Archives for category: Studio Visit

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On Monday we did a virtual studio visit with Oakland-based artist Nick Lally to talk about his ACRE show, soft edges, which opens March 23rd at Plaines Project.

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This week we got to visit the ACRE residency in Steuben, Wisconsin. As a partner gallery, we were invited to drive up to see the residency and conduct studio visits. We got to talk to two collaborating artists who will be showing at the Plaines Project this year, Seth Sher and Michael Vallera, about the work they’ve been doing while at ACRE. We also got to meet some other awesome artists and do studio visits with Allison Rowe, Jeff Austin, Todd King, Georgia Wall, Sofia Leiby, and Patrick Costello.

Next week, one of us will be returning to ACRE as a resident and will get to meet with the other three artists we’ll be working with this year, Steven Frost, Steven Vainberg, and Nick Lally.

There are a lot of amazing artists at ACRE this year and we are really excited to be involved in this upcoming season of shows!

A few weeks ago, I visited Lynnette Miranda‘s studio to talk to her about her upcoming show Rocks on Rocks on Rocks, opening this Friday, July 27. We began by talking about her experiences with nature and her nostalgia for an abstract idea of a nature with which she is unfamiliar. We discussed her research process, covering a range of topics, including domesticity, the home, photographers, landscape artists, romanticism, and the sublime. She explained how blogs, design, and fashion, and the appearance of “nature” in these media connect to her research and influence her practice.

In her work for her upcoming solo show, Rocks on Rocks on Rocks, Lynnette is exploring the connection between domesticity and fake nature. She shared her own history with the idea of home and the significance of having her own personal space to decorate and make her own. Lynnette is investigating the home as a stage. She remembers her aunt’s first home, decorated with an ivy pattern theme – ivy curtains, ivy wallpaper, ivy upholstery, ivy everywhere.  When women decorate their home, they are making their home their environment. It is a process of becoming one with their homes, creating “their own little world”, often utilizing images of elements found in the outside world, tamed and brought indoors.

Having recently read Judith Butler’s Performative Acts for the first time, along with a number of other texts on gender theory, I couldn’t help but connect to these during the discussion of the home as a stage and as a woman’s world. Historically regulated to the home, this is the only environment that women have ever had total control over, a natural staging ground for their feminitity. That themes of nature often come through in domestic decorating motifs can further be connected to perceptions of woman’s connection with earth (think, “Mother Earth”), materiality, growth, and reproduction. Though Lynnette is not specifically addressing issues of gender roles or performativity with her work, I feel that these themes are a subtle undercurrent that seep in from the subconscious of social history.

For the show opening on Friday, Lynnette is taking on the role of interior decorator, attempting to make a fake nature domestic space within the Plaines Project gallery. She is focusing on the use of rocks as decorative elements, the duality of what a rock can be – a discardable stone off the sidewalk or a valuable decorating tool. Through sculpture, photography, collage, and print, Lynnette is questioning reality, asking what makes something natural, real, or valuable.

Etta Sandry

On a recent cold February night, I am standing in Ellen Nielsen’s warm and wood-paneled home. Techno throbs softly from the back room studio, and I am filling my eyes with stretch velvet and sequins, crochet and curios. The place has a hip mustiness to it, an afghan industriousness of polish grandmother’s drawing room flayed with neon updates. As I move over to inspect a shadow box displaying tiny spangles of all colors and description, serially arranged in rows according to a bizarre logic belonging to kindergarteners and people who haunt Micheal’s crafting stores, I am reminded of a quotation I have to look up later: “Decoration”, says Michelle Kuo, “is a kind of technology.”

We recently visited Ellen Nielsen at her Pilsen apartment/studio to talk to her about her work and about the show that she’ll be having at the Plaines Project in May. Read about the studio visit, written by Alex de Leon, here.