February 1-March 20th
Opening reception: February 1st, 6-9pm
Closing reception: March 1st, 6-9pm
Curated by Annmarie Suglio, Gallery Director
I am very proud to show these extremely talented women at Praxis. I met Melina Bishop on the road at a portfolio event as we are both counselors for art colleges, she in Portland and I at Cleveland Institute of Art. Instantly, I fell in love with her vivacious and warm character, later looking at her work and admiring the poetry she creates from putting materials together to create stunning designs that could resemble jewelry or utilitarian objects all the while being fine art.
Ash Fiasco was my studio mate in Fibers at CIA, my person I would go to for inspiration, ideation, and as a good friend. She has made a new body of work that as Melina, uses the power of material’s properties to create narratives but also inputs the personal that makes an onlooker question, relate, and be in awe of the time and craft she puts into her work.
One of my favorite mediums aesthetically, if not secretly the most, is printmaking. I’m so glad to be able to work with Rebekah Wilhelm as I’ve been a fan of hers for a while. I’m drawn to her ghostly visuals of text either crinkled up in a piece of paper or written and layered onto tissue paper that makes me think that’s what my brain looks like most the time.
All three’s artworks lure the viewer in, Melina and Ash through lush materials, like mohair and human hair, smoothness of stone vs the softness of silk, but Rebekah through words you think you can read but might struggle to do so. There are stories and personal notes in her work, she just makes you work for it and makes you take the time to find it, comparing this process to her process of printmaking as fibers is too a slow and laborious medium. Rebekah filters through text to viewers from an ongoing manifesto; Ash lays out grief and tragedy, giving a peak into her personal story through titles, sculptures, and zines about experiencing her father battle cancer.
It always amazes me how artists who do not know each other are currently working very similarly, in this case in ways of text as image, process, use of materials, and aesthetic choices. A Commonplace showcases work that though contrasts ordinary through beautifully made sculptures and prints that give a feel of being holy, it highlights the human experience where viewers can relate: grief, frustration, loneliness, being discreet, being independent, with a bit of playfulness and wonder.
Melina Bishop is a conceptual sculptor who works predominantly with fiber. She has shown independently with Vignettes at Generations (Seattle,WA) and her work has been included in group exhibitions at Soil Gallery (Seattle, WA), The Hoffman Gallery, Surplus Space, Supermaker and galleryHOMELAND (Portland, OR). She graduated from Oregon College of Art and Craft with a BFA in in Fibers in 2015, and was a 2016 resident artist at the Icelandic Textile Center (Blönduós, IS). She is currently working in Portland, OR as part of the studio collective Neighbors at the Yale Union.
Ash Fiasco is a visual artist who practices in fiber based sculpture and digitally illustrated bindings. Her zines are in the permanent collections of both the Cleveland Museum of Art and MOCA Cleveland, and she has shown work in the Irving Stone Gallery, Morgan Conservatory, Praxis, Waterloo Arts, Reinberger Gallery, and the Loren Naji Studio Gallery (Cleveland, OH). When she is not in the studio she works as a Creative Production Specialist at American Greetings.
Rebekah Wilhelm is a professional artist and printmaker currently working in Cleveland Ohio. She completed her Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Delaware and has her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Cleveland Institute of Art. She spent a year teaching and developing her studio practice in Philadelphia and then moved back to Cleveland. Her work is heavily based in installation and print. She has shown her work in multiple group and curated shows and traveling portfolios throughout the U.S and has shown in two Group shows in Germany last year and has exhibited in a solo show in New York City at Salt Gallery. Rebekah completed an exchange in Dresden, Germany for an art residency provided by the Ohio Arts Council and the City of Dresden. Rebekah works as the Shop Manager at Zygote Press in Cleveland Ohio.