THE FOCUS

Emily C. Thomas creates art at the intersection of painting, sculpture, performance, film and installation. Her work has been characterized as eco-feminist. Taking cues from animistic philosophies, she engages with issues of body politics and planetary consciousness. Applying techniques from experimental therapies such as self-hypnosis and psychodrama, in her films and performances Thomas assumes transpersonal identities of an enigmatic, feminine persuasion: a Private Eye, Bride of the Ocean, and Abbess of the Galactic Center. In the worlds she constructs, domestic...

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"I explore the visual language of age in my artwork through everyday objects past and present. Why does an object look 'old' or 'new'? Our intimate relationships with these objects and our willingness to immediately discard items once they become obsolete are dominant themes in much of my work. The specific memories and nostalgia that each object can trigger is an important element in that visual language. I use the actual technological objects both as models and inspiration for sculpture,...

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"My work exists on two planes- personal and community. My paintings capture existence through the lens of the black woman, exalting the wholeness of her form and spirit with regards to the fact that she IS the mother of humanity- that from which we all came. Individual stories, given to me on an intimate, spiritual level as I craft pieces for permanent adornment on bodies- vessels of truly unique individuals- bridge my work over to community. The cultural practice of...

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Artist and curator Kimia Ferdowsi Kline earned an M.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute and a B.F.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, where she was named a Danforth Scholar. She has mounted solo exhibitions at Turn Gallery, Marrow Gallery, Wayne State University, and 68 Projects. Select group shows include, Ceysson & Bénétière, The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, PACE University, CANADA Gallery, and The Drawing Center. Kimia Ferdowsi Kline, Clear Knowing, 2021 Kimia Ferdowsi Kli...

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Jennifer Pepper combines handwriting, plant life, and recycled beekeeping equipment to create mixed media artworks and installations that seek to express the arcane beauty of standardized systems, such as that of the wooden Langstroth beehive and handwriting. The visual poetry of geometric forms (like the bee cell, the honeycomb frame, etc.), are repeated, written, drawn, or sculpted in increments lending themselves to subtle changes that create intricacies and can become compelling as form. Jennifer Pepper, Studio Visit, 2021 Jennifer Pepper, Studio...

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"The history and experiences of Southern Post Removal era Native Americans, mixed-blood African and European Americans, and immigrants have faded into time and lay in the pages of dusty unopened archives, the minds of their descendants, the edge of the latter’s psyches, often forgotten altogether. When one thinks of the South, these people do not come to mind. It is generally perceived and assumed that the South exists only in Black and White, metaphorically, and “racially”. The narrative that I pres...

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"If the body is a house and a body has memory, then so must the house and the shelf and the door." Tracy Treadwell, Fawn on the Water, 2020 (76” x 146” x 26”) painted corrugated tin, steel, pine, polyform boat fender "Peel back the suburban lipstick of my upbringing and you’ll find layers of quiet, familial dysfunction. On the same day, I could ride my bike down to the woods, where I built poorly made sanctuaries out of whatever debris I found littered...

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"I come from gardeners, teachers, believers, sinners, moon-lighting loggers, makers, milliners, cooks, healers, pharmacists, and grocers. I come from the American South, a place where the kitchen and pharmacy are the same room. In many ways, I see my work as that same room—an expansive space for building and coming together." Jodi Hays, Virtual Studio Visit, March 2021 (images courtesy of the artist and Sam Angel Photography) Jodi Hays, Iris, 40" x 25" (2021), dye, oil, canvas ribbon, paper (images courtesy of...

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