ArtPace, a downtown non-profit art organization dedicated to “Nurturing the Freedom to Dream”, presented a preview of its fall exhibit Objectives this past Thursday, Sept. 22 at its Hudson showroom. The exhibit features new and original works by artists Emily Fleisher, Jessica Halonen, Ryder Richards and Kamila Szcesna; all of the works were hand-picked by guest Curator Denise Markonish, out of thousands of hopeful’s who participated in ArtPace’s Texas open call. The exhibit was intriguing to say the least, with each artist incorporating their own personal experiences into their pieces
The first artist featured, Emily Fleisher, hails from New York. Her solo exhibitions have previously been featured in The Lawn-dale Art Center in Houston, TX; Women and Their Work in Austin, TX; and group exhibitions at the Stay Gold Gallery in Brooklyn, NY to name a few. Her solo exhibit created for ArtPace holds themes of spiritual representations, Trees of doom, and imitations of actual events, with inspiration from her own bay window, which for her holds symbolic meaning. She jokingly reminisces on the times she was younger when she equated bay windows to “having made it” in life. Fleisher creates individual pieces that are modeled after historical catholic stain glass windows using common hardware material such as plexiglass and acrylics. Each window piece holding an individual story, yet all coming together to represent shaping events in her life and things she’s inspired by. Making the stories and events in the pieces come alive with vibrant blues, reds and yellows. Her work is imaginative and holds special meaning, down to the single leaf of a tree.
Her project is given its name The Blue Hour, in reference to the time right before dusk when the sky appears bright blue. It is a glimpse of this “blue hour,” with only shades of blues, greys and whites used to share her vision. The Blue Hour also draws from a fascination that began during her time at a residency in Berlin when she began researching the materiality of color. She came across the story of the accidental chemical creation of the substance Prussian blue, which was used to paint the color blue in a time where it was rare and held to high esteem. The use of textures, family heirlooms and miniature sculptures aide in conveying her message. One thing that is immediately apparent, the project is deeply personal to Holenen. The bittersweet feelings of loss and remembrance are represented through purposeful emptiness in her paintings; but there is no bitterness to her work, it is simply sweet, as Holenen manages to find comfort in the hard times.
Richards is a co-founder of the RJP Nomadic Gallery, the Culture Laboratory, and The Art Foundation, a Dallas based group. His work has been showcased around the world in Olm Space Gallery, Switzerland; C2 Pottery Gallery, China; and The London Art Fair to name a few. His piece was inspired by Invisibility and he uses refurbished tires to create the theme of work-play. For Richards, the art is not so much about the finished product; it is the process that is intriguing. He plans to build a single blank wall in his given space to draw attention to the invisible walls that make up the spaces in which art is exhibited on.
Szcesna received her Master’s Degree From the Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw, Poland. She has been featured in galleries such as The Centre of Polish Sculpture in Poland, Ceramics Park MINO in Japan and Escuela de Ceramica deMuel in Spain. She creates sculptures of pieces that are a combination of art and science. This particular project was inspired by the bacteria harvested from her own saliva.
ArtPace is an expanding organization with Texas residencies, exhibitions, educational and community programs around San Antonio. With 21 years under its belt, its influence in San Antonio shows no sign of waning. Currently, ArtPace’s Texas open call remains open until Oct. 25, and its annual Chalk It Up event is scheduled for Oct. 8.
The entire Objectives exhibit will be on view from Sept. 22-Dec. 31 at absolutely no cost to attendees. With stories of loss, religion, love and emptiness, this exhibit is sure to make for an unforgettably insightful experience.