Bite. Spit. Repeat.
The Gowanus Studio Space 2014 Printmaking Residency Exhibition
April 17-19, 2015
Opening Reception April 17, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
(if you come, there will be alcohol and I will be all over you checking for ID because I like you safe and sound!)
Julia Elsas | Rita MacDonald | Daniel Anthony Vasquez
There will be two musical interludes during the 6-9pm opening:
- Mark Feldman (violin) solo
- Mark Feldman (violin) and Kenny Wollesen (drums) duo
- Kenny Wollesen (udu drum) solo
- Other special guests TBA.
The GSS Print Residency is possible due to generous donations by Bill Goldston and Kiki Smith.
Learn more about the studio and the Print Residency including how to apply at www.gowanusstudio.org
Julia Elsas was born in Birmingham, Alabama and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She received a BA from Carleton College and an MFA from UC Davis. While studying at Davis, she received the Robert Arneson Award, the Fay Nelson Award, and two Freedmond Gadberry Awards. Past exhibitions include: Art Merge Lab, Los Angeles, CA; One Mile Gallery, Kingston, NY; International Print Center, New York, NY; CUNY Graduate Center, New York, NY; Bronx Art Space, New York, NY; Textile Arts Center, Brooklyn, NY; Barbara Archer Gallery, Atlanta, GA; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC; Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC; Branch Gallery, Durham, NC; Lump Gallery, Raleigh, NC; Cinders, Brooklyn, NY; Pigman Gallery, San Francisco, CA; JAYJAY, Sacramento, CA; Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA. She was an Artist Fellow at Virginia Center for Creative Arts in Amherst, VA in 2009 and 2010 as well as an Artist-in-Residence at the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, CA in 2010. She is a 2014 Resident Artist at Gowanus Studio Space in Brooklyn, NY and teaches printmaking and bookbinding at SUNY Purchase and Montclair State University.
Daniel Anthony Vasquez was born in Las Higuerras, El Salvador. He received a BA from Rowan University in 2007. Vasquez works predominantly with works on paper. He is currently focusing on printmaking as the result of his recent awarded residencies at the Lower East Side Printshop and the Gowanus Studio Space. His selected exhibitions include Language Forged out of Place; In and Out of Context; and Treasure Island at the Lower East Side Printshop. Other recent group exhibitions include Greenpoint Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Brooklyn Waterfront Coalition, Brooklyn NY; Studio 1950, New York, NY. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Rita MacDonald is a Brooklyn based artist whose work has been shown in solo exhibitions at Wave Hill in the Bronx, Smack Mellon in Brooklyn and The Soap Factory in Minneapolis, MN as well as in group exhibitions at Storefront Ten Eyck in Brooklyn, Lehman College Art Gallery in the Bronx, Cheryl Hazan Gallery and Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery, both in New York and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, WI. Through a Fellowship Grant from Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosedale, NY, MacDonald published an Artist’s Book which is included in several major Public Collections, including the libraries of both Yale University and The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN. In 2011, she completed her first major public work – two permanent mosaic works for New York MTA’s Arts for Transit Program at the Ave J and Ave M Stations on the Brighton Line (B/Q) in Brooklyn. MacDonald was born in Braintree, Massachusetts and received an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York, NY and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI.
Working with images of decorative patterns in clothing, interior design and architecture, I make both small-scale pencil drawings and prints on paper and large-scale temporary wall drawing installations using everyday building materials. In both bodies of work, I’m primarily interested in pattern for its geometry and for that geometry’s relationship to the human body.
Much of my installation work is site-specific, and I’m often drawn to transitory or overlooked public spaces in an attempt to make them places for a more personal interaction. I like to explore the line – and the sometimes inexplicably fuzzy edges – between the grandness of scale in public architecture and the intimacy of personal domestic spaces. The images in my wall drawings begin as flat pattern, then contort to form a recognizable image of loose fabric or paper in a three-dimensional space. The optical effects of the pattern create scale shifts and illusions of movement and volume that push up against the flatness of the wall.
In much the same way, my works on paper begin with images of patterns on clothing and explore the body’s implied connection to, and impact upon, that pattern. They are very deliberate observations of very small subjects – a swatch, a fold, a seam, a pleat or an indentation – and are recorded at actual size through a process of building up layers of repetitive marks.
As a mixed-media artist, I am continually exploring a range of materials and processes. My current work encompasses monoprints, cyanotypes, collage and other works on paper, as well as textiles, sculpture, installation, and ceramics. I am especially interested in clothing and fabrics used in and associated with women’s intimate apparel, which I often incorporate into my two- and three-dimensional pieces. Since these garments are made to reveal and conceal, I see them as suggestive of the tension between secrecy and exposure in acts of courtship, sensuality, and violence. In my current monoprint series, I am exploring the physical, aesthetic, and conceptual ramifications of inking and printing industrial elastic and nylon that has been reconstructed, stretched, and torn.
My works on paper include drawings and printmaking, with a special interest in woodblock printing. Drawing is an essential and preliminary step in my artistic practice and final Woodblock prints. In producing my designs and abstractions for my prints, I’m greatly inspired and influenced by patterns and designs of Tribal Arts from Africa, Oceania and Southeast Asia among other communication forms of indigenous cultures. After I have my desired drawings on paper to work from as guides, I carve out my designs and images onto found processed plywood plates to be then printed onto paper. Each woodblock comes with its own individual temperament and workable limitations, which at times, forces me to diverge from my original sketches. Regularly, the individuality of each wood piece predicates the design it will accept. Through the act of laboriously carving out my design, I engage and explore the different and unique qualities of each specific woodblock. I choose found woodblock plates to allow for unexpected nuances and imperfect elements to surface onto my work. In addition, working with wood material provides an organic aesthetic and visually tactile quality to my works. The wood quality of my prints carries with it an historical precedence and legacy, significantly speaking to a loss and rediscovery of my identity. As such, the wood medium is itself the source of inspiration.