This December : Solo Show

Observed and Recorded Permutation of The Holy Spirit XI

(36 inches x 81 inches-pastel and powdered graphite erasing on dura-lar)

When I lived on the West Coast, life as an artist was very different. I had an agent that would connect me with galleries, museums and arts institutions. She was amazing. We got along very well, it was like having an older, wiser sister in charge of my career. When I moved to the South East, everything changed. For the past 3.5 years, just like everyone else, I had to hit the pavement, make connections, in search of shows.

I am happy to announce that just a few weeks ago I signed a contract with a gallery in Atlanta, For the first time in my career, I will be represented by a commercial gallery. This is the thing that most artists covet and it came just when I wasn’t looking. I received an email from Robin Bernat, Gallerist, starting this process. As a result, I am having my first solo show in Atlanta, Georgia titled:

An idiosyncratic path toward…

Reception: Saturday, December 8th (4pm - 7pm) This exhibition runs from December 8 to January 5.

A musical recital from ensemble Cantos y Cuentos will occur on:

Thursday, December 13, 2018 7:30pm

This exhibition will feature some new and familiar pieces presented in a new context.

{Poem 88}
1123 Zonolite Road NE Suite 20A Floataway Building Atlanta, Georgia 30306

Gallery hours: Wed-Sat, 11-5, and by appointment

Please join us and bring a friend or 7.

El Show

El Show was the first Latin American Contemporary, Pop Up Show in Atlanta in recent years. Esteban Patino, Colombian born, Artist and Curator, was the mastermind behind this exhibition. Esteban gathered 8 Atlanta local artists. I was very fortunate to be invited, I had just met him a few weeks prior. Luckily, he enjoyed my erasings after visiting my studio and included them in the show.

Esteban Patino states, “A small , yet important show. El Show, a group exhibition at Open Space, is a survey of contemporary work by Latin American Artists living in Atlanta. Participating artists include Anjie Jerez, Carla Contreras, Karen Lamassonne, Lucha Rodriquez, María Korol, Pamela Diaz Martinez, Ignacio Michaud, Rolando Vasquez, and Esteban Patino and will include video, painting, sculpture, printmaking, and installation."

If you weren’t able to attend, hopefully there will be more shows like this in the near future.

Italian Summer '18

Orvieto a small Italian town located on a plateau 1.5 hrs north of Rome and south of Florence.

I stumbled upon a Christian Philosophy and Theology School based in Toronto which offered a course in Theological Aesthetics that ran concurrently with an International Artist Residency.

Artists: graphic designers, painters, writers, philosophers, historians, film makers, dancers, deacons all gathered together for both residency and academic rigor.

Readings nightly from Aristotle to Calvin. We were all under the tutelage of the wonderfully knowledgeable Rebekah Smick, John Skillen , David Holt and Thomas McIntire.

This residency was unlike others I’ve participated in and it proved to be quite fruitful. I made my first Italian street art piece, played with light installations, and did some traditional drawing and painting all while in the confines of a 13th century convent basement.

All in all, I walked away from this experience with a broader knowledge of why images were initially made, how they were used in worship and the historical and philosophical ponderings of many societies regarding art as a theological tool.

The Holy Spirit was presented in many new forms this summer and I have a lot of work to do as a result.


Monster Drawing Rally


Every two years or so, The High Museum of Art hosts the Monster Drawing Rally. Approximately, 75 artists are asked to participate.

There are 3 - 1 hour shifts, the artists choose the shift they want to draw in. The artist can make as much art as they wish and then it is given for sale to raise funds for the museum.

All works of art are $75. Its a great way to start a collection on a budget.

My Process •

Steps 1-7 featured in the pictures here occurred 5 times in 50 minutes •

My friends that were watching said my hands were shaking due to nerves for the first 4 minutes • Then, they visibly witnessed me get into a groove •

Thanks to all of the people who purchased my pieces, support artists and came to the event.

A Review by Rebecca Brantley

An installation shot from Gathered III. (All images courtesy MOCA GA.)

An installation shot from Gathered III. (All images courtesy MOCA GA.)

Gathered III: Georgia Artists Selecting Georgia Artists, on view through July 1, brings together the work of 36 artists selected from more than 356 entries. The jurors — painter Rocio Rodriguez, actor and mixed-media artist Masud Olufani and photographer Jerry Siegel — elected to show more work by fewer artists for this year’s biennial juried exhibition, a laudable decision that makes for a richer experience. For comparison, 60 artists were part of the inaugural 2013 exhibition and 77 in the 2015 show.

Gathered III opens with colorful abstraction. Like much of the paintings in the exhibition, Maurice Clifford’s commanding Art and Marriage/for Jeff/for Judith (2008) is non-figurative. Its meandering composition consists of frenzied patterns of condensed, gestural oil paint. It benefits from its large size and horizontal format, suggesting vastness and change over time in a way that a smaller composition would not. Evocative of post-painterly abstraction, nearby Maggie Davis’s The Garden (2016) and Ailwee (2015-16) consist of striations of bright acrylic. Carla Contreras’s Jungle (2017) functions similarly, using various media — nylon tights, clay, thread, yarn, wire, acrylic and light — to transform a section of the gallery from generic white space into a room-size sculptural installation. Alexander Caulder seems to be an obvious influence, but the work is softer and more organically chaotic. Though markedly different, the three artists showcased here seem to respond to 20th-century abstraction to produce bright, nonobjective work.

The proximity of Clifford, Davis and Contreras evidences one of the strengths of Gathered III — the curators’ ability to organize seemingly unrelated work in a meaningful way. Consistently, the curators deal with the problem of many disparate works in a single show by aligning works that share aesthetic or thematic qualities, creating subtle formal and content-driven groupings.

As is indicated by the curator’s grouping of Clifford, Davis and Contreras at the outset of the show, colorful abstract and nonobjective painting is robust. Corrine Colarusso, Terri Dilling and Stacie Rose are exemplars. Yet, the Juror’s Prizes went largely to artists who used a limited palette or black-and-white, and only one painter. Working in grayscale, Betsy Cain earned a Juror’s Prize for her oil on Yupo paper works, Drip Head # 1 and Moss-Heads #2, 3, 4, and 5. The simple figures, softly rendered silhouettes, make oil paint look like more aqueous media such as ink or watercolor.  

Traditional drawing has a weaker representation throughout the exhibition. Using a medium historically considered part of painting, Pamela Diaz Martinez uses graphic techniques for her pair of vertical pastel works. Observed and Recorded Permutation of the Holy Spirit XI (2015) employs hatch marks and erasures to created a feathery pattern in warm colors. Similarly, Observed and Recorded Permutation of the Holy Spirit X (2015) evokes the supernatural, showing a pair of vortex-like motifs above a low horizon. Her usage of abstract pattern and ascendant composition appropriately conveys her immaterial subject matter. Contrasted by Maria Artemis’s nearby bold, charcoal-heavy Large Dark Series 6 (2016) and Flow (2017), Margaret Schumacher’s graphite works on paper stand out as subtle explorations of smoky, abstracted chiaroscuro. Schumacher’s One on One (2016), for example, is both delicate and visceral, evoking both the landscape and close-up depictions of scratched and scarred flesh.

Textiles have a strong presence in Gathered III. Lyn Montagne’s Oak at Dusk # 2 (2016) and Oak at Dusk # 4 (2017) are dyed and woven linen wall hangings that show the silhouette of leafy trees in a restrained palette. Junco Sato Pollack’s Kinhin Series #5 Nirvana (2016) is a nonobjective collage of dyed polyester organza and taffeta. Metallic thread creates patterns of opalescent stitched lines and grids.

While Montagne and Pollack utilize more conventional processes, other makers push the medium into a more sculptural arena. Sonya Yong James won a Jurors’ Prize for her works. Strong in both form and content, Nothing Gold Can Stay shows a gradient of wool felt and horsehair that moves from pale ivory to chocolate brown, so as to suggest the passage of time and decay. Dread-like tendrils made of dyed wool felt and cotton accumulate in dense layers in Entanglement.

James’ hirsute wall pieces have an easy resonance with Juror’s Prize winner Amy Landesberg’s nearby Plasti Plast (2017), a kinetic sculpture made of a series of gently rocking sculptures inspired by Samuel Beckett’s play Rockaby. A series of white semicircles contain found wire and fibrous material and suggest nascent plant life. The sculpture’s subtle characteristics might get lost at a crowded opening; it’s worthwhile to visit the gallery on a quiet afternoon to hear the soft, irregular sounds — almost like footsteps — of the swaying, cradle-like forms.

Though there’s not a lot of sculpture and installation work, they command a lot of presence, often due to their scale. Standing over 10 feet tall, Michael Murrell’s Skull Tower (2014) has a totemic presence. Claire Chambliss’s Would You Love Me If… (2017) uses paper blinds, pipe cleaners, glitter and diamond dust to form a diagonal, cascading form. Nearby, Imi Hwangbo’s small, intricately cut Slyph II (2010) plays off of the large, pleated forms of Chambliss’s large installations — one of the many clever curatorial moments of the exhibition. Stand-out sculptures of a less grandiose scale include Lillian Blade’s Remembrance, a simple but effective assemblage of brass frames, and Ann Stewart’s small, intricate nylon Big Bang Baby (2015) and Sui Generis (2015). Suggestive of narrative, Donté Hayes’ Time Capsule (2016) is a mixed-media work that utilizes an old Coca-Cola crate and test tubes. Though well crafted, it lacks contextual information that would add clarity — namely, what’s in the test tubes.

Gathered III encompasses a healthy range of photographic practices. Mary Anne Mitchell, Joshua McGowan and Carmen Rice use or incorporate analog processes to create figurative imagery. Mitchell prints scans of original wet plate collodion photographs. The enigmatic Hair the Maiden Fair (2016) features a masked man and woman in a field. Even stranger, Hidden Seeker (2016) shows a wraith-like figure behind a tree adjacent to a child’s backyard playground. Mitchell effectively exploits the soft blur of the 19th-century process to create spectral and satisfyingly nightmarish pictures. Yet, she flirts with a hackneyed and theatrical goth aesthetic — going a little darker might benefit her. McGowan won a Juror’s Prize for his new take on old methods: photographic exposures Study 6-5-7-4 (2016) and Study 5-1-6-2-7 (2016). Both were made with a device designed to expose multiple large negatives simultaneously. The sizeable black-and-white portraits evade sharp focus so as to create nuanced and ethereal studies of single figures. (Full disclosure: McGowan was a student in my classes at Piedmont College.) Rice’s Worst Enemy, Best Friend (2017) consists of 25 manipulated Polaroids showing a woman at work in her studio. India ink and epoxy resin mark and obscure the images, as if to emphasize their physicality.

Laura Noel, Lucinda Bunnen and Spencer Sloan utilize digital methods to create bright abstractions. Noel’s Color Crescent (2017) and Divided Dagger (2017) show a classical Greco-Roman sculpture of a woman augmented by bright overlays of pink, blue and violet. Bunnen’s Reeds in the Water (2015) and Boats Floating (2015) seem to be an extenuation of the artist’s Weathered Chrome series of digital reproductions of aged slides that are transformed into brilliant fields of color interrupted by nebulous expanses of white where the flimsy material deteriorates. Sloan’s Kendall Jenner Leaving a Dinner Party in Beverly Hills 5/15/15 (2017) impresses with its large scale (over six feet tall) and scrambled pixels. Sloan corrupts a paparazzi image into a complexly abstracted picture in which the original referent — the celebrity identified in the title — is no longer visible. There is an odd correspondence between Bunnen and Sloan: both destroy source material and seem concerned with the relationship of images and media to perception and memory. Despite the strengths of Gathered III, the relative dearth of digital media of this kind and the total absence of video is a weakness.

Jong-Kwang Hyun, Maggie Evans and Jon Field have the most explicitly politicized content. Painted in confident, translucent layers so that bare canvas and graphite grid lines show through, Hyun’s Soldiers in Uniform (2015-16) stretches to an impressive 20 feet. The rows of men seem to repeat infinitely as if to de-emphasize their humanity. Evans’ Collective Amnesia (2014) shows apartment buildings in monotonous rows and ominous grisaille from an aerial perspective. Evans’ Target (2015) depicts a similar cityscape at a closer angle, its foreboding overtones amplified.

Field’s Victory! (2016) is made of countless steel dressmaker pins inset in velvet. The impressively stippled image shows James Franco’s character in the 2014 The Interview, a film that rose to prominence due to Columbia Picture’s postponement of the release after threats from North Korea. Field’s sparkling surface plays off of adjacent work by Caomin Xie: simple but beautiful evocations of the cosmos titled Gold Mountain (2016) and Occupy the Void (2015). Yet, Field’s use of velvet has a jocularly critical feel, suggesting the vintage appeal of lowbrow kitsch reborn. His combination with sewer’s tools suggests a thoughtful revision of medium hierarchy. Field’s act of appropriation seems to suggest artificiality — that is, the notion that the controversy surrounding the film was media hype that resulted in the critically feeble film’s box-office success.

Interestingly, these works don’t  seem particularly aimed at current events, and Gathered III generally skirts overt sociopolitical commentary — a surprise, given our current cultural climate. Ultimately, there is a conservative tone to Gathered III in both its approach to media and content. This could be a reflection of either the jurors’ tastes or the makeup of the submissions; my intuition is that it’s the latter.