberg, Beth Haber, Claudia Jacques, Richard Jochum, Carla Rae Johnson, Jill Kerwick, Gaetano LaRoche, Danny Licul, Christina Mazzalupo, Thomas McKean, Tricia McLaughlin, Gene Panczenko, Lise Prown, and Paula Stuttman. The Augusta Savage Gallery is directed by Dr. Terry Jenoure and managed by Alexia Cota, for more information please see link below.

This exhibition was curated by Dr. Sherry Mayo, who may be reached at or for further information regarding this exhibit. Please see complete exhibition catalog with details about each artist at

Opening Reception: November 1, 2011, 5:00 - 7:00 pm

Direct link to Augusta Savage Gallery online: