December 2019/January 2020
SUDDEN CHANGE OF WIND: Featuring the work by: Monika Meler, Heather Macali, Juan Alberto Negroni, and Nicole Gronvold Roller
Opening Reception: Dec 6 5:30-8
Exhibition runs 12.6.2019- 2.1.2020
Juan Alberto Negroni, PR 1979.
Based in Dallas TX.
Possess an MFA in Studio Arts from Southern Methodist University in Dallas TX, an MA Ed in Art History and Museum Studies from Caribbean University PR and a BFA from Puerto Rico School of Fine Arts with a Major in Printmaking. Counts with three solo shows, The Defect Effect, 2005, If it weren’t for my horse, 2008 and Not About Beauty (Religion, Politics and other failures) all in San Juan, PR.
Has participated in multiple group shows such as Detroit: A Brooklyn Case Study, SUPERFRONT LA, Los Angeles CA 2010, Dialectic City, curated by Carla Acevedo-Yates (w/Francis Alys, David Lamelas, among others), Retro at Caguas Museum of Art, in 2013, In Response, curated by Justin H. Long at Audrey Love Gallery at Bakehouse Art Complex in Miami, Muestra Nacional 2015, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, San Juan PR 2015, Art in America, (Curated by Julie Torres) at The Satellite Show in Miami FL 2015 & Elizabeth Stone Harper Gallery, Harper Center for the Arts SC in 2016, Kinds of Monuments, (w/Christian Boltanski, Luis Camnitzer, Cai-Guo-Qiang, Robert Morrison, Alberto Burri, amongst others), Zattere Cultural Flow Zone, Dorsoduro, Venice IT, 2da Gran Bienal Tropical (curated by Pablo Leon de la Barra, Loiza, PR, Home & Visitor at Le Consortium, Dijon FR, among many others. His practice has been documented in printed press and magazines like, ArtPulse, El Nuevo Dia and PATRON Magazine.
Recipient of the Meadows Artistic Scholarship Award 2015 and the 2017 Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'art Dijon Residency Fellowship.
His work is part of public and private art collections in Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, Argentina, United States, Canada, Australia and Greece.
As a contemporary artist, my work has focused primarily on color, pattern, texture, distortion and memory. My adoration of colors and patterns arose from childhood experiences steeped in the material culture of the Midwest; specifically my beloved 1980’s and 1990’s games and cartoons. Transformers and Rainbow Brite had characters each associated with a specific color and responsibility. The colors of the characters always correlated to a “something” representing a much larger idea: an emotion, an altruistic deed, and/or core qualities. Likewise, Candyland, which was bursting with colors, patterns, and sugary shapes, that directly stimulated my inner-childhood creativity. These themes have continually resonated throughout my being and are now an integral concept I incorporate in my work.
I grew up in Munroe Falls, Ohio and received my BA from Kent State University and my MFA from the University of Wisconsin Madison. I worked in fashion for four years as a print/pattern designer. I currently reside in Detroit, Michigan working as an artist and professor at Wayne State University.
The discovery and exploration in my adolescence fueled the visual, auditory, and heartfelt memories imprinted within my soul. I’m driven by the ongoing reflection and interpretation of these time/location-specific memories, and am inspired to share them in a separate place and time; the present.
Pattern is a significant subject matter and underlying theme in my work. Pattern is a visual language that can cause physical reactions to the viewer. Using pattern is stimulating; it can be chaotic and busy, yet it still has order. The repetition/rhythm of pattern generates visual movement; a central characteristic of my work that keeps the viewer engaged.
I am compelled to create work that is inspired by positive memories from my youth; to balance the media’s constant attention on negative stories. Society has become addicted to news stories that are filled with violence. Using vibrant colors and stimulating pattern, creates an environment that acts as an escape for viewers from the adverse stimulants around us.
Ultimately I am creating works containing color and pattern that I have had in my imagination for as long as I can remember; that are part of the visual world I was surrounded with as I grew up. If I could choose, I would be surrounded by ordered color at all the times; it both exhilarates and comforts me.
Monika Meler is the Director of Studio Art Programs at the University of Saint Francis. She earned her B.F.A. from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. She continued her studies at Purdue University, where she earned an M.A., followed with an M.F.A from Tyler school of art, Temple University. While at Tyler, Monika spent a year studying in Rome, Italy.
Monika has exhibited her work extensively in group, juried, and solo exhibitions.
She has completed residencies at Zygote Press in Cleveland, Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, Emmanuel College in Boston, Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Connecticut, Frans Masereel Center in Belgium, Cork Printmakers in Ireland, and Women’s Studio Workshop in New York. Solo Exhibits include The Color of Distance and Desire at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts, The Center That Cannot Hold at FrontierSpace in Montana, and The Distance Between at the Limerick Printmakers Gallery in Ireland.
“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 relates to my upbringing in Poland and immigration to the United States. My recollections of the places I occupied in Poland and my initial years in Chicago, the city I immigrated to, serve as the whirling, mixing, dissolving, and exploding forces Rebecca Solnit references inThe Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness.
Memory is liminal. Remembering is not an act of recalling the actual thing but our last memory of it. The more frequently something is remembered, the most abstract it becomes. My work converses with this process of abstraction, using 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 these actions mimic the actions of memory.
Nichole Gronvold Roller
I enjoy experimenting with a variety of materials and processes and find much excitement in the vastness of outcomes while working with mixed media. I take pleasure in constructing imaginary spaces; specifically, an ambiguous space that possesses an unpredictable gravity or no gravity at all. Active movement is an important goal of my artwork. Additionally, I desire an energetic force in my art through implementing vortexes, fragmentation of planes, energy pathways caused by both human-made and natural systems. The cause and effects, and the consequences of architecture are of interest to me as an artist. The innovation of materials, needs of a society, geographical, and cultural influences of architectural design, inspires the content of my art making. The formal aspects of incorporating deconstructed architectural elements in my art are to further disorient the invented space I strive to create.
My paintings that incorporate text and image have evolved through the influence of autobiographical automatism and my attraction to the texture of overlapping lines and intimacy that handwriting often provides. Recently, I’ve been working with shaped canvases. I find it liberating to explore a new kind of space with these canvases, moving beyond the traditional rectangular format. The design of the canvas comes first for me as an artist and the painting is a response to the outer edge/shape. In contrast to the artists, I admire from the 1960’s and 1970’s who are well-known for using shaped canvases to emphasize the surface and flatness of a painting, my intention of using a shaped canvas format is to create a defined portal that looks into an imaginative, deep space.