Water Words: Sarika Sugla
"Go with the flow," they said.
But I was stuck in the corn fields.
So signs and words of water were all I had to get by.
Water, an element of constantly changing states, is an ideal lens to to help us see, understand, and respond to the world. Using water-related idioms and quotes, the prints and objects in this exhibition playfully present lessons learned and experience gained. Through printmaking and photography, these common water words come together to create a collection of water-based images. Narrative and illustrative in nature, these works function as meditative devices, reminding us that we only move forward by acknowledging the past and present, both physically and mentally, with patience and understanding.
Sarika Sugla is a visual artist currently living in New Jersey. Sarika received her MFA in Printmaking in 2014 from the University of Iowa and a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD in 2011. She has worked as an Assistant Printer at the Brodsky Center at Rutgers University and has previously worked as an Assistant Curator at the University of Iowa Museum of Art from 2014–2016. Sarika has exhibited widely within the United States and most recently completed a residency at La Ceiba Gráfica in La Orduña, Mexico.
Purple Coming In: Vincent Miranda
Purple Coming In explores the role that Actavis plays within youth and minority culture, juxtaposing it with the traditional constructs and whiteness of the gallery space. The purple syrup is a cough medicine made with promethazine and codeine, and was produced by the pharmaceutical company Actavis until it was discontinued in 2014. Becoming difficult and expensive to purchase on the street, it came to represent status, wealth, and indulgence among young rappers and their fans. Trends in minority groups are seldom afforded mainstream publicity, but they impact the institutions, art, and media which influence white audiences, which means that white audiences are often exposed to trends in minority culture before interacting with or recognizing the people who compose it.
Vincent Miranda is a South Florida-based sculptor, working primarily with fibers, resins, and industrial materials. His urban Ft. Lauderdale upbringing has become the foundation of his sculptures and installations, which often discuss the drug use, fashion, and other things used to measure whether or not a person has “made it”. Miranda received his BFA from Florida Atlantic University in 2014 and will be pursuing his MFA at California College of the Arts starting in Fall of 2017.
Nearing: Jen Clay
On View: April 29th - May 22nd
“Sickness estranges us from our body; then the body is turned into an object, a thing no longer to be trusted. Stricken by dis-ease, we discover the power of the other in ourselves”, Erwin W. Straus, M.D., Ph.D. wrote to explain the experiences of the other in the Phenomenology of Hallucinations. Jen Clay’s series of works, Nearing, explores this idea of the otherness in ourselves being manifested as an unknown figure through her performance at Art Serve via Girls’ Club, her installation of fiber-based work at IS Projects, and the book that she produced with us through our Existent Books project. Through these different materials she explores otherness as a depiction of the otherness within ourselves such as anxiety, depression, and addiction. Nearing creates a scenario of being approached by otherness, while it manifests itself as a body that knows the audience personally. The otherness is depicted through an alien encounter that is influenced by accounts of the Moth Man in Ripley West VA in 1966-1967 and the recurrent unexplained sightings of the Brown Mountain Lights in North Carolina, leaving the audience to make sense of their own experience with something strange and unexplained.
During Art Walk, Clay projected an animation from within the universe of Nearing in the alley outside of the IS Projects gallery, accompanied by a live soundscape produced by Richard Vergez. In the gallery, she installed standalone fiber/textile works which tie to the innards of the costume creature's innards, which they expose to the audience during the performance. The installation treats the innards as textile portals to an alien floating organ landscape, offering the audience a view of a separate space accessible only through the increasing presence and corporeality of the other.
Jen Clay is a Fort Lauderdale based multimedia artist. She received her Masters in Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of Florida while also studying costume design and behavior analysis. She has been commissioned by Girls’ Club Collection to create a video projection series called UnderNeath in 2015 and currently is working a off-site performance for Girls’ Club as a part of their OFF site series which will take place in 2017. She has been invited to the Harn Museum in Gainesville, FL and to the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte, NC to create interactive installations specifically directed toward engaging children. She has performed at ICA Miami for Miami Design District Site-Specific Performance Series in 2015. Also in 2015 her short film, Schools, was accepted into Visionaria in Milan, Italy. Clay is influenced from children educational TV shows aesthetics and she researches how these shows use edutainment to encourage learning and curiosity. Currently she creates wearable and performative sculptures for video and performance works that explores ways of depicting feelings of trauma, abuse , anxiety and fear though the use of paranormal and disorientation of the natural world.
Mystery Show: Julia Arredondo
On View: March 25th - April 20th
With scraps from zines and jeans, pressed flowers, stickers, hand-pulled prints, crude drawings, and photocopies, Julia Arredondo simplifies musings about her options, experiences, and exes to their simplest terms. Every mark and layer - be it original, or sourced from the offcuts which fill her studio - offers a few new details of the story of each work, and connections to the rest, stretching threads of content, texture, and color from one to the next. As a result, Mystery Show is cohesive, conversational, personal, and totally uncomplicated. Her nothing-wasted ethos and her desire for expediency have made it easy for viewers to jump into the clever and honest mixed-media works, and to follow repeated motifs and unique moments through the exhibition as they might move through a catching-up chat with a friend.
Julia Arredondo is the founder of Vice Versa Press, a travelling print and publishing entity that produces zines and multiples. Vice Versa has participated in small press and zine events including Pop-Up Zine Library at the Brooklyn Museum, the Chicano/a Biennial at MACLA in San Jose, CA, and art book and zine fairs across the country (and in Toronto, Canada), and Julia has had solo shows in venues such as the Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin, TX, Art & Architecture Library Sam Fox School in St. Louis, MO, and Spudnik Press, Chicago, Il. Although she is currently based in Chicago, Julia’s previous residencies have brought her to the Jaffe Center for Book Arts in Boca Raton, FL, CAC Woodside Troy in Troy, NY. She was awarded an honorary MFA in 2016 by Lucky Pierre Free University, and earned her BFA from the Maryland Institute College (MICA) of Art in 2010.
Prints from the "American Epic" Series: Jesse Shaw
On View: February 22nd - March 20th
His work is based in traditions of the narrative, satirical, and political in graphic print, referring to a long history of artists, like Jose Clemente Orozco and Diego Riviera, producing social commentary through visual storytelling. Jesse is currently working on a series of fifty prints depicting the epic story of America. He has completed 28 prints in the series, aptly entitled “American Epic” over the past nine years, which deal with history, technology, agriculture, politics, talking heads, and sprinkler heads. Both critical and anecdotal, the prints depend upon a unique iconography - referring to tedium through potatoes and peace through lawn care, and casting parrots, poulty, and snallygasters, among others, to carry forward a web of American parables, new and old.
Jesse Shaw is a printmaker from Tennessee primarily working in relief prints carved from linoleum blocks. Prints from his “American Epic” linocut series have been exhibited nationally from Nashville to New York. Before we met Jesse at “Satellite Art Show” in Miami Beach, FL, he had participated in exhibitions such as “Navigating Currents” Southern Graphics Conference International (SGCI) at the Du Mois Gallery in New Orleans, LA, “Art on Paper” Art Fair, and “New Prints/New Narratives: Summer 2013” International Print Center New York (IPCNY), in New York, NY. Visiting Artist and Guest Speaker appearances include Vanderbilt Divinity School, Nashville, TN, University of Anchorage Alaska, Anchorage, AK, and the University of North Carolina Greensboro, Greensboro, NC. Shaw is currently an Assistant Fine Art Printmaker at Durham Press in Durham, PA.
La Loteria: Joseph Velasquez
On View: January 27th - February 18th
Printmaker Joseph Velasquez will be exhibiting works from his series of prints inspired by the images of the Mexican card game, Loteria. The game is a cultural icon amongst Chicanos. The game commonly known as "Mexican Bingo" features a series of iconic numbered images. In Loteria, the juxtaposition of the images to one another can change their meaning. Velasquez recontextualizes images and figures from American popular culture by couching them in the language and graphic influence of Loteria, and approaching the work with the care and commitment which characterize Velasquez's work as a true printmaker's printmaker.
Joseph Velasquez is a Chicano artist and an Assistant Professor of Printmaking at Florida Atlantic University. Velasquez grew up moving around the Southwest with his father, attending over 22 public schools before graduating High School. His work is heavily influenced by the murals, graffiti tags, placasos and tinta resonate that he encountered in San Fernando, CA, El Paso, TX and Austin, TX. He has been published by Cannonball Press (Brooklyn, NY), and has exhibited nationally and internationally including the 54th La Biennale di Venezia, (Venice, Italy). He is the co-founder of both the Dirty Printmakers of America and of Drive By Press, a mobile print studio and print exhibition that has focused on engaging the public with contemporary printmaking practices. Drive By Press has also toured with Indie bands such as SPOON, the Walkmen and the White Rabbits, printing hand carved woodblocks on tees during their performances. With Drive By Press, Joseph Velasquez has covered over 200,000 miles and created hundreds of new fans and followers of print visiting over 200 College campuses. Joseph received his MA & MFA from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and his BA & BFA from the University of Mary- Hardin Baylor, Texas.
Channels: Brooke Frank
On View: November 26th - January 23rd
Opening in our gallery for November's Artwalk is an exhibition of flat works by Brooke Frank. The exhibition, Channels, responds to wanderlust and the simplified, CMYK and RGB images with which we attempt to pacify ourselves. Each work contains or responds to pages from National Geographic magazines. Frank dissolves and manipulates the existing ink, abstracting the photographs. She then layers them, draws, writes, and paints on top of them, transforming handsomely cropped landscapes into tactile, emotional spaces, and juxtaposing the physicality of the present with the arbitrary details - the leaves, the sunsets, the exciting captions - which describe the places we wish we could escape to. The paintings, prints, and drawings imagine the qualities we crave when we dream of elsewhere, and the roles that different kinds of image-making occupy in service of that desire.
Brooke Frank is also the pilot-artist for our invitational one-week artist residency. She used this opportunity to experiment with producing a four-color monotype. Rather than sublimating a CMYK image in rich, crudely applied pigment, “Never Homesick” uses the same dense mark making in pursuit of the thin flatness of the commercially printed image. It will only be on view at IS Projects before moving to its new home in a private collection.
Walking in Circles: Kelcie McQuaid
On view: October 29th- November 21st
Currently on view at IS Projects is a new, politically charged series of paintings by Kelcie McQuaid. Walking in Circles addresses the heroism of taking to one's feet in pursuit of change, and the redundancy of the conflicts which arise when we advocate for civil rights and social justice. Using images from past historic American protests and movements, the exhibition takes aim at the denial of cruelty, injustice, and brutality which has taken center stage in this election cycle. The reference images which McQuaid has selected for this series bear a striking resemblance to images of present-day protests, and were the product of similar cruelties.
Throughout her career, Kelcie McQuaid has used painting to process her own perspectives and experiences, but for Walking in Circles, she has chosen to use painting to ruminate on other stories of struggle, and how they intersect. McQuaid delivers stark, emotive figures on candy-colored grounds. The paintings are strategically palatable, charming viewers into approaching her work, and holding them with her direct and deliberate illustrations, in order to render her subjects relatable, relevant, and human.
In conjunction with her exhibition, we collaborated with Kelcie McQuaid to produce our first print publishing project. The edition of fifteen silkscreen watercolor monoprints, entitled “Stay Nasty,” is also McQuaid’s first foray into printmaking. The prints are available for purchase through the IS Projects shop.
Kelcie McQuaid is a painter and arts advocate who has built her career in Broward County. She was named the New Times’ of Broward-Palm Beach 2015 Best Emerging Artist. She has been exhibiting her work since 2010, with recent solo shows in venues such as Jump The Shark (formerly The Bubble) and Two& in Fort Lauderdale, and has murals on view at C&I Studio’s Garden and Howley’s Restaurant in Lake Worth. McQuaid has also focused on creating opportunities for other artists in Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami Dade counties through her curatorial work and her history of involvement with organizations like the Broward County Cultural Division, IWAN (Independent Working Artist Network), and Flagler Village’s Arts Districts.