Gallery III Archive
Flight of Obscurity VII
August 12 – September 23, 2016
Growing up in a family of pilots, I was exposed to the awe-inspiring mysteries of flight at an early age. As an adolescent, my introduction to aviation developed into a deep respect and love for the field. Countless hours were spent building models of planes and talking about aircraft with my father, a certified aviation mechanic and instructor, whose passion propelled my curiosity. Our conversations resulted in my interest in aviation to light utilizing construction techniques and processes (such as riveting and sheet metal fabrication) that have been used throughout aviation history.
Human existence is closely tied to travel. We have always desired to travel, especially in ways in which we were not physically designed. The boundaries of our existence on this planet have been significantly transformed in the last century, as our yearning to defy earthly limitations via manned flight became a reality. Of course a more sinister side to air travel arises from conflict, where aircraft have been used to inflict harm on an enemy. I communicate concepts booted in aviation history through a visual language that references both travel and warfare by hand fabricating dynamic and iconic forms of flight. These sculptures consist of cones that are integrated with spires and held together under tension, supported by utilitarian containers (crates). This fragile relationship of forms exposes the delicate balance between grace and imminent danger, similar to the fleeting ballet of courting birds or the hostility felt between foes engaged in a dogfight. Through references to aeronautical form, the sculptures in flight of obscurity communicate tension and dance in direct opposition of fundamental forces.
Faces and Places of the World
June 24 - August 5, 2016
“Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” - Gustave Flaubert
As a professional problem solver for IBM who majored in Applied Math and Computer Science Engineering at a time when computers were room-sized and women engineers a rarity, I had limited leisure for my true passions - travel and photography. That changed when I retired in 2007. Now I carry a camera rather than a briefcase and strive to capture those fleeting moments in digital images.
I enjoy exploring our fascinating world; people and their stories draw me. I love when we come in contact in such a close and personal way. To look into the eyes of another culture is to share deeply into what it is to be human. I appreciate being reminded over and again that all of us on this incredible planet care for the same things - to live securely, with freedom to work and provide for ourselves, our loved ones and our own community. When I look through the lens of my camera and find that light in their eyes, I know I have found a way for us to communicate. These are the experiences that I will never forget and want to share with others – the little moments and places that compose life.
Although I have visited parts of over 70 countries and most of the United States, I still have many new places to experience and share. I have exhibited locally at Art St Louis, Barnes Jewish Hospital, Foundry Art Centre, Framations Art Gallery, Maryville University, Regional Arts Commission, St Louis Artist's Guild, UMSL, as well as other venues, where my prints have won multiple awards. My photography was featured in the online magazine “The Arts Live” in Fall 2013.
May 6 - June 17, 2016
My interactions with my environment are shaped, influenced, and often viewed through the lens of technology and its evolution, and my work reflects this digitally inspired perspective. The history of textile manufacturing is intimately entwined with computer technology and its advances. The loom, with its warp and weft, was the first binary information system, a system that provides the framework for computer programming and mobile technology today. The roles women have played historically and presently in the home, the office, the industry are comparable to the roles expected of contemporary technology- none more so than the role of the mobile phone.
Fabric has a soft materiality that is referenced by digital culture (networks, etc), yet as a material it is grounded in the physical, and it is close to us at all times. It is a material whose production and manipulation has been traditionally associated with women, and it is also an expression of identity on the part of the person using it, whether as clothing, home decoration, or craft production. In my work, I am interested in exploring self representation on the Internet and through mobile applications. This includes the use of platforms like Instagram, which neatly confuse traditional ideas of public and private space. I often use images of both men and women in my work, and I am primarily concerned with examining gendered power dynamics and social positions, such as those found in relationships or in the workplace, and this theme can be seen throughout my portfolio.
Sharing our lives in real-time through technology has become a part of who we are as a society, and how we construct our online selves makes a difference in our experiences in physical space. With the help of the computers in our pockets, we take pictures and videos, send messages to friends and strangers, check the weather, find people to date, add to our ever-growing calendars and lists of things to do, and map our destinations. We are touching from a distance, through panes of glass. The mobile phone has seamlessly integrated itself into our lives through its usefulness and convenience, and it is one of the few objects we keep almost as close to our bodies as the fabric whose soft materiality divides it from us. We now have the ability to communicate with others around the world and near to us at any location we choose, experiencing our lives through the mediation of the screen. We can peer into each other’s lives with the push of a button, using symbols instead of words to comment on the moments we observe; we pare down our communication with our family and friends, choosing images to convey our thoughts. Navigating both the virtual world and the physical world, we exist in several places at once.
May 6 - June 17, 2016
Sweater, (n); one who works hard, a toiler; a tailor who worked for an employer overtime at home; one who sweats gold coins. (Oxford English Dictionary)
“Contextus” is a series of handmade sweaters, the livery of a war cry for various socio-political issues. For “Dentata” my dental records were rendered to create the pattern for a nordic yoked sweater. Folklore describes a toothed vagina, the implication being that sexual misconduct will not go unpunished. With “Alchem-amy,” an aran sweater, I employ the honeycomb pattern (the textile worker’s symbol of labor) to produce swollen yet threatening muscle groups on the garment’s wearer. Outraged by the political blunders of my home state, the “Inverted Flag” sweater severs my political allegiance.
Another set of garments incorporate obsolete roman numerals to encode my social security or credit card numbers, in order to comment on the perceived fear of a lost or stolen identity. We think of clothing as protection, but must also recognize its function as relentless self-identification. That which wraps around our vulnerable bodies shielding us, and making disclosures to an audience of fellow players.
Hailed as “radical in its romance,” Keefer's work is rooted in wearable art, simultaneously addressing textile practices and relational aesthetics. Conscious of the constructs at play when dressing and the cultural resistance of making, her aim is to awaken deep complications surrounding labor, trauma and commerce using her own body as an exploratory site.
Her work has been recognized widely throughout the United States.
May 6 - June 17, 2016
j. casey doyle
March 18 - April 29, 2016
Hir Play is a body of work that questions our desire to label and assign gender to play, processes, and materials through the use of sculptural objects and video.
Melody Jean Johnson
January 29 - March 11, 2016
Award Winners from Ragdolls, Robots, and Rocketships
Award Winners From Paper Cuts
Monika Meler | How the Present Rearranges the Past
Philana Oliphant | Time is Now
Richard Shipps | Shadows on the Wall
“The thing we call a place is the intersection of many changing forces passing through, whirling around, mixing, dissolving, and exploding in a fixed location.” Rebecca Solnit, The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness
My artwork examines actual and constructed memory, especially as it related to my upbringing in Poland and immigration to the United States. My recollections of the places I occupied in Poland and in my initial years in Chicago, the city I immigrated to, serve as the whirling, mixing, dissolving, and exploding forces that Rebecca Solnit references in The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness.
Memory is liminal. Remembering a place is not an act of recollecting the actual place but our last memory of that place. Therefore, my work is often an abstraction of a place, space, building, folktale, or event that had a lasting impression. I use images that reference my father’s elaborate gardens, my mother’s colorful textiles, the Slavic folktale of the Baba Jaga, and the majestic skyscrapers of Chicago. Images repeat, change direction, and dominance. All of these actions mimic the actions of memory.
OPENING RECEPTION PICTURES
Strength, Weakness, Reversal.
Resolve, Perseverance, Faith.
These works are the Evidence.
I have always been fascinated by the interplay of light and shadow and how that interaction reveals form in many interesting ways. My work recalls forgotten imagery
of shadow play observed but not recorded.
Whether I am working in cut paper or steel sculpture,
the work is a subtractive process, removing a cut shape
to reveal others in a framework of both positive and
My process is marked by a series of limitations. By
saying no, I say yes. By creating concise design rules
or parameters, I am free to explore infinite variations
of image rhythms and patterns within those constraints.
I then take great joy in breaking those arbitrary rules
for further explorations.
Award Winners from "Beneath the Covers"
Charlene Asato: Dimensional, Expansive Pages
Deborah Bryan: Avoiding the Wall
Frank Hamrick: Sometimes Rivers Flow Backwards
Dennis Yuen: Form
Carol Zeman : Conscious Dreaming
Group Show from Beneath the Covers: Deborah Bryan, Frank Hamrick,
Carol Zeman, Dennis Yuen, Charlene Asato
September 3, 2015 – October 16, 2015
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 3, 2015, 6-8pm
Transience, referring to the psychological and physical state of homelessness, is the concept that perhaps best defines the inspiration behind my work. Through the thematic content of the writing in both my installations and fictional prose, as well the ephemeral reality of my medium (paper), I am able to express my personal fascination with what constitutes home, the effects of displacement and immigration, language as a barrier, and the process by which we construct new cultural identities.
This fascination arises from my own Banat Swabian and Peruvian heritage, its multi-ethnic contradictions and conflicted history, as well as my migratory childhood which impressed on me from a young age the feeling of “otherness”. My suspicions that I was something of an anathema, along with my sense of homelessness, manifested itself early on in a love of Roma music, alienated fictional heroines, and portrait painting, along with an obsessive preoccupation with architectural floor plans. However, it was not until my debut novel, Gibbin House (2011), that I first treated the idea of transience consciously, introducing characters during the European postwar era who face geographic and personal exile. As such, they are forced to conquer the impotence of voicelessness in foreign places and in their relationships; people being much like strange countries themselves.
As to the wall-size paper installations which constitute much of my plastic art, and which I have come to call “Lichtsprache” (Illuminated Language): I began creating these mixed-media works following the completion of Gibbin House, in order to transcend the inherently hermetic nature of the writing process. By publicly exposing my words, my personal artwork, and the material culture of my journey as an author (typed manuscripts, collected postcards, floppy disks, discarded notes, etc.), I aimed to offer an intimate glimpse at a writer’s interior landscape. This impetus evolved organically into the sculpture ‘Off the Page’, which elevates the novel’s final page to an artwork in its own right through the ephemeral combination of paper and light.
When the meticulously-cut yet still dangling letters of these cascading paper sculptures are lit from behind, the effect reinforces the spontaneous, oral vibrancy of language. The words themselves become transient, seemingly wanting to float off the page. At the same time, the act of cutting paper is an irreversible one, symbolizing an ironic permanence, a commitment to direction. The sculpture’s success has since prompted me to continue exploring the relationship between the traditionally inward direction of literature and the external power of visual art. My fictional subjects serve as springboards in this symbiotic creative process. Alternately, I also employ the paper surface for works of poetry 'chants'.
I call my poems 'chants' because they evolve from a word or phrase on which I must meditate during the process of cutting each letter freehand. The perpetual incantation organically inspires the sound or image of the next, the motif functioning as both a visual and musical building block that slowly draws in other elements. Since such poems depend on the immediacy of the physical creation, they are each a product entirely of the moment. This means that despite their graphic precision, they are each absolute and spontaneous originals.
Together with integrated elements like graphite drawings, embroidery, light features, and voice recordings, these white paper blankets of poetry hang in the space like giant conversations, addressing identity, transculturation, human value, displacement, and the power of words.
On occasion, I work with raw or indigenously crafted paper in place of my regular floor-to-ceiling format. Collected on my travels and much smaller in scale, these papers are already imbued with their own cultural subtext, and thus offer interesting possibilities in weaving together ideas on language, culture, and gender roles.
My next book project is the novel Humboldt’s Riches. It is currently in progress, and will be a modern semi-autobiographical ‘Heart of Darkness’ that leads a Romanian protagonist and her young family into Peru’s remote Apurimac region during the guerilla uprising of 1980. In keeping with my creative process, the book will be accompanied by KONZEPTION, a series of paper installations that act as a sort of visual “hypertext”, wherein I either treat the novel’s themes and characters, or the experience of writing itself.
Longing for Nonsense
May 17 - June 21, 2013
Opening Reception: Friday, May 17, 2013 | 6:00-8:00pm
Artist Talk: Friday, May 17, 2013 | 6:30pm
My work explores the interaction between dualities within material and form. My current installation work examines architecture, enclosures, and the relationship between space and viewer. The interaction between light, shadow, and texture within each installation is considered. Research includes looking at contemporary and ancient architecture with an emphasis on aesthetic intent. Strong columnar forms are interpreted from ancient examples as well as contemporary counterparts. Material considerations are interpreted from modern and contemporary sources. Metal wire is often included in the warp and weft along with nylon monofilament to enhance interaction with ambient light. Questions such as the comfort level of an enclosure, scale in relationship to the viewer, and organic versus rigid forms are addressed within the body of work.
Smaller works consider the interactions of individuals on a more intimate basis. How one considers oneself perceived by their peers, how they place themselves in the world; all of these nuances are fascinating when abstracted in an art form, transcending the potential mundane of the everyday.