Project 18: Naturall
June 2, – August 19, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday June 2, 2017
Artist and Curator Talk: Thursday June 29 | 6-7 pm + Friday August 18| 6-7 pm
First Friday Trolley Hop: Friday June 2, Friday July 7, and Friday August 4, 2017

Zephyr Gallery is pleased to present PROJECT 18: NATURALL, on view June 2 – August 19, 2017, NATURALL will feature the work of artists Leticia R. Bajuyo, Ezra Kellerman, Claire Larkin Pope, and Rachel Singel. Exhibition curator, Karen Gillenwater writes: “As an obsolete spelling of “natural,” the term “naturall” relates to many of the concepts addressed by the artists in this exhibition. The ebb and flow of existence as ideas, language, ways of life, economic systems, and living beings become activated or obsolete is a part of nature. It is also a part of society, as change and innovation force us to evaluate ways of living and working, impacting our attachment to existing traditions and the creation of new ones. Most often, the potential of obsolescence, when it is recognized, is met with fear and inspires a desire to control. Humans frequently go to extreme lengths to avoid the obsolescence of our ways of life, especially when individual economic and personal comfort are potentially at risk. However, we simultaneously turn a blind eye to the detrimental impact of our actions, the obsolescence they cause, and their ripple effect across all of nature.”

The tension between nature and societal innovation is explored in the works of Claire Larkin Pope and Leticia R. Bajuyo. While Pope uses natural materials in combination with commercially produced materials such as silicone and artificial light sources to emphasize the “sanctity of the natural environment,” Bajuyo utilizes the by-products of conspicuous consumption to critique consumer behavior and address our drive to create a version of nature with which we are comfortable—one that is contained and controlled.

Inspired by her upbringing on a Virginia farm, Rachel Singel responds to the infinite complexity she finds in nature. She examines the natural structures of the places she occupies and, as a printmaker, is compelled to interpret the lines, shapes, and patterns within those forms. Ezra Kellerman utilizes salvaged natural materials alongside man-made materials to illustrate our need for “primitive solutions to future problems” and the role of humans as scavengers in search of those solutions. His references to humanity as a part of nature range from subtle to overt, illustrating our conflicting roles as both cause and casualty.


PROJECT 19:  The Prolonged Gaze
September 1- October 22, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday September 1, 6-9 pm
Artist Talk: Thursday October 19, 2017

­­Zephyr Gallery presents Project 19: The Prolonged Gaze, Tiffany Calvert, Vian Sora, and Nhat Tran

Featuring the works of three extraordinary female painters, Zephyr Gallery presents Project 19: The Prolonged Gaze, Tiffany Calvert, Vian Sora, and Nhat Tran, curated by Miranda Lash, curator of contemporary art at the Speed Art Museum. The Prolonged Gaze will be on view Friday, September 1, 2017 through Sunday, October 22, 2017.

The three artists in this exhibition paint in a manner that bends, challenges, and expands our understanding of painting. Employing a wide range of techniques, their works use vibrant color, rich personal and historical narratives, and at times beauty to create forms that slide between figuration and abstraction. Curator Miranda Lash explains, “Their art is an invitation to explore the formal richness that is possible through painting. Their paintings reward looking longer, and by doing so encourage us to take a more perceptive view towards the rest of the world.”

Vian Sora’s bold paintings are informed by her life. The artist was raised in Baghdad, survived the Iraq War, worked for the Associated Press, and is based in Louisville. Sora’s visions fuse her own experiences with fairytales, Iraqi history, traditional Islamic influences, and painterly abstraction. Though they are largely abstract, Sora’s paintings suggest figures and places, including gardens and warzones, landscapes of lush fertility and terrible decay, and cycles of life and death. These recent works reflect the artist’s latest experiments with abstraction and bright, neon colors.

Tiffany Calvert’s intricate floral paintings recreate Dutch still lifes in a twenty-first century style, which exhibits the influences of Abstract Expressionist painting and recent digital technology. The artist has pioneered a technique of painting on digital prints in such a way that is difficult to tell where the historical reproduction ends and her own painting begins. Her still lifes appear to be “glitched,” like digital images which have been altered or not yet completely loaded. Through her calculated “errors” Calvert (a professor at the University of Louisville) inspires us to question the reliability of images.

Born in Saigon, Vietnam and based in Indianapolis, Nhat Tran is an expert in the technique of urushi lacquer, an intensely laborious process. Tran applies many thin layers onto the artwork’s surface and then invests hours upon hours into sanding layers away, trusting her intuition as to where and how the colors will reappear. The results are iridescent sculptures that seem to vibrate with color. Like the fragrance of flowers or a bouquet of wine, her artwork embraces the richness and transience of life.

Zephyr Gallery will host a reception for The Prolonged Gaze on Friday, September 1, 2017 at 6pm and talk with the artists on Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 6pm.