Posts tagged Installation
Gina DeCagna
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Originally from the New York metro area, Gina DeCagna is a London-based cultural producer, creating interdisciplinary installations inspired by architecture, language and literature, semiotics, and philosophy to engage with time, space, and consciousness. Through research-driven methodologies and cultural investigations, she creates and curates cross-genre writing, intertextual media, and interdisciplinary publications or exhibitions in and beyond gallery spaces.  

She is pursuing her MFA at Goldsmiths, University of London and is a 2019 Venice Biennale Fellow under the British Council. DeCagna has shown in solo and group exhibitions in London, New York, Philadelphia, and forthcoming Venice. She studied English, Creative Writing and Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, where she founded, edited, and directed a publication and community of over four hundred collaborating artists and writers known as Symbiosis (2012–2016).


Humble in construction, cardboard pleats yield an unexpected sense of architectural strength. The corrugation — its dips, folds, and contracted, undulating wrinkles in time — arouse a precarious sense of empowerment for the public citizen, enabling our usage to become the most commonplace consumerism within late capitalist society. On regular recycling collection days in London — and likewise in many metropolitan depos across the western world — one frequently encounters the neighbourhood’s accumulated cardboard stacks sprawled in bundles on curbs, bagged with other rubbish, or deposited within large metal cages ready for collection. Cardboard is the medium used by the disempowered, the homeless, and the suffering for fickle protection and shelter; historically, ‘shanty towns’ have disquieted us with the ramifications of gross income inequality. Have things changed so much today in the age of neoliberalism, or have the inequalities simply been made less visible due to the shuffling of waste? How much are we obscuring the excesses of our consumption? These installations demonstrate the capaciousness of waste.

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Large-Scale Paper Installations by Clare Celeste Börsch

Clare Celeste Börsch is an international artist best known for her large-scale paper installations and lush compositions of flora and fauna. Pushing the limits of assemblage and collage, Clare uses found, photographed, and hand-painted images to create artworks that span from works on paper to large-scale installations. Her portfolio includes clients in New York, London, Los Angeles, Houston, Berlin, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Milan, Victoria, and Perth. She lives in Berlin with her husband and son.  

I enjoy creating immersive spaces. I want work that draws people in and momentarily transports them somewhere surreal.
— Clare Celeste Börsch


Clare has been assimilating to different cultures and environments her entire life – having lived in Brazil, the US, Italy, Honduras, Argentina, and Germany. Rich with texture and detail, each composition pays tribute to her capacity to transform her archive of experiences into hallucinogenic ecosystems of their own. The lush assemblages of fauna and flora exude a visceral and intimate fragility. They speak to the mutable nature of memories as reconstructions that border on mythologies.

Lindsay Jones

Lindsay is a contemporary artist, textile designer, and graphic designer, originally from Lee's Summit, Missouri but currently residing in Western Colorado. She works in a variety of media including drawing, painting, digital art, sculptural constructions, and installations. Lindsay’s work reflects on ideas of landscapes and environments that are built, altered, shaped, and manipulated, while using playful patterns and abstracted imagery. When she is not working, she is doing her best to spend as much time outside as possible, including camping, exploring remote lands, mountain biking in the desert, and racing cyclocross. 


“The word landscape itself becomes problematic: landscape describes the natural world as an aesthetic phenomenon, a department of visual representation. A landscape is scenery, scenery is stage decoration, and stage decorations are static backdrops for human drama.”

--Rebecca Solnit

Abstracting images from architecture and landscape, I create drawings, small sculptures, and installations out of materials such as paper, collage, and balsa wood. My work is the result of my observations of the landscape: the rural, the urban, the exquisite, the boring, the natural, the unnatural, etc. I find myself both in awe of, as well as disturbed by, the way that we build, and transform our environments and believe that humanity will always be trying to figure out how to negotiate our life in this shared environment.

This collection of drawings uses imagery from the Western Colorado and Utah deserts, whose environments I find to be valuable because of their lack of human development. I use hand-drawn elements and abstracted symbols to represent these ideas of culture, and environment that I myself am always trying to process.

“Potholes" by Los Angeles-based artist Henry Fey

First Amendment Gallery is pleased to announce, “Potholes,” a new solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist, Henry Fey. Fey’s latest collection of works incorporate acrylic painting and image transfers of the artist’s photographs in an engaging installation of twenty-four 8x10 inch pieces, a departure from his previously exhibited large-scale paintings.

For “Potholes,” Fey uses his signature blend of digital and analog processes to simulate a visual journey of a casual ride through a cityscape. Individually, the works recall innocuous colors and textures that seamlessly flow into another to then be punctuated by abrupt darkness - a pothole that only disrupts your journey momentarily before sending you back on track. Collectively, these examinations recontextualize familiar forms with the framed works acting as windows into particular moments of that ride.

Henry Fey (b. 1993) is an artist and San Francisco Art Institute alum living and working in Los Angeles. Using painting as a tool, he draws from his surroundings and recontextualizes images through abstraction.

For further inquiries on the artist or available works, please contact

Maggie Evans

Maggie Evans is an artist based in Savannah, Georgia.  She uses painting, drawing, and site-specific installation to examine human collective behavior and the power structures, homogeneity, and social divisions that result.

Maggie’s work has been included in over fifty national and international juried exhibitions and a number of art publications, including New American Paintings and Manifest Gallery’s INPA 6.  Artist residencies include The Hambidge Center for the Arts, The Vermont Studio Center (full fellowship) and the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, China.  She has had fourteen solo exhibitions and has been invited to lecture on her work at a number of institutions including Indiana-Purdue University and the University of Texas, Dallas. 

Maggie holds an MFA in Painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design (2008) where she has been a part-time Professor of Foundation Studies since 2009.  In addition to her work as an artist, she performs regularly as a professional jazz singer and bassist.

Lindsay Hall

I create colorfully titillating work revolving around the body, food, and sexuality. Pleasure, desire, and sensory stimulation are activated through opportunities for transformative and emotive experiences. I engage these ideas through the interplay of suggestive forms, materials, colors, and textures, resulting in strangely beautiful and oddly satisfying pieces and installations. Palpable and personal memories of things innocent and erotic, tasty and visceral, intimate and shared, are regurgitated and reinterpreted through an intuitive process that results in each candy colored morsel. Shame and awkwardness are sugarcoated with a provocative playfulness and sensuality is nuanced with humor. The alluring components and scenes are amalgamations of both the foreign and the familiar and can be interpreted as both micro and macro, internal and external, corporeal and temporary, coalescing in decadent fantasyscapes brimming with delectable offerings.

A West Coast native, Lindsay Hall is an interdisciplinary artist currently based in Las Vegas, Nevada. She received a MFA in Painting from Indiana University in 2016, as well as a BA in Painting and Drawing (2012) and a BA in Journalism and Media Studies (2010) from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her work has been exhibited nationally at venues such as the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the Janet Kurnatowski Gallery (New York), the New Hampshire Institute of Arts, Kent State University (Ohio), Indiana University, the Target Gallery (Virginia), Fort Works Art (Texas) and Ventolin Art Space (Australia), and is featured in Volume 38 of Studio Visit magazine and Issue 2 of Hiss Mag. She has co-curated group exhibitions in Indiana and New York. Lindsay received the Ilknur P. Ralston Memorial Award in Visual Arts in 2016. She was awarded the Post-Graduate Residency Program at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia in 2017. Lindsay is currently preparing for a solo exhibition in Florence, Italy as a selected artist for the XII Florence Biennale in 2019.

Creating Environments Through Drawing with Anastasia Parmson
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 Anastasia Parmson is an Estonian artist with Siberian roots and a French education. She is currently living and working in New Zealand.

Parmson’s drawing career began from early childhood. It is during her MFA studies at Strasbourg University that she began pushing the limits of drawing by combining it with other mediums such as video projection, sculpture, ready-made and poetry, winning awards for animation and drawing installation.

In 2010  she served onboard a marine conservation vessel in Antarctic waters. The voyage resulted in a series of light box drawings titled Ship Life. These were the focal point of Parmson’s first solo show at Rundum Artist-Run Space in Tallinn, Estonia.

In 2017 Parmson created a public art installation for Kilometre of Sculpture festival at Tallinn Art Week, drawing a 200m (656ft) long line through the heart of her hometown.

Her latest project – a site specific installation Untitled (my space at may space) for Out of Line exhibition at MAY SPACE gallery in Sydney – is the next step toward Parmson’s vision of creating a whole world in drawing.

These milestones have helped Anastasia define her artistic practice and inspire curiosity toward new unexpected possibilities to innovate contemporary drawing as a medium. In future projects she intends to expand drawing into large scale installations with video mapping as well as virtual- and augmented reality.


My work has been strongly influenced by childhood obsessions of Dysney comics and coloring books. Traveling a lot and living in several countries around the world has meant that I am constantly looking for belonging while inevitably remaining an outsider. Drawing has been my way of creating pockets of familiarity and intimacy in a world of strange and unknown, like tracing my place in the world.

Stripping everything down to the line - that is the most basic form of every drawing. I want to take drawing past its conventional two-dimensional format by combining it with other mediums such as sculpture and ready-made, video, performance and poetry, social media and augmented reality. I want it to be not just seen – but experienced. I dream of creating a whole environment in drawing; something people can walk through, exist in and interact with.


When did you first start experimenting with the idea of experiencing and interacting with a drawing? What sparked that idea?

My first experiments began in university during my Master’s degree studies. Learning about contemporary art and what was popular in the art world left me feeling like drawing as a medium was somehow not “enough”. I experimented with video art, installation and performance. But when the time came to pick my Master’s curriculum I discovered that the only class taught by my favorite tutor was a graphics module. That scared me a lot! This tutor had become my mentor and pusher of boundaries and as a painter himself, he always had the toughest questions and harshest critiques for students working with painting and drawing. At first, it was difficult, drawing felt too limited and too traditional to think outside the box. So I began considering mixing it with other mediums and slowly I was able to imagine drawing become so much more than marks on paper. Since then it has kept proliferating in my mind: my artistic practice cannot keep up with my vision of what drawing can be.

What was your experience like shifting from drawing in a more traditional way of creating installations?

Growing up, drawing had always been my “thing”. Then in my first years at university, I completely neglected it because I discovered that all of my favorite contemporary artists were making big shiny work, conceptual installations, and sensory environments. I can still remember the lightbulb moment when I realized I could marry drawing with video and installation art. It was pure joy and felt like I had found my artistic voice. I could at last combine the craft that had shaped my past with the scale and feel of art that had so much inspired me and what I was striving for.

Based on your artist statement travel has played a big part in your life, how has traveling so much affected your art making?

On the one hand, there are the constraints of time, space and available tools, which largely dictated what I could and could not do for many years. I spent a lot of time on a boat where the only medium readily available was photography, so I documented my encounters. This provided a lot of material and inspiration for when I turned to digital drawing (and mixing drawing with photography). It was easy to pack a graphic tablet and take my work with me wherever I went.

On the other hand, there are the personal and cultural effects of moving countries and living in different parts of the world. It is difficult to put into words but it has been an important theme in my work. My Master’s thesis was about the “in-between” – the ever precarious space in which one is divided but at the same time made whole by cultural differences, language barriers, and patriotic loyalties. For me the lines I draw between dark and light areas of an image or an object are like borders: they link parts of an image together just as much as they separate. Art has been my way to work through the enormous experiences of travel, the friendships lost due to distance and it has served as a comfort in times when I was yet again starting as a stranger in a new place.

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What is your first step when starting a drawing that is going to combine more than one medium?

There are many ways to begin. When working on a site-specific project or for a particular event/purpose I start by looking at the existing space and use any constraints as my initial framework. Sometimes I have to ask myself how to simplify everything down to just one line and then build onto that.

Most often though I have these big visions rattling around in my head for a long time before I figure out a way to make something of them. For example, the body of work I am putting together right now has been gestating for years. It’s only in the past 18 months that I have been able to have space, the tools and the confidence to start bringing these visions into reality.

How has your artistic style changed throughout your career?

My visual style - or my handwriting so to speak - has been pretty consistent so far. It’s mainly my tools and materials that have changed over time. I think the greatest shifts have been in how and why I begin a project. In university years I was able to work a lot more conceptually - starting with a personal struggle or revelation and building an artwork around that. Then during many travels and changes, my inspiration came mostly from outside – from objects, places, and people I came across on my journey. And now it’s slowly changing again toward a more reflective and personal expression.

Do you have advice for our readers who would like to take their drawings off the drawing pad?

Begin to draw a line, when you reach the edge of the pad – keep going! Think big but simplify to the max. Try all the tools, surfaces and mediums you are drawn to or feel intimidated by. Regardless of how big and “unfeasible” your idea seems, try to make a prototype out of what you have at hand or can afford. There are so many ways to push the limits of art today: digital tools, virtual reality, 3D printing, street art… Or why not use mediums such as sound, fabric, social media or food to DRAW people together!? There is no limit.


Has creating installations changed the way you view drawing as a medium?

Yes! I have this huge passion for drawing now because there are no limits to it as far as I can see. I just love how simple lines can be so all-encompassing, I am obsessed with it.

Making digital drawing also brought a big shift in perspective for me. A few years ago I visited a large contemporary drawing fair in Paris, hoping to see how digital art was faring in the art world. It shocked me to find that a vast majority of work there was charcoal, pencil or ballpoint pen on paper. I only found one digital piece in the whole fair – and it looked like a pencil drawing on paper. That experience opened my eyes to what the art world at the time deemed acceptable as drawing. This notion had influenced me in my early years as a student, limiting my ideas of drawing as primarily a tool for preparation and practice. And so I believe it’s important that more artists use the most contemporary mediums and unusual tools available to make art and expand the notion of what a simple line of drawing could be.

Erica Green

Erica Green is a fiber-based artist who lives and works in Boulder, Colorado.  Erica received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Ceramics from the University of Nebraska and completed a two-year post-baccalaureate program in Ceramics at the University of Colorado. Her work has varied from clay sculpture to thread drawings to fiber installations.  She has exhibited work in notable galleries such as RULE Gallery, Redline Contemporary, the Firehouse Art Center, The Diary Center for the Fine Arts and was included in the Art of the State show at Arvada Center for the Arts in Arvada, CO. She has also participated in several artist in residencies around the country including receiving a fellowship at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY.


My work focuses on the seemingly unending process of repairing and rebuilding one's self.  I 'mend' or knot simple fibers and thread together in meditative and obsessive manner.  The work gradually becomes a visual accumulation — a visual record — of the time it takes to heal.  Each moment, each struggle amasses and blends and eventually becomes impossible to distinguish.  Looking back, the viewer sees that this fundamental human undertaking is simultaneously strong and fragile, messy and disciplined, heavy and light.  This work tries to find comfort in such fraught moments.

Beauty and Toxicity: Interview with Meganne Rosen

I just moved back to Springfield, Missouri after residing in Oakland, California for two years where I recently graduated with a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. I completed my Master of Arts (MA) in Studio Art and Theory at Drury University in 2011.

My recent projects include my thesis exhibition at Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco; the publication of “Isoluminance, Racial Trauma, and the Stamina of Perception: Amanda Wallace’s Field | House” for the Wattis Institute of Contemporary Arts and; my curation and participation in Artifice & Nature, a four person exhibition at CCA; and my inclusion in group exhibitions in Davis, California; Ventura, California; Woodstock, NY; and Newport, OR.

I just returned from artist residencies at LACAWAC in Aerial Lake, Pennsylvania and Byrdcliffe in Woodstock, New York.

My next solo exhibition will be at Bookmarx in Springfield, Missouri and opens December, 7, 2018.



Observation and curiosity drive my studio practice. Through the investigation of and experimentation with different kinds of materials, I express discontent with the current political climate as well as reflect on my experiences growing up in the American Midwest. My work explores entropy, artifice, consumerism, and my place in the lineage of abstraction in contemporary and modern painting and its relationship with installation art.

I compose mixed media pieces which are layered in visual dialogues. Some of the works reference the body in scale and are costume-like. The work evokes an intimate recollection of garments worn, skins shed, and packaging discarded. Each assemblage or installation is a partnership between the materials I work with and the sociopolitical, cultural context of our times.

Currently, I am working on a series of oil paintings on transparent acetate. For these works, my palette is inspired by the alluring sheen of oil spills on pavement and the iridescence of polluted sea foam. The intersection of the natural and the artificial is a site of challenge, conquest, and cohabitation. This work explores toxicity through artifice and decay. As light filters through the paint and acetate, ephemeral auras are projected on the walls creating an additional layer of color. When the works are rolled, they become core samples. Black holes of color with little universes enclosed inside. When the various iterations of this series are placed in proximity to each other, a visual conversation emerges between painting and sculpture, density and light, toxicity and beauty.


Tell me about yourself. What was your artistic journey like up to this point? How did you arrive at your current body of work?

Art has always been part of my life. My family home is filled with art and books and artifacts. My mother is a fiber artist and teaches weaving at a liberal arts college. My paternal grandmother was an artist and a poet who made stained glass windows and velvet wall hangings (image of one of Barbara Rosen's windows is attached). On family vacations, we always visited art museums. I love museums. Growing up in a family that held art in such high regard and also created an environment embedded with art objects made studying and pursuing art seem reasonable and normal. I met a lot of people in college who were majoring in business or something equally pragmatic who lamented the fact that they had to give up their love of the arts because of familial pressure. I understand that I come from a place of privilege on many levels, but I am particularly aware of how fortunate I am to have parents who value art. Their support has been very fundamental to my pursuit of a career in the arts. As an undergraduate, I majored in art history and minored in fine arts and English. I have a master's of arts in studio art and theory (Drury University) and a master's of fine arts in painting (California College of the Arts).

My current body of work developed while I was pursuing my MFA at California College of the Arts. I relished the opportunity to have devoted studio time and feedback from advisors. I was able to spend a great deal of time experimenting with new materials and concepts to push my painting further.


Tell me about the inspiration behind your recent series.

Currently, I am working on a series of oil paintings on transparent acetate. For these works, my palette is inspired by the alluring sheen of oil spills on the pavement and the iridescence of polluted sea foam. The intersection of the natural and the artificial is a site of challenge, conquest, and cohabitation. This work explores toxicity through artifice and decay. As light filters through the paint and acetate, ephemeral auras are projected on the walls creating an additional layer of color. When the works are rolled, they become core samples. Black holes of color with little universes enclosed inside. When the various iterations of this series are placed in proximity to each other, a visual conversation emerges between painting and sculpture, density and light, toxicity and beauty. A large source of inspiration for these works comes from the material itself. Working with acetate opened up a new realm of possibility in the studio for me. I had the opportunity to further explore this work in a natural setting during two artist residencies (Byrdcliffe in Woodstock, NY, and Lacawac in Lake Aerial, PA). I attached a couple of photos from Lacawac and one of me in my studio at Byrdcliffe.


Describe your creative process. How does your work come together from inspiration to execution?

This is a tricky question to answer. I work in a few different ways. I am sometimes inspired by something I read or see external to my studio and I then start working with the theme or concept until I come up with an idea for a painting. Other times, I work intuitively with paint and other materials until something starts to take shape and then I start to steer the painting in a particular direction.

Your work is visually beautiful but has an important underlying message for the viewer. What do you hope those experiencing your work take away from it? What questions should they be asking?

I love the Helen Frankenthaler quote about a really good painting looking like it "happened all at once". I think that applies to my paintings as well. They tend to have an organic, haphazard feel to them like perhaps they came together out of a series of spills or accidents and then ended up strung from the ceiling somehow. In reality, they take me months to create a endure quite a lot of meticulous editing and arrangement. I suppose I want the viewer to been drawn in and to question what they are looking at and how it came to be. I tend to give hints (or in some cases greater enigmas) by the titles of the work. I hope the viewers end up thinking about beauty and toxicity. About the ethereal and the tangible.


What do you love to do when you are not in the studio?

When I am not in the studio I love to read; to play trivia and do crossword puzzles with my partner, Ken; and to play with our cats.

What's next for you and what do you hope to accomplish in the next five years?

I am teaching fiber arts and 2D design as a per course instructor this semester at Missouri State University in the art and design department. Next semester, I am teaching art history and art appreciation as an adjunct at Ozarks Technical Community College.

Since my MFA thesis show last May (2018) at Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco, California, I have exhibited work in several group shows (in California, Oregon, New York, and Missouri). I am preparing for two upcoming solo exhibitions. For Blips this December (2018) I am painting one-hundred small, four-inch square paintings for BookMarx in downtown Springfield, Missouri. I am also starting work on several large acetate installation paintings for Transparency and Toxicity, a solo exhibition at Artlink Gallery in Fort Wayne, Indiana that will open in November 2019.

My proposal for the 2019 PCA/ACA conference in Washington D.C. was recently accepted, and I have begun writing “Craft, Color, & Contours: The Influence of Pop in Contemporary Art” to present next April in the Art & Design Culture section. This paper represents another area of interest for me: craft technique and media in fine arts. The last five years have seen an unprecedented uptick in the appearance of fiber art and ceramics in blue-chip galleries, international art fairs, contemporary museum collections, and graduate level fine art curriculum. Techniques and materials previously relegated to the realms of craft and hobby arts publications are now presented front and center in ArtForum. The common thread (no pun intended) between these works seems to be a heavy reference to the paintings and sculptures of the midcentury Pop Art Movement both in terms of palette and subject matter.

I would like to have a full time teaching position at the collegiate level, at least one additional solo exhibition, and at least three more published articles within the next five years. You can read my first published piece here

I enjoy writing about art and find that the research and analysis that goes into my writing projects often influences my studio work.

Daria Zhest

Daria Zhest is an artist based in Moscow/ NYC, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She has been exhibiting in various exhibitions, and currently is further developing her practice with the use of digital spaces in the city. She creates complex multi-dimensional works that redefine space in the close vicinity physically, as well as metaphorically. The work ranges from digital C-Prints to physical sculptures and interactive installations that are made on the computer using CGI software, programming software and video, an Open-source electronic prototyping platform Arduino, interactive installation, motion graphics, and particle systems that then can be output to the analogue world in different forms. One of the questions that she raises in her works is this: What happens to the state of the original, when we attain the ability to create perfect replications? Is there any purpose in the original? And where the originality is maintained in the world of digital technology that is positioned in the remaining analog world. 

Jessica Curtaz

Jessica Curtaz is a Philadelphia-based street artist and arts advocate. She transforms public space through installing crocheted weeds, insects, real and imaginary creatures, and other, over-sized flora and fauna onto the urban landscape, bringing a feminized craft out of the home and onto the streets. 

Born and raised in California, Jessica holds a BA in both plant biology and fine art from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Her background in science, and early career as a researcher at UCLA, collecting water samples off a boat in the Santa Monica Bay and staring at diatoms through a microscope, has been a huge influence on the subject matter and style of Curtaz’s work. She plays with and distorts natural elements, elongating forms, tweaking shapes, and creating the macro out of the micro.

Being seasick for two years prompted a career change. Jessica completed her MFA in drawing from Claremont Graduate University in 2006, shortly before moving to Philadelphia. Jessica now works as a teaching artist, specializing in adaptive teaching methods to special needs populations including the blind and visually impaired, and adults and children with physical and intellectual disabilities. These classes focus on art both as a creative outlet and a vocation. She is an advocate for increasing the autonomy of marginalized populations as well as strengthening their voice in the larger community. To these ends she has led several public art projects, including a knit bombing installation with students at the PA School for the Deaf focusing on de’VIA (Deaf view/image art) principals and the specifics of communicating when deaf. She also organizes community volunteers to participate in her classes, work with students with disabilities and further increase understanding and communication between differently abled populations.


My work challenges the boundaries we impose around art, making it accessible to everyone. I take a practice often considered as feminine domestic craft and bring it into public space, imposing my imagination and “feminine” perspective on the urban landscape. I crochet giant weeds, insects, real and imaginary creatures, creating oversized fantastical renditions of flora and fauna, that I install, with and without permission, on chain link fences, city lampposts, and, occasionally, gallery walls. My public installations play with scale, with subject, with context and location. I spend just as much time crocheting paper airplanes that will last less than 24 hour on a chain link fence as creating a giant garden for an interior space. I am interested in navigating this struggle between creating ephemeral works, in unexpected outdoor locations, and more solid, more permanent pieces.  I am interested in challenging how location equates to monetary value. What does it mean when a crocheted nasturtium is installed on a gallery wall versus when it appears outside that gallery on a chain link fence. I want to make art a part of people’s everyday lives. I want someone to be confronted with a seven foot crocheted praying mantis on their way to work, or for the fence around their parking lot to suddenly sprout giant dandelions. These pieces incorporate humor and escapism into an explicitly political feminist project, blending the banal with the fantastic, the domestic realm with the public sphere.

Lisa Von Hoffner

Lisa Von Hoffner is a contemporary figurative painter from Philadelphia. She received a BFA in painting from Savannah College of Art and Design and an MFA in painting at Arizona State University. In 2015 she was selected to partake in an artist-in-residence program in Joutsa, Finland where she invoked the richness of contemporary Finnish art to edify her work. Lisa has exhibited extensively in the States and abroad and was selected as one of only 40 artists out of nearly 1,000 applicants to be published in the New American Paintings MFA Annual. In 2017 she was on the Phoenix New Times list of “100 Creatives You Need to Know” and had her art featured on the show Good Morning AZ 3TV. Lisa is an educator at Arizona State University and continues to work on solo projects and collaborative efforts throughout the valley. 


My work brings to light the paradoxical state of women’s sexuality in a distinctly patriarchal society, literally and figuratively. Laced with bright lights and a near hallucinatory fanfare of color, the immediate tenor of my most recent work is a carousel of revelry and excitement, similar to the buzzing allure of Vegas. This sparkling veneer is sarcastically subverted by the realities that are being addressed ─ objectification, commodification, and the disfigurement and misuse of women’s sexuality in society. Through the hallowed reiteration of circles and a hyper-spectacle of art objects, these pieces enter the realm of devotion ─ devout objects to be revered, objects that pay homage to the sanctity of womanhood. This sentiment is punctuated by ever expanding upon the materiality of the work with complexly loaded ingredients, such as neon and LED lights. By elevating my paintings off of the wall, wrapping them in neon and slathering them with puddles of resin, I defy their two-dimensionality. In doing so, these paintings are transformed into art objects themselves, echoing the normative objectification of women.

Karina Puente

Karina Puente is a Mexican-American artist based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her fine art paintings, charcoal drawings, and modern Papel Picado installations reflect the cultural heritage of the Santa Ynez Valley where she grew up. Puente’s large-scale backdrops are hand cut and dyed in her studio. Her works have appeared in weddings, community events, galleries and museums across the country. She has exhibited in the Corcoran National Gallery, Miami MoCA, Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Studios at Mass MoCA, and The Weeksville Heritage Center in New York. Puente’s process is often site-specific and supports individuals and organizations align to their mission through strategic co-creation. 

We Were Wild: Interview with Risa Friedman and Meredith Feniak

By Sarah Mills

We Were Wild's paste ups celebrate often overlooked urban architecture, mostly from the metro Denver area. Scenes that we might pass in our everyday lives - our alleys, homes and businesses - are elevated and honored. The changes and development happening in our city today are combined with Denver's history through the use of calico fabrics, which represent the Western Movement. Mixing the paper image (parts of our work are printed on Tyvek for stability) and the dimensionality and movement of fabric, We Were Wild creates whimsical, interactive street art installations.

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Tell us What We Were Wild is and how it started?

We met through Denver’s art scene, and instantly saw that our aesthetic, although expressed differently, was actually quite similar. We both love when nature and architecture intersect, finding beauty in hidden and unexpected places, public art, and collage. Our desire to create work accessible outside of galleries meant street art was a natural fit.

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Where do you draw inspiration from?

We realized that we often notice the same urban details, stopping at the same time to take a closer look. For We Were Wild, these moments always involve architecture - ranging from busy demolition sites to quiet corners where nature is slowly peeling away paint and coming up through cracks. Our favorite sites are often aging but have strong lines, color and texture. We are drawn to places that are usually overlooked despite being located in heavily trafficked areas.

Once we begin the process of printing and collaging elements, the images become imaginary habitats for flora and fauna with working doors and windows and folded fabric curtains. As children, we both made doll clothing and built dollhouses. We are reminded of those days when working among piles of architectural images and fabrics in the studio.

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What mediums do you typically work in for this project?

Photos printed on regular paper and Tyvek (to make the parts of the paste ups that open, such as windows and doors, more durable) combined with fabric and haberdashery make up our collaged paste-ups. We use traditional wheat paste or a gel medium when we want them to last longer.

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How do you decide where to paste your work?

Other wheat paste artists taught us about the “rules” of street art. We paste on dumpsters, and temporary walls/windows that are already partially covered with bills. We also paste on private walls where the owners give us permission or request a piece. Part of our practice includes not covering up other people’s art and tags. 

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What do you hope the viewer takes away from your work?

We want to help viewers see everyday places in a new way - to notice color, lines, and textures they might have missed in the past, but in a fun and whimsical way. This is why we cut up the photos and often collage them back together in unexpected combinations. Art should be more accessible, so we bring art to the people on the streets and invite them to physically touch our pieces, opening the doors and windows and feel the texture of the fabrics. We are especially excited to see children discover that our street art is interactive.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned from this project?

Both of us, a photographer and artist/illustrator, had to adjust to the fact that we do not have control over the final outcome. Whether it is the fact that there are two of us making decisions in the collaboration, altering the layout to complement cracks in the wall, pieces blowing away in the wind, or pieces being ripped away, we have learned to love the fleeting nature of the initial idea, its execution, and eventual destruction of the installations.  Once we were able to fully accept this, we saw that it fit with our initial concept of appreciating the wildness of both manmade and natural constructions.


What is the best piece of advice you have for an artist looking to utilize public spaces in their work?

There’s always an element of unknown when you work in public spaces. We’ve learned to appreciate the need to improvise as we don’t know exactly how a wall’s texture will change our piece or exactly how much room there will be to paste or how the weather might change how quickly the glue dries. We’ve also learned to not get too attached to each piece. Who knows how long a piece will last before somebody tags it or rips it or the colors begin to fade. We give each piece to the public and then it takes on a life of its own. That’s the beauty of street art; it can be fleeting and pieces often change quickly. There’s a constant collaboration with the weather and animals and residents and other street artists.


Aubrie Costello 

Aubrie Costello is a fiber artist from Philadelphia working to blur the lines between fine and street art. Known for her ephemeral site-specific silk installations, Costello’s work explores the tension between what’s kept private versus what’s shared publicly. Her process utilizes the expressive nature of silk to personify her growing collection of found phrases, verses, mantras, and quotations gathered from the world around her. These words are intuitively written in yards of hand-shredded dupioni silk and sewn into large-scale silk flags. Costello has exhibited her work extensively in Philadelphia and abroad, most notably at International House University of Pennsylvania, Chemical Heritage Foundation, Moore College of Art & Design, Main Line Arts Center, Bucks County Community College Hicks Art Center Gallery, The James Oliver Gallery, Projects Gallery, in politically and socially charged exhibitions Truth To Power, Into Action, and WE RISE, and was a co-organizer of the 2017 citywide public art project, Signs Of Solidarity.