Credit: Nassem Navab, tissue box from the “Cover Protect Decorate” series, 2019
Franconia Sculpture Park is pleased to present “New Domestics”, the inaugural gallery exhibition in the Gallery @ Franconia Commons curated by Franconia’s Executive Director & Chief Curator Ginger Shulick Porcella. This group exhibition explores themes of domesticity in contemporary art, blurring the lines between functional art, craft, and high and lowbrow art forms. Using the gallery as a platform to contemplate interiors and their intimate relationship to art and design, “New Domestics” celebrates artists from across the globe while examining the depth and breadth of sculpture as an expansive and diverse medium in dialogue with drawing and mark-making. Residing somewhere between the melancholy and celebration of homely obligation, the artists in this exhibition underscore a return to domesticity in the time of COVID-19.
Participating Artists: Allison Baker, Emma Beatrez, Beth Campbell, Christopher Chiappa, Hannah Epstein, Rose Eken, Mark Jay Freedman, Al Freeman, Nassem Navab, Jolie Ngo, Lee Noble
“New Domestics” opens in Franconia Commons on Saturday, September 26, 2020 with a public reception from 4pm-6pm. The opening reception coincides with the Grand Opening of Franconia Commons and Franconia’s 24th Annual Art & Artists Celebration from 3pm-9pm. The exhibition will run until December 31, 2020.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Allison Baker earned her MFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design, a BFA in Sculpture and BA in Gender Studies from Indiana University. Her work investigates hegemonic femininity as a site of transgression and resistance. Allison clawed her way into higher education with a thesaurus and words she cannot pronounce; currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Sculpture and Studio Art at Hamline University where she tries to impart some knowledge of finesse, persuasion, and manual labor.
Emma Beatrez is a transdisciplinary artist from Minnesota. They graduated from Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2020 with a MFA in Interdisciplinary studio art. Beatrez received their BFA with an emphasis in oil painting at North Dakota State University in 2018. Their recent work deals with ritual, body, proxemics, desire, and simulation through material, light, sound, and scent explorations. Beatrez is a current Artists-in-Residence at Franconia Sculpture Park.
Beth Campbell creates mobiles that manifest a similar interest in parallel realities. Conceived as ‘drawings in space,’ their abstract forms of bent steel and wire evoke Freud’s neurological diagrams, trees, and circulatory systems, while also serving as speculative visualizations of possibility. The interplay of lines creates an optical interference effect similar to moiré patterns, causing the surrounding space to vibrate and seemingly shift. This visual contrast catalyzes the tension between physical and virtual, ordinary and surreal. Beth Campbell has had museum exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Art, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, White Columns, the Drawing Room, London, and the Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs NY. Her work is included in collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Memorial Fellowship, and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2006). Campbell lives and works in New York.
Christopher Chiappa has held numerous exhibitions at galleries and institutions, including MASS MOCA, ICA Los Angeles, ICA Philadelphia, James Cohan Gallery, and Kate Werble Gallery where he is currently represented. He has received positive reviews in publications including The New York Times, ArtForum, Art in America, Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, ArtNews and more. He currently lives and works in New York City.
Hannah Epstein holds a BA from Memorial University of Newfoundland and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. She has had solo exhibitions at Steve Turner Gallery (Los Angeles), the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto, Pennsylvania State University, Neu Kirche Contemporary Art Center (Pittsburgh) and has shown at the Long Beach Museum of Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art (Denver) and the Textile Museum of Canada to name a few. She lives and works in Los Angeles.
Rose Eken methodically replicates detritus, often placing it very systematically in a grid, suggestive of scientific categorization. Her arrangements and sheer amount of production assume an anthropological quality, documenting and preserving the relics of a culture and celebrating a history in process. Eken produces embroideries, drawings, and clay, which she favors for its versatility and clumsy form, as shaping and firing warp the object along the way, resulting in unforeseen and unpredictable imperfections. Rose Eken holds a BA from Edinburgh College of Art and an MFA from the Royal College of Art, London. She lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Mark Jay Freedman and his work have been contributing phrases to his story of the in-between since he completed his Hunter College Master’s thesis two weeks before the end of the 20th century. Freedman draws from a journey that began floating wide-eyed in the suburban pools of color-soaked Los Angeles and shifted to the sands of the emerging American desert, where he unearthed vital found-object lessons. Freedman spent his creative energies out West establishing the Arizona based art group The TRA25 Capsule (2000 – 2006). The group represented the burgeoning downtown Phoenix art community with numerous gallery happenings, public art projects, lectures and private commissions culminating in “Fresh Paint,” an exhibition celebrating the new voices of the West at the Phoenix Art Museum. He wandered head-up in New York’s steel canyons, beaches and forests of his artistic ancestors and continued to examine the shift from analog to digital. During his time in New York, Freedman showed at the Woodstock Biennial, the Katonah Museum of Art, New York Studio Gallery and executed several private commissions. Be it by brush, scissor, pen, hammer or keyboard, Freedman aspires to produce work that can blind from the flash that birthed the 1980’s age of information, embrace the do-it-yourself aesthetic from the West Coast 1970’s and humanizes the technological flood that has ensued.
Al Freeman holds a BFA from Concordia University and an MFA from Yale University. Her work has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, Zach Feuer Gallery, Rue de la Régence (Brussels), Carl Kostyal (London), and Chateau du Feÿ (Bourgogne, France) to name just a few. Her large-scale soft sculptures depict everyday objects, draining them of their virility and investing them with humor.
Nassem Navab is informed by her Iranian American identity, critically engaging with a wide array of social issues, from the policing of women’s bodies, to self-expression and identity. Her work evokes cultural displacement in the household objects of immigrant families. She works in various mediums from 3D modeling, video, sound and photography. Navab has exhibited her work at various art galleries and museums including MOCA Tucson, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the Visual Art Center in Austin, TX, and New Mexico University. She holds an MFA from the University of Arizona, a BA from University of California, San Diego, and currently resides in Los Angeles.
Jolie Ngo recently completed her BFA in Ceramics from RISD and is currently pursuing her MFA in Ceramics from Alfred University. She takes objects that are historically viewed as minimal and humble and lovingly dresses them in vibrant patterns or hazy gradients with hand-crafted actions that mimic digital effects, using the vessel as a conduit between tradition and personal experience.
Lee Noble is an artist and composer working in between sound, collage, and multimedia. His work is concerned with the exponential accumulation of information in the internet age and the bleeding together of various media forms and cultural expressions. He received an MFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2020.
About Franconia Sculpture Park
Franconia Sculpture Park is the pre-eminent, artist-centered sculpture park in the Midwest. Founded in 1996, Franconia provides physically and intellectually wide-open spaces that inspire new ways of thinking through access to contemporary sculpture, installation and land art. Located in the scenic St. Croix River Valley, Franconia operates a 43-acre outdoor museum, active artist residency program, and a depth and breadth of arts programming for a diverse and engaged public.
Franconia is located at 29836 St. Croix Trail in Shafer, Minnesota, and is free and open to the public 365 days a year from 8am to 8pm. Please visit us at www.franconia.org.