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Event: Soften

Dates: June 4 - 30th 2020
Where: The Chase Gallery and online

Spokane Arts is excited to share Soften at the Chase Gallery and online, June 4-26, 2020, featuring the work of Sarah Barnett, Jessica Earle, Nadiya Nacorda, Morganne Radziewiez, Mica Lillith Smith, and Azzah Sultan. Curated by June T. Sanders and Krista Brand, Soften showcases artwork utilizing softness of form and aesthetics within video, painting, and collage. This diverse group show centers on work using softness as a strategy of strength in opposition to patriarchal methods of achievement. The exhibit investigates the intellectual and emotional aspects of labor, self-care, and embodiment. These beautiful and thoughtful works invite you to exploring ways to create a new posture of care, inclusivity and equality.

Enjoy the exhibit here online all month. Spokane City Hall is currently closed to the public. Normally open to the public Tuesday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Chase Gallery is open if and when City Hall is open to the public. Use the exhibit discussion questions here to explore the work and use these family-friendly art activity prompts to engage with the exhibit! 

Welcome to Soften. Click an image below to enlarge and to view each work.

 

Nadiya Nacorda

Nadiya received her BFA in Photography & Film from VCU Arts in Richmond, VA. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Art Photography at Syracuse University’s School of Visual and Performing Arts. Her work has been exhibited at the Midwest Center for Photography, the Detroit Public Library art gallery, RISD’s Red Eye Gallery in Providence, RI, and Candela Books + Gallery in Richmond, VA. She is also a 2019 finalist of the Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward competition.

 

left:
Nadiya Nacorda
Self Portrait #1: wearing a doek in Lolo and Lola’s bathroom
archival pigment print, 2019, NFS

 

Nadiya Imani Loyisa Ntlabati Nacorda is a Blasian artist, photographer and Taurus currently living and working in Syracuse, NY. She was born in Detroit, MI to a Filipinx immigrant father and a Xhosa mother. Throughout the year, she travels around the country photographing her immediate family. Her work heavily draws from notions of intimacy, affection, family, displacement, secrecy, and generational trauma within the context of Black and POC immigrant-American family life.

Nadiya Nacorda Artist Statement

below left: 
Nadiya Nacorda
I (         ) the 5th
archival pigment print, 2019, NFS

 

below:
Nadiya Nacorda
…and on that day, they rested from all their work
archival pigment print, 2019, NFS

 

 

 

Morganne Radziewicz

Morganne is a North Carolina based artist. Her work is interdisciplinary and conceptually driven by ideas of vulnerability, romance and technological frailty. In the midst of a technological revolution, she considers herself a neo-romanticist.

 

right: 
Morganne Radziewicz
To Whom it May Concern
Letter, magazine page, 2020, $250

below: 
Morganne Radziewicz
Take Care III
Oil paint on raw canvas, 2020, $300

 

“Now more than ever, we curate our lives for public consumption. Edited, cropped and untagged, we organize our public image. In contrast, human interactions are distorted, vulgar and awkward. As a millennial, I have watched the world transition from analog to digital. Subsequently, I long for both the romance of handwritten letters and the efficiency of technological progress. In an age of constant self-awareness and anxiety, I seek sincerity and earnestness. I strive to know myself and others more intimately.”

Morganne Radziewicz Artist Statement

 

 

 

Mica Lillith Smith

Mica Lilith Smith is a visual artist and university educator currently based in Lubbock TX. Smith earned her MFA in 2-D Studies at The University of Cincinnati College of DAAP in Cincinnati, OH and her BA in Studio Art at Fairmont State University. Her works are comprised of fabric installations, paintings, drawings, and video. 

 

left:

Mica Lillith Smith
Of Origin & Belonging
digital painting on satin, 2020, $275

 

 

“As a maker, I am drawn to visual contradictions often found in gendered experiences: the softness and hardness that is evident in feminine and masculine aesthetics and the affects that such visual information yields upon viewers when such opposites merge in a space. Further, I am captivated by origin stories of trans womanhood – how these stories of becoming-ness have often faced eradication through oppressive forces and how trans women continually strive to uphold and celebrate their personal narratives of female embodiment.

I call to formalistic cues that imbue soft, haven-like configurations while also using such elements to arrive at images that are, at times, foreboding and cacophonous. My aims are to create works that evoke intimacy and sensual memory through a trans female lens while touching on the complexities of my own embodiment as a trans woman living in the south.”

Mica Lillith Smith Artist Statement

below left:

Mica Lillith Smith
As I Reside (Before You Go)
digital painting on satin, 2020, $275

below right:

Mica Lillith Smith
The Chest Holds
digital painting on satin, 2020, $275

Azzah Sultan

Azzah Sultan received her BFA from Parsons School of Design and is currently working towards an MFA at Washington State University. She was born in Abu Dhabi and is a Malaysian native who grew up in Malaysia, Saudi, Finland, Bahrain and has spent six years living in America working on her artistic practice. She has had her art exhibited in The New School, Parsons Paris Gallery, S.A.D. Gallery, The Bushwick Collective, BUFU Studios, The Ely Center, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Blackfish Gallery, Chase Gallery, Terrain 12, KMAC Gallery and was as well a panelist for Muslim Women Reclaim Their Identities at Amherst College, MA. While living in New York she was a program coordinator at Triangle Arts Association and an artist assistant for Artist of Color Block. Before starting her masters she worked at the Islamic Art Museum as a graphic designer. Her work strives to transcend the fallacy that Muslim women like herself are oppressed by the nature of their religious customs. Her work also speaks on the issues about finding her identity through culture and immigration.

The term “Anak Dara” is a Malay word that literally translates to blood child. It is a term of endearment my mother often uses when asking me to help her with a chore or to show her love. This term also has a double meaning as it can reference a child who is unmarried and is still young. This will be the title of my thesis show. Anak Dara is an investigation of personal experiences navigated though the networks of performance and mixed media. Bungkus focuses on various aspects of childhood nostalgia, materials of memorabilia and familial ties portrayed through digital media. When we think about the passing down of traditions from one generation to another, we see the knowledge that is transferred as a rite of passage. Growing up, our culture, traditions, and customs were all very important areas of focus to not lose to touch of who we are.

Azzah Sultan Artist Statement

Below, video still from Bungkus, by Azzah Sultan, 2019.

Watch the full video from Azzah Sultan’s piece Bungkus here. 

Sarah Barnett

Sarah Barnett is an artist from Texas, currently living in Pullman, Washington where she is a first year MFA candidate and a teacher’s assistant at Washington Sate University. She received her BFA in fine arts at the University of North Texas in 2018. That summer, she also attended a month long residency program at the New York Academy of Art in Manhattan. Predominantly a painter, Sarah is proficient in 2D traditional drawing and painting mediums.

 

left:

Sarah Barnett
A Subtle Body
oil on panel, 2019, NFS

below: 

Sarah Barnett
Protection
oil on canvas, 2019, NFS

 

For me, the process of painting describes both a concealment of time and a subtle, gradual construction of an image. I’m finding that the stratified way I think perfectly mirrors my own methods of working. What begins as loose and gestural, I continue with translucent layer upon layer as my painting process seeks to intimately connect the single stroke to the final entirety. During this building up of undulating surfaces there is generated a kind of visual interruption, and the portrayal of the figure becomes deformed. This deformation is juxtaposed with the vulnerable, intimately rendered figure. Folding these translucent, material planes of the paint onto and into themselves is my way of referencing more metaphysical ideas of time and space; ideas that have been present in the past, with the Baroque period especially. I’m extremely passionate about art history and interested in reconfiguring how we perceive art from the past, and the potential of what art can be in our future. My investment currently lies in reaching a state that visually shifts between different levels – different modes of perception and in using the act of painting to escape the internal and connect with the external.

Sarah Barnett Artist Statement

Jessica Earle

Jessica Earle (b.1986) is a Spokane-based sound and video artist. She received a BFA from Eastern Washington University and an MFA in electronic and integrated art from Alfred University. She has shown both nationally and internationally, including a museum show in China.

 

Below, image of Hummingbird, by Jessica Earle, 2018, as installed at the Chase Gallery for Soften, 2020.

Watch the full video from Jessica Earle’s Hummingbird here.

Jessica Earle is focused on a speculative future where nature is no more. Through the lens of science fiction while simultaneously referencing her own lived experience Earle is bringing to life an imagined future where we use technology to bring the myth of the natural world back to life in our homes and public spaces. In her installations viewers are encouraged to talk to plants, meditate, self reflect, and heal. Her video sculptures act as objects for the home. These future-objects create intimate moments in an intimate space; a sunset for you and your lover to hold hands under, flowers for the mantle, and clouds and a forest to daydream under. Ultimately she hopes this future can be avoided and that this work evokes conversations around our current climate crisis?

 

In addition to her independent practice, Jessica collaborates with mixed media sculptor Morgan Rose Free, creating experimental site specific installations which explore the vast potential of cross-disciplinary relationships between video and sculpture and challenge traditional divides between disciplines; resulting in a dynamic hybrid of video, sound, sculpture, performance and installation.

Jessica Earle Artist Statement

We are thrilled about the opportunity to have local and national artists in dialog with each other and to create a space to explore ideas surrounding the intellectual and emotional aspects of labor, self-care, and embodiment. How we can use softness as a strategy of strength, in opposition to patriarchal modes of achievement, and as a way to create a new posture of care, inclusivity and equality.

-From curators June T Sanders & Krista Brand

 

Use the exhibit discussion questions here to further explore the work and use these family-friendly art activity prompts to engage with the exhibit! 

Curators Bio

June T Sanders is an artist, curator, and writer from Kennewick, WA. Her work has been shown at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center (Denver), Amos Eno Gallery (Brooklyn), and Cascade Paragon Gallery (Portland) — and her photos and writing have been published in Vice, Paper Journal, Leste Magazine, Humble Arts Foundation, and Lenscratch. She is a recent recipient of the Blue Sky Curatorial Prize & a Research Fellowship at the New Hampshire Institute of Art — and is an instructor at the New York Summer School of the Arts & an Assistant Professor at Washington State University. Her work is about gender; dirt; expansions; home.

Curators Bio

Krista Brand is a multidisciplinary artist and curator, living and working in Eastern Washington. Identities of place, discarded objects, and the emotional currency of materials have informed her artistic practice. Her current work explores everyday encounters with litter and plastic waste, slyly questioning aesthetic and cultural value systems by examining and reframing cross-sections of urban landscapes. Krista recently co-founded Side x Side Contemporary, an online exhibition space focused on supporting international and emerging artists. She was a resident artist at Arts Letters & Numbers in New York, a grant-supported member at Saranac Art Projects, and was a visiting artist at Palouse Prairie Charter School. Krista has been an instructor of art and ceramics at Washington State University, where she currently works as an academic coordinator in fine arts.